Origin: Valle Central, Chile - Concha y Toro
Taste guide: Medium bodied, blackberry and currant fruit flavours, spice and pepper notes, unoaked
75cl - 13% - screwcap
Chilean Shiraz is not seen that often - plenty of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Carmenére, but not much Shiraz. Which is a shame because when well-made, inexpensive Shiraz from Chile is more than a match for perhaps its more famous New World producer, Australia.
This superb Shiraz from one of the best volume winemakers in Chile - Hernan la Barra - was produced specifically for Virgin Wines from select fruit harvested from vineyards in Chile's Central Valley. The grapes were hand harvested to ensure they reached the winery in peak condition for winemaker Hernan de la Barra work his magic.
The colour is deep garnet red, with a nose redolent of blackberry and dark cherry. The palate is bursting with berry and currant fruit flavours and those lovely spice and pepper notes, typical of Shiraz. The finish is long and lingering with hints of chocolate and vanilla.
Overall a very well-made modern wine - rich and flavoursome, with good structure.
To quote winemaker Hernan la Barra - "Chile is a fantastic place to grow and make Syrah. You get old-world style elegance with new-world style punch and confidence. I'm really proud of this wine - it delivers both in spades!"
Serve with anything that comes off a grill - sausage, steak, flat mushrooms in garlic butter or even zaatar roasted aubergine.
Sold on Virgin Wines website for £9.99 - Binendwines' price was £6.25, now just £5.89 whilst stock lasts.
Note, this wine has thrown some tartrate crystals. Tartaric acid is a natural compound found in grapes and thereby ends up in wine. If wine is subjected to a rapid drop in temperature, itself harmless, tartrate crystals can precipitate in the bottle. To avoid this, most commercial wineries cold-filter their wine; many would say over filter, as this process reduces flavours somewhat. This winery chooses not to cold filter their wines, and that is why crystals have appeared. These are totally harmless, and all that is required is careful pouring of the last few drops of wine.
The showing of these crystals is probably the reason for Virgin Wines de-listing this perfectly good wine. Perhaps it was too difficult for Virgin Wines customers to understand! I'm sure Binendwines customers can follow this explanation. Whatever, their loss is your gain – you can buy with confidence.