Fairly transparent ruby, but still staining at a shade a couple clicks past pink. Inundating beautiful vegetal, bell pepper and compost, wet straw and tortilla. A hint of alcohol barely crests the thin dark fruit. It is literally lean and bright and rife with earthy funk–NOT what I am used to in an Australian Shiraz.

I used to drink a shit-ton of Aussie wine. Then I moved to the Central Coast and found myself smack-dab in the OZ-Free Zone of wine marketing. There is NOTHING here. Nothing. Yellow Tail and Koonunga Hill makes up the Australian section of ALL retailers. Oh, unless you count somm-fav Molly Dooker bullshit. An occasional bottle of 707 or 389 pops up here and there. It’s gotten worse, too. When I first moved here almost 20 years ago, Bev-Mo had an “Australia” section. Some years ago they absorbed the increasingly shrinking selection into various parts of “Syrah” and “Other Reds”. But I used to drink a lot of it. Nothing as boutiqu-ey as this, but decent stuff. But I still have never encountered an Australian wine like this one smells. Also, we are used to Australian wines being fairly fastidious with the “14-5” labeling, never wavering. I’m gonna guess this one a bit higher, maybe 15-2, even though it carries it EXTREMELY well.

In the mouth, the lean-ness of body really shines. Grippingly acidic from first drop, a bright melon and plum props up the deep cherry, not giving in to the popular theme of over-density. And still that beautiful Cote-Rotie or Gigondas nose cranks on, influencing the red-dirt mouthfeel in not-so-subtle ways. A watery syrup flows over the middle and the chocolate and tobacco, dessert-infused finish fights off broken stem and black tea for dominance of structure. Last thing you remember is a blood-orange peel spray to the throat.

A ridiculously good wine, hitting on areas–if you follow me and know my palate–I am a complete sucker for. I don’t think this is distributed in the US, and production is small. And I rather like it.

2015 SERAPHIM Shiraz Heathcote Australia 14.9

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