Chocolate Box Shiraz
Tansey’s Blind Review – 90 points
Review By Eric Tansey, CSW
This wine is dark purple in color with large, fat, slow moving tears running down the glass. Powerful aromas of ripe plums, tart strawberry, black pepper, and some red velvet cake with homemade frosting. On the palate the wine has a medium plus bodied mouthfeel with big, bright red fruits and black pepper pinging off the tip of the tongue. Plums or prunes that fade to underripe strawberry on the mid palate as the acidity begins to activate your salivary glands. On the finish the wine is a bit green and herbaceous with a little grassiness. Complex wine that is still fruit driven and perfect for that person who is just getting into the complexity side of wine. Share this review with them and see if they can identify the characteristics I have mentioned. If you/they get anything different, please share those findings with us. Nothing gets us more excited than a little participation! Cheers.
Wine Selection – Chocolate Box Shiraz
Producer – Rocland Estates
Vintage – 2012
Style – Dry and pepper-y red wine
Varietals – Shiraz
Region – Barossa, South Australia
Alcohol – 14.5%
Oak – French and American oak
Suggested Glassware – Reidel Syrah Glasses
Food Pairing – BBQ, wet ribs, grilled veggies, grilled beef
What is Shiraz ?
Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is a dark skinned grape that produces wines that are often fruit driven, peppery, and very unique. The grape is native to France, where it is called Syrah, and is stylistically different from Shiraz in Australia even though the grape is the same. This trend continues in the US in that if the wine resembles the French style they call it Syrah, and if it is more the Aussie style, it is called Shiraz. So, what are the styles? The french style is typically very savory with less fruit characteristics and more bacon fat and “barn yard” characteristics, some even say they have aromas of sweaty horse hair…This may sound gnarly but in fact they can be very elegant wines. To really see this for yourself try a wine from the Northern Rhone region. In moderate regions like the northern Rhone in France and Walla Walla Washington in the US, Syrah is silky and meaty whereas in warmer climates, like the Barossa in South Australia or Paso Robles in California, the wine is juicy, fruit driven, and often described as jammy.
Syrah/Shiraz is often a medium to full bodied style of wine that has medium to high tannin and medium to medium plus acidity. This structure gives these wines great aging potential and the ability to pair with a wide range of grilled meats and veggies. From BBQ to steak, from grilled veggie kebobs to burgers and pizza, Shiraz will highlight theses dishes and spark conversation at almost every price point. Syrah/Shiraz is often used as a single varietal in a wine but is also very well known for its blending potential. You will often find these Syrah blended wines in the Cotes du Rhone region of Southern France and in Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre (GSM) blends in California, Australia, and South Africa. These wines are some of my favorite summertime red wines and are always a go-to on pizza and burger night in the Tansey household. Branch out and try some Shiraz, take a picture , share it with us on any social media platform and we may send you a treat. Cheers ! Eric Tansey, CSW, Somm1