#1 Mandrarossa Sicilian Shiraz 2003
This wine had a nice deep color with an anise aroma and some cedar. In the mouth it was pretty nice with some good flavors of cedar with a nice vanilla finish. The wine was a bitt unbalanced though with tannins that were not real polished but a solid wine and enjoyable with our rib eye steaks cooked right on the coals in my new Weber grill.
#2 Stolpman Hilltops Shiraz 2003
This was a “ringer” I threw into the flight for a special treat. I was in Santa Barbara this past Spring and visited the tasting room of Stolpman Vineyards. It was an absolute delight being able to talk with Katie McGaughy--a lovely young lady with the same names--right down to the same unique spellings--as my daughter's. Katie had a vast knowledge of the Stolpman's masterful creations--another unique delight!
After tasting some very nice Shiraz’s I packed this one away for the trip back to Maine.
The review--This wine is deep cherry to the rim on the pour with a dark berry fruit bouquet that is rich and luscious. It was deep and creamy on the palate with a mouth watering spray of dark fruit and wonderfully elegant tannins, nice vanilla notes and a finish that is just sheer pleasure. At $35, I was in heaven. Needless-to-say, this was everyone's clear favorite.
I'd say--grab one ASAP if you can but I have never seen Stolpman in my neck of the woods (Maine). But with my wife travelling to LA next week to see our newest Grandchild, maybe I can compel her to bring us back a treat!
It was awesome with the coal seared steaks, fiddlehead ferns and birthday celebrations of NW.
#3 McWilliams Shiraz 2004 Hanwood Estate
This Aussie Shiraz from down under had a nice deep color but the bouqet was a bit odd; like a gamay jug wine nose. Not “bad” but unexpected an d typical for the grape. It was a bit shallow as well. In the mouth it was peppery and had nice cranberry notes. It was, all in all very nice for the price.
Everyone picked the Stolpman as the BEST of tasting but the flight was not quite fair. The other two wines were $10 wines while the Stolpman was 3 and half times that. So if you ever wonder if it’s worth the price; often times it isn't, but in this case, all six people not knowing what was what, said OH YEAH!
Raise a glass we did--several times...and then walk to wherever it is you must go!