Garnet color with slight translucence; rich red fruit, plum on the nose; big fruit—red cherry, plum, red berries, raspberry, toasty oak, chocolate, spice, pepper, on the palate.
Ripe fruit, bold flavors, classic South Eastern Australia (Langhorne Creek, Padthaway, Barossa Valley), and 15.5% alcohol.
Wisely avoids oaky and jammy; smooth, restrained tannins, good acidity (3.48 pH), plush. Classic Aussie blend of grapes: 63% shiraz, 25% cabernet sauvignon, 12% merlot. Shiraz brings berries, spice, pinch of pepper, while cab delivers structure and boldness; merlot supplies smoothness and rounds out the fruit-forward medley. Very easy drinker with plenty of uncomplicated pleasures.
Winemaker Steve Roden is a veteran Aussie wine guy who built an international reputation producing big, high-flavor offerings that deliver high alcohol, pop-and-pour drinkability, and smoothness—wines crafted to be enjoyed by wide audience. He succeeds again with this effort.
Price is nice thanks to the crash in Aussie wine exports—there was a seven percent decline in one year-long period through mid-2015. Yellow Tail no longer is the next big thing; it is so 2002.
Wide distribution in the U.S. means you likely can find this, including grocery stores, where it will be their up-market product. Wine Enthusiast gave the previous vintage a 90 score, something Roden probably will consistently achieve. $17
Insurrection wine website
Second photo: winemaker Steven Roden