A few weeks ago I was at a Saturday wine tasting at Mission Wines in South Pasadena with my co-worker Erica and her boyfriend Jack. A representative from Epicurean Wines came to display his company’s wares. Among the five selections were:
- Glaetzer 2006 Amon-Ra Shiraz (Barossa Valley)
- Glaetzer 2005 Godolphin Shiraz (Barossa Valley)
- Charles Cimicky 2005 Grenache/Shiraz Trumps (Barossa Valley)
There were two other wines–one was a sparkling shiraz which was interesting, and another was a rosé of some variety.
If you couldn’t tell by now, Epicurean Wines specializes in wines from Australia.
(An aside: one of the first wines I remember was a shiraz… I was a sophomore at Griffiths Hall in Unit 2, and a sultry and much more mature junior transfer named Veronica invited me to her room for a glass of wine. I don’t remember the name of the wine, but I remember thinking how well wine went with women [and alliteration, apparently]).
The Amon-Ra and Godolphin from Glaetzer were billed as the headliners of the tasting, and at $70 and $60, respectively, were a bit too expensive for this college grad’s wallet. They were delicious, to be sure, very full, very round, very “classic” shirazes. Erica bought a bottle of the Godolphin as a Christmas present for her mom. But the standout for me was the grenache/shiraz blend from Charles Cimicky.
Grenache itself is a very peppery, high-alcohol grape–to my untrained palate it is a bit sharp and seems to lack heft. Shiraz, on the other hand, is pretty hefty and very round. The Trumps blend is 60% grenache and 40% shiraz.
When I first tried it I was blown away by how high up in my mouth the flavors seemed to hit. Rather than staying low on the tongue like the other shirazes I have had, this one was elevated, rising up to my hard palate and floating through my nose. However, it was still grounded (it does have 40% shiraz, after all!) and overall was nicely balanced.
The price was right too: it retails for anywhere between $16 to $19. It was a family favorite as well–both my sister and mom loved it, and it’s hard to get them to agree about anything!
FOOD SUGGESTIONS: Lamb or barbecue, even chocolate.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: This is a very friendly, approachable wine. Easy on the budget. I think it’s a safe bet for a romantic evening or a dinner with friends.