Wine Tasting Video: Spicy reds from Australia, France, South Africa & Argentina

Benjamin Darnault Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2011, France (£10.99 Naked Wines)
Soft, sweet and ripe, with hints of liquorice and black pepper, but it needs a little more freshness, and the fruit’s too jammy and baked for real class. B

Virgile Joly Languedoc Saint Saturnin Paradise 2009, France (£15.99 Naked Wines)
Fresh and vibrant young wine, feels younger than ’09, with floral notes (rose petal and violet) to its blackcurrant and light pomegranate flavours, and a hint of charcoal on the finish. S

Peacock Ridge Shiraz 2011, Western Cape, South Africa (£8.99 Boutinot)
Don’t mind the plummy berry and orange peel fruit, nor the hint of cinnamon, but there’s a smoky bonfire-like dryness that dominates and strips the pleasure. C

Sam Plunkett The Butterfly Effect Shiraz 2011, South Eastern Australia (£10.99 Naked Wines)
Sweet rounded plum jam flavours – I just find this too simple and jammy for any class, and the finish is slightly hard too. C+

Harvey Nichols Shiraz 2010 (Killikanoon), South Australia (£15 Harvey Nichols)
Rich, voluptuous style, packed with flavour. Lots of fleshy plum, berry and cherry flavours, with more earthy notes such as black pepper and liquorice, and an iron-like mineral freshness to the finish. S(+)

Wakefield St Andrews Shiraz 2006, Clare Valley, Australia (£29.99 Cheers Wine Merchant, Nidderdale Fine Wines, Oz Wines, Slurp, Taste Fine Wines)
Good old fashioned style, soft, plush and not afraid to be oaky, with chocolatey depth to its honest plummy berry flavours, solid bear hug of wine, just let down by a slightly hard finish. S(-)

Las Moras Three Valleys Gran Shiraz 2006, San Juan, Argentina (£19.99 Virgin Wines)
Reasonable hearty berry fruit, with an aromatic character, but let down by oak handling – it feels as if someone has done a high toast level on poorly seasoned oak. The result is smoky bacon flavours, combined with a green, unripe character, and these never quite fit in with the rest of the wine. B

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