Friday, January 22, 2010

QNY Wine List - Penfolds Bin 2 - An Educated Peasant

By Father Tony

Sometimes, I suspect that wine "experts" relegate vast sections of the wine universe to "inferior" and therefore "cheaper" because those wines are simply not "complex". We have friends who are complicated and others who are simple. Neither adjective is a guarantee of or barrier to an appealing personality. To illustrate this premise, I'd like to make the case for a wine with an attractive personality that is closer to simple rather than complex and definitely a bargain at $17.

The Penfolds Bin 2 shiraz mourvedre 2007 is the dark lord of Australian wines. Here is the intriguing  Southlands description.

First made in 1960 with a wish to create an Australian 'Burgundian' style! The fruit is sourced predominantly from the areas of Langhorne Creek, Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Matured in previously used American oak barrels for 8 months to create a wine which combines ripe plum, blackcurrant and liquorice with well definied tannins on the finish.

The mourvedre grape is, it seems, a Spanish peasant whose DNA has been analyzed of late and is gaining in popularity. It is often a work horse used to fortify more delicate grapes. I don't think I've ever tasted it on its own. (Think Louis XIV chasing one of the queen's handmaidens? Very "Upstairs Downstairs".) Combined with shiraz in the Bin 2, the result has muscular calves over delicate ankles. Chase it.

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