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label Safeway Australian Ruby Cabernet/Shiraz 1999
Straight up, I'll say that this wine is a little "confected", a little obviously crafted to sell by the bucket-load. But having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it is: a damn good summer wine with plenty of character and guts - and possibly the barbecue wine to end all barbecue wines. It has a bright crimson colour and the nose displays a floral edge to extremely spicy cinnamon, nutmeg and mint-leaf aromatics. It is genuinely like taking the lid off a jar of mixed-spices, no doubt from bags full of toasted oak chips rather than expensive barrels. The palate has some sweetly jammy blackcurrant fruit, again that parma-violet floral edge and plenty of acidity. Simple, maybe not for the purists, but this would be splendid with some char-grilled steaks or burgers.
UK Stockist: Safeway 3.99