2016 Thorn-Clarke Grenache/Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia (Alcohol 14.5%) LCBO General List $17.95 (750ml)

This extremely affordable Grenache and Shiraz blend from the Barossa arrived on my doorstep just the other day, and went down an absolute treat after a couple of hours in the fridge, even in this stifling heat. That little chill really took the edge off of that 14.5% alcohol, and I thoroughly enjoyed every last drop, and that is certainly not something that I would usually say about an $18 Barossa red.

I’ve tasted this wine in previous vintages and have been less than impressed, both with what was in the glass, and with the tired label on the bottle. However this brand new 2016 vintage is as appealing on the nose and palate as the new label is on the eyes.

The generous Grenache fruit is delightfully bright and lifted, with the Barossa-ripe Shiraz bringing some some dark plum, blackberry, and savoury spice notes to the party. And it’s a surprisingly rockin’ party for all of $17.95!

The palate is warm and giving, with some echoes of the spice from the bouquet, and a nice little touch of grip on the pleasingly supple tannins. Although the wine displays the Barossa’s trademark richness and weight, I didn’t find the wine to be cloying at all, quite the opposite actually, with all that juicy Grenache making me want to take another sip. And then another… This is one easy-drinking wine that delivers some pure fruit pleasure without being overly complex.

Pair with another one of these unexpected extended days of summer, but just remember to put a chill on it.
3.5 apples out of 5
(Three and a half apples out of a possible five)

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that’s a nice juicy bottle of wine.