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Haselgrove (Australia) Bentwing Shiraz 1998
This wine comes from the new Wrattonbully wine region, an area next to the famous Coonawarra that's fast becoming one of the hot spots of 21st century Australian winemaking. Wrattonbully shares the same 'Terra Rossa' red soil as Coonawarra and is fed by a plentiful supply of irrigating water from underground springs: always a bonus in the often parched Australian regions. Haselgrove is a real mover and shaker in the region, especially thier premium 'H' range of wines, but this Shiraz is lovely stuff with brightly-focused nose of peppery black fruits and a raspberry sweetness. There's just a hint of that typically Australian eucalyptus and mint quality. On the palate it is medium-bodied and easy to drink with relatively low tannins, gentle acidity and plenty of ripe, sweet fruit. Quite lush and rich, yet well balanced and svelte rather than a powerhouse style.
UK stockist: Safeway £7.99