May 21, 2008

Wednesday's Wine - Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, 2006

I have found that I seem to be drawn to both the low low prices and the very good quality of wines from Australia lately. As a result, we're now back visiting Southeastern Australia to try out Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, 2006. According to their website, this is a wine you can "cellar" for a medium term amount of time, but it's made to be delicious right away. I do not have enough wine experience to know how long a "medium term" amount of time is for "cellaring" a wine, but if it's meant to be good right away, why wait? By the way, this is how someone starts "cellaring" according to

Typically, the one-bottle-at-a-time wine buyer will at some point discover their regular merchant is sold out of their current and typically new-found favorite wine. So, embarking on a desperate mission of serious wine shopping, they get lucky enough to find another source with a few remaining bottles and make the decision to stock up. And so it begins: The Cellar.

This "cellar" may wind up in a counter top wine rack on display (how did they know that's where I put my cellar!?!), a kitchen cupboard, or a cardboard box in a closet, crawl space, or garage. But make no mistake about the implication, this IS the ominous beginning of a wine collection. However, only a very small percentage of all wines produced will improve in sensory or economic value with age, and the risk of ultimate disappointment is quite high.

Personally, I don't have enough room in my condo to cellar anything more than about dozen bottles. And when it comes to losing money on spoiled wine, I become risk adverse. I think I'll just drink them as I buy them. Seriously, I only have maybe half a dozen wines hanging out at any given time.

Back to Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, 2006 and why I chose this one. This wine was on sale a few weeks back at Applejack's (that liquor warehouse I go to in the Golden, Colorado area that is mostly wines from everywhere) because they had it on sale for under $10.00 (the magic number). Actually, it was on sale for $7.00 (regularly $12.00 to $15.00) and it's a blend of my two favorite grapes. They send me emails about once a month with a wine or two that they have on sale, most of the time it's a $40.00 wine for $35.00 or something like that. But once in awhile, they hit my price point. This is what they included in the email regarding this wine:

"Purple-colored, the wine offers meaty black currant, blackberry, and blueberry aromas. On the palate, the wine exhibits remarkable focus structure for it's humble price. It should evolve for several years and drink well through 2022 if not longer. It is a fantastic value." Wine Advocate Issue #173 - 91 Points!

Alright! Now we know what medium term is: about 16 years, "if not longer". According to Penfolds, they seek to maintain the same taste every year, so the percentage of Shiraz vs. Cabernet Sauvignon varies based on that season's grapes. The 2006 year resulted in 78% Shiraz to 22% Cabernet and was aged in oak or with oak (not sure if they used oak barrels or put in oak chips). I did enjoy this wine quite a bit. It wasn't overly heavy with fruit as I've found some Shiraz's to be and it went well with my Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. At $7.00, and 91 points from Wine Advocate, it is a fantastic value. I've enjoyed other wines a tad more, but then I've probably paid a tad more for them. I would definitely buy this one again.


Jdancer8 said...

Well I was hoping for a white one....but alas just another red...but thats ok your brightening my horizons as always....(and yes I'm blog looking and writing from work today) **Naughty I know** it to early to dip into the sauce...ahah if only I could at work..catch ya tonight

TheWeyrd1 said...

J...I'll have a white one soon. Didn't WATER count as a white wine, though?

Anonymous said...

I have a very small wine cellar in my basement, but it has nothing to do with storing expensive wines to age. Its all about buying them cheaply when I'm in Georgia visiting family - costs less there than in my state.

TheWeyrd1 said...

Citizen...I totally understand. Hope you're drinking them up by the time you go back to visit GA again!