Price Range : $18 - 20
Region: McLaren Vale, Australia Ready to Drink: 3 years after bottle vintage
Absolutely superb Shiraz! Energetically, this is Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Its intense flavor of plum, mulberry, dark cherry and black tea screams at you. Colorwise, this is Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails—dark, dark, ominous stuff. PAXTON, who introduced their first wine to the market only as of the year 2000, should be counted among the exciting new wave of Australian wine producers redefining traditional Australian varietals today. The Paxton family has been around for three decades making wine in the McLaren Vale region, but this label is hip, contemporary and a barnburner. So, what you’ve got is a combustible mix of tradition and modernity, and the 2012 MV Shiraz explodes in the mouth. This is really juicy and succulent liquid ecstasy. And let’s talk biodynamic farming, which is basically organic in IMAX proportions. You can taste—no, feel—the difference in the non-existence of toxicity and the minimal intervention in winemaking—so pure, powerful and natural tasting it is. The power and concentration of mad flavor is a rush—long, structured and persistent. Not enough?—the wine finishes on a note of red pepper spice. Lest you think this wine just wants to bang you over the head repeatedly like heavy metal music, there’s a lovely undercurrent of mocha latte and really nice acidity to provide great balance to all the flavor and power. Hard rock ‘n roll with an eco-friendly heart. Hey, even Metallica softened up eventually. –J.M.