Australian Shiraz – with variations

Houghton The Bandit Shiraz/Tempranillo 2008, Western Australia (£8.99 – available from Spring 2010)
Young but not disturbingly so, with bright strawberry, blackcurrant and jammy dodger fruit, a touch of reduction and hints of mint and milk chocolate. B(+)

D’Arenberg “d’Arry’s Original” Shiraz Grenache 2006, McLaren Vale, South Australia (£9.95-£12.99 The Wine Society, Oddbins, Bibendum)
Lovely lush sweet allure, ripe, plump, plummy fruit, rounded and easy to drink with extra interest provided by earthy mineral and iron notes. S-

Jim Barry The McRae Wood Shiraz 2005, Clare Valley, South Australia (~£22.50
A weighty giant, initially a tad minty but then the voluptuous black fruit washes over you. Add in notes of bread dough and licorice, and a leathery meaty finish, and you have wine that, while not refined, is certainly complex, warm-hearted and honest. S(+)

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