Loomwine, Crowded Hour Shiraz 2011
The “budget” end of the red wine market has become a cluttered space in recent years. With the ready availability of so-called “cleanskins”, online sales, auctions and heavy discounting by the stores owned by the major supermarkets, the Australian consumer is spoilt for choice at the sub $15 price point. But buying a case of inexpensive red, sight unseen is always a bit of a lottery!
So, when the Loomwine Crowded Hour 2011 McLaren Vale Shiraz arrived on my doorstep recently at only about $10 a bottle, I didn’t have any expectation of drinkability, let alone enjoyability, but what a pleasant surprise it was.
On the nose, a pungent cedary sweetness becomes a bouquet of smokey stewed cherries on the palate. There’s plenty of generous fruit and a subtle spiciness upfront before the dark fruit and Christmas cake flavours dominate the taste buds across the middle but fall away pretty quickly at the back. There may be a couple of flat spots on the palate and a slight taint to the oak, but as a $10 quaffer, it’s probably unfair to judge it against the world-renowned McLaren Vale Shiraz that are ten times the price. I reckon it’s an ideal wine for Friday night takeaway in front of the footy!