2005 Kono Baru Shiraz

Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Don Sebastiani & Sons

What They Said:

Per the winery “This exceptional Shiraz from down under expresses the deep concentration typical of the famous Barossa Valley. The color is inky purple with intense blue fruit such as wild huckleberry and ripe crushed blueberry. The palate has a supple entry while the silky texture is backed by big grape tannins wrapped around boysenberry extract and finishing with a touch of brown sugar and vanillin.

This wine is an exceptional sipper. The generous profile will stand up to braised beef shortribs on a port wine sauce with a parsnip puree or complimentary to grilled wild Salmon fillets, served with heirloom tomato salsa over a bed of arugula.

Most of Australia’s wine is produced in the south-eastern region of the country, an area which, like California, boasts considerable geographic and climatic diversity. Flavors born in the high altitude vineyards of the Adelaide hills, the cool coastal climate of Tasmania, and the deep granitic soils of the Strathbogie Ranges contribute to the distinct characters that gives these wines an international appeal.”

What I Think:

As mentioned when I tried their Riesling some time back these wines were made for blogging. That one wasn’t a hit but the easy to find tasting notes and podcasts have kept these wines top of mind for me. Kudos to Sebastiani & Son’s and the Three Loose Screws label for helping out those of us that are publicizing their products.

Now on to the main event, like the Riesling, this wine was quaffable but seemingly made for the masses as there was little memorable about it. As mentioned via twitter here and here, this wine is marginal stoking thoughts of melted cherry cough drops. That was my initial thought which slowly unwound itself to being medicinal then to herbal and then to the green peppers. I got the tannins but missed the fruit described above. I prefer the Cartwheel so if you have had neither grab that one. If you weren’t happy with the Cartwheel at $4 give this one a try. Maybe it will work for you.

Rating: Skip It

2005 Kono Baru Riesling

Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the winery “The aromatics of this wine are tropical with mango, passion fruit and apricot fruit notes. The palate is concentrated with stone fruit, ripe Fuji apple and Bartlett pear notes intermingled with honeycomb, petrol, wet stone and mineral flavors. These old vine Rieslings have great capacity to age attractively, in this case into 2010 and possibly beyond.

This Riesling is an excellent food wine. Try it with a John Dory filet in parchment with truffled mashed potatoes and haricot vert. The bright acidity of the wine with spicey bouillabaisse seafood stew, Kumamoto oysters on the half shell with a Champagne mignonette, or refreshing grapefruit and mint salad, is a perfect midsummer, poolside combination.

Most of Australia’s wine is produced in the south-eastern region of the country, an area which, like California, boasts considerable geographic and climatic diversity. It is well known that the Central Goulburn of Victoria area produces an excellent Riesling. Flavors born in the high altitude vineyards of the Adelaide hills, the cool coastal climate of Tasmania, and the deep granitic soils of the Strathbogie Ranges contribute to the distinct characters that gives these wines an international appeal.”

What I Think:

This wine was made for blogging, check out the link above and you’ll see what I mean. Tasting notes, bottle shots and the podcast all linked directly to the wine. That is usability I had never before come across on a winery website. I’m already ready to buy another bottle. The interest continued when I found on the site that Don Sebastiani & Son’s are responsible for this wine under their Three Loose Screws label. This was surprising given that this is an Australian offering.

Unfortunately much of my interest in this bottle ended about here. While the wine was quaffable it certainly didn’t distinguish itself. At times it tasted like Sauvignon Blanc and others just any generic white, I struggled to constantly remind myself that this was suppose to be a Riesling. I’ll be sticking to my favorite German offering but perhaps I’ll give another one of the Kono Baru offerings a try at some point.

Rating: Skip It