Tuesday, 30 July 2013

2010 'The Black Pig' Shiraz

A quick review of this pleasing new world wine. I like this, it combines Australian 'big red' fruit with spicy/peppery Rhone character. A Clare Valley red from Virgin Wines, it isn't expensive, and certainly isn't showy. The name could be mildly off-putting, but as described on the rear label, comes from the winemaker's love of their piggies, which "...roam freely amongst the scrub at the back of the winery".

The colour is deep-ish purple with a slight red tinge, especially towards the edge. It appears medium bodied with slow-forming tears. The nose is pretty good. It's full of spice with a slight smokey edge. Although secondary, there are sweet red fruits, including cherry and currents, and a touch of cassis. There's a chemical something there too, not dissimilar to that of a volatile marker pen, which isn't unpleasent.

The palate is surprisingly sweet, but good, although this covers a lot of the fruit flavours. The major flavours are spice and red pepper. It has a good balance of alcohol and acidity, and tannins provide a rounded, mildly chewy, mouthfeel. The finish is again peppery, and just long enough that bitterness from the tannins remains smooth.

I reckon this is an everyday wine, probably best paired with winter-warmer-type dishes. I drank it over two evenings, and the second was better. It developed a bit more acidity that i quite liked. As far as big Aussie reds go, made from shiraz, i think this wine lacks the ripe fruit concentration i've seen in those from the Barossa Valley. I had a 2005 Glaetzer Bishop shiraz not that long ago, and that blew my mind. This Black Pig, Clare Valley shiraz is a great attempt, but not in the same league. Having said that, for the price, i've had it before and will probably have it again!

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