Back to civilization! Back from the serene shores of Eagle Lake; back down from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And what a vacation. Fantastic fishing, long hikes on old trails, camping in the icy cold. Gulping down delicious wines paired with grilled meats and outlandish fireside stories told by family I hadn’t seen for far too long…
Over the course of this past week, we drank many wonderful Napa and Sonoma wines, lush with their fruit and sometimes finesse. Such a wild trip, though, merits a wine of equal depth. Something grizzly, and potent, and strange. Full moon wine; celebratory wine. This crazy vacation made me crave my unabashedly favorite grape: Shiraz.
The only choice was the 2010 “Raw Power” Shiraz, produced by Dominique Torzi and Tim Freeland in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Punk rockers to the core, these guys work with small growers to get choice fruit at value, and roll out wines that showcase the intensity and rich fruit displayed by all good Shiraz. And, like a lot of things in life, its appearance is deceiving. “Raw Power” is a cheap plonk lookalike with real flavor and depth. Ideal for camping.
When I poured this wine into a glass, the color was a nice deep purple. Aromas of baked cherry pie, mushrooms and loam – serious earthiness here, all soft and mossy. More round berry fruit in the mouth, again that almost sensual texture, with hints of truffle, tobacco and cocoa. Supple tannins and just enough acidity to keep this fruit bomb from being flabby. Ridiculously good with barbecue, especially if you’re grilling over a wood fire in the mountains with family or friends. $13. Just buy a few cases and throw ’em in your Land Rover.