2016 Penny’s Hill “Cracking Black” Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia (Alcohol 14.5%, Residual Sugar 4 g/L) LCBO Vintages April 18th $22.95 (750ml bottle)

Over the years I have found the Penny’s Hill “Cracking Black” Shiraz to be an amazingly consistent bottling that is a great example of full-bodied Mclaren Vale Shiraz at an extremely wallet-friendly price. This 2016 vintage is no exception, and upon tasing earlier this week found it to be perhaps just a little more polished than previous vintages; a wine this well-crafted for $22.95 is a complete steal.

The in-your-face bouquet is quite complex and all about blackberries, anise, cassis, cocoa powder, crushed black peppercorns, sweet and spicy toasty oak tones, a light touch of perfumed floral notes, and an extremely pleasant wet-earthiness. The black fruit core is appealingly dense and generous, with considerable weight on the palate, but all very much in balance at 14.5% alcohol. The tannins are smooth but with sufficient firmness for the required structure to carry all that lovely dark fruit. The finish is persistent, earthy, savoury and extremely satisfying.

I tried this with a simply seasoned bavette steak frites earlier this week and it was absolute delight as a match. I must pick up more of this when it is released as Vintages “Wine Of The Month” on April 18th.

You can find a reasonably recent interview with Penny’s Hill Vigneron Tony Parkinson right here.

4 apples out of 5
(Four out of a possible five apples)

Penny’s Hill is represented in Ontario by Dionysus Wines & Spirits. 

Dionysus Wines & Spirits are a Good Food Fighter.

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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he’s always thought this was a great value McLaren Vale.