Aldi Exquisite Collection – South Australian Shiraz

Remember the 90s when wine drinkers were hooked on Aussie Shiraz? Maybe not, things have moved on a long way since then. High ABV wines are out of fashion. The same goes for heavily oaked wines. So that leaves the classic Shiraz sat on the shelf reminiscing about the good old days. Or just not being made in the first place.
As it’s so trendy for an Australian winery to try to imitate the fine wines of the Northern Rhône, and even use the term ‘Syrah’ rather than ‘Shiraz’, it’s a bold (or naive) move from Aldi to put this wine in its (narrow) range. But then again, this might not quite be classic Shiraz. For starters, 13% of the wine is made from a blend of other grapes. There’s also a touch of restraint on the ABV. At 14%, it’s just a touch less than the more common 14.5%, or even 15%, for the true classic style. They’re still calling it a rich, ‘black’ Shiraz though, so where does this wine actually sit?
The deep, intense ruby colour suggests classic. As does the initial burst of ripe, dark fruit that engulfs your palate upon tasting. Typically for the classic style, there’s a hint of cake spice and perhaps chocolate to acompany that fruit. So it is classic then? Well, hold on a moment.
Like most wines of quality, there’s a long finish, and it evolves too. In this case, the fruit gradually subsides and the flavours become increasingly savoury, eventually hinting towards the liquorice and even the eucalyptus mentioned by the retailer. This isn’t going to be nearly enough to make it indistinguishable from Northern Rhône wines, but it’s certainly a nod to them.
What we have here is a wine that blends a certain richness with a dollop of sophistication. And at the price of £5,99 a bottle, that’s a triumph.
Tom BradfordAldi Exquisite Collection – South Australian Shiraz

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