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Shiraz.......Down Under

The Unassuming Wine Bros

This month we explored red wines from the famed Aussie vineyards in Barosso Valley and McClaren Vale to bring you South Australian Shiraz - and were not disappointed.

We are The Unassuming Wine Bros (UWB) – Patrick and Vigo - two regular guys who love everything about wine, including writing about it. Our goal is to explore the nuances of wine, share our adventures with you, and have a little fun along the way.

Even though they hailed from the relatively same geographic region in South Australia, this month's wine selections could not have been a more diverse batch, and each profiled much differently than the others. We consumed them side-by-side, and their differences were stark. Here are our thoughts as we sorted through them:

2019 Two Hands Angels' Share Shiraz, Mclaren Vale, Adelaine, Australia, $22.99 US, 13.8 %


Vigo: Some things aren't all brash and bold in Australia, and the 2019 Two Hands Angels Share Shiraz is one of them. It's a beautiful red with a hint of purple color that captures the eye as it was swirled to open its bouquet. The Two Hands Angels Share Shiraz bouquet fills your senses with blueberries and baking spice. On the palate, this is a medium to full-bodied wine with some pronounced acidity and tartness. Soft flavors of black cherry, blackberry, and licorice will greet you on every sip. Though not a superstar of Australian Shiraz, it's a decent selection that's gentle on the palate and wallet.

Vigos Rating: 3 Bros

Patrick: I liked the 2019 Two Hands Angels' Share Shiraz - just not as much as this month's other two selections - likely because it was not as complex as either of them. This juicy medium-bodied wine had blueberry, floral, and licorice notes with nice acidity. It was easy-drinking, but it lacked the characteristic boldness and complexity of many Shirazes, making you say "wow." I may be missing some of this wine's nuances and likely would have enjoyed it much more as a stand-alone selection.

Patrick Rating: 3.5 Bros

2019 Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia, $20.99 US, 14.5% ABV.

Vigo: Torbreck vintners, though only established in 1994, use grapevines from the U.S and Europe that are 80 to 124 years old. The Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz is a 100% Shiraz varietal and is 100% delicious. The boutique on the 2019 Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz is of fresh raspberries and plums. The taste is all goodness with blackberry, currants, and plums with slight acidity and tannins. Aged in oak, the Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz has a smooth finish with a hint of vanilla and baking spice. Medium to full-bodied, this is a wine that can be enjoyed immediately or after being aged for ten years. My suggestion is to drink now because it's that delicious.

Vigo's Rating: 3.5 Bros

Patrick: The 2019 Torbeck Woodcutter's Shiraz was my favorite of this month's three selections. This wine was complex - fruity with notes of raspberry, blackberry, and plum; rich; juicy with excellent acidity; tannic, and bold - yet with a distinct softness mid-palate that led to a subtle vanilla and baking spice finish. At this price point, this is delicious, well-balanced wine that was just right in every way.

Patrick Rating: 4 Bros

2019 Mollydooker, The Boxer, Shiraz, McLaren Vale-Langhorne Creek, Australia, $23.99

US, ABV 16%

Vigo: Holy smokes, where to start on this knock-out selection. If you like your Shiraz bold with a high alcohol content Mollydooker, The Boxer, Shiraz is for you. The boutique is hearty and full of aromas of plums, blackberry, and vanilla. On the palate, if you ever saw the 1960's Batman T.V show after your first sip, you'll see a "KAPOW" passing by your eyes. Along with all the jammy fruit flavors of plums, blackberries, cherries, coffee, licorice, vanilla, and dark chocolate is the strong taste of alcohol. As a recent graduate of the WSET-1 course, I learned that a wine over 15% ABV is normally put in the fortified wine category. Still, nothing in the winemaker's fermentation notes suggested that additional alcohol was added during the fermentation process. As a result, I'm a bit perplexed at how The Boxer is at 16% ABV without anything added to it. But be that what it may, it's a full-bodied, high alcohol wine that will need to be decanted before serving. I recommend consuming this wine slowly.

Vigo's Rating: 2.5 Bros

Patrick: The 2019 Mollydooker "The Boxer" Shiraz - definitely punches above its grape weight. The terms big, bold, rich, complex, full-bodied, and decadent don't do this wine justice. This wine exhibited notes of blueberry, coffee cream, jam, and spice with lots of tannins and a lengthy chocolatey finish. If you enjoy a blueberry-infused chocolate chip Frappuccino from your local Starbucks, this wine is for you. You have to go into this wine knowing it is big. If you do so, you will be delighted with it. Pair this with big chocolate desserts to complete your most gut-busting dreams.

Patrick's Rating: 4 Bros.

Vigo's Overall Impressions:

I discovered after our tasting that Australian Shiraz is not for the faint of heart. Bold, full-bodied, and fruit-filled is the order of the day when you select this region's Shiraz. As palate goes, this month's selection wasn't my jam since I'm more of a Cabernet Sauvignon/Pinto Noir fanatic. However, I did enjoy the 2019 Torbreck, Woodcutters Shiraz which I found more well-balanced and not as jammy as the other two selections.

Patrick's Overall Impressions: This month's three selections were all very different, which made them difficult to rank when consuming them side-by-side. I genuinely enjoyed them all. Which one you will like best will likely depend on your wine drinking preferences. For example, if you prefer medium-bodied wines with fruit and juiciness, the 2019 Two Hands Angels' Share will be your jam. If you seek a complex yet well-balanced selection, the 2019 Torbeck Woodcutter's Shiraz should be your "go-to". If you like the big, bold, full-bodied chocolate and coffee bomb, I suggest the 2019 Mollydooker "The Boxer" Shiraz. The best thing about wine is that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Try all three and let us know yours!

Attention Fans and Readers

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Rating System:

Vigo – / Patrick – UWB symbol. Ratings are given on a 1-5 scale, with five being the highest.

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