California and Washington make Cabernet-Syrah blends with mixed results, but this is really Australia’s territory—especially in the sun-drenched Barossa Valley where the old vines produce incredibly well-balanced rich and ripe fruit. The Down Under does juicy like no other wine region in the world, so when you can find a value-priced Cabernet-Shiraz that has all the same characteristics of a prestige bottle, it’s a real treat—which is what YALUMBA The Scribbler 2009 is. Deep currant and plum of Cabernet Sauvignon softened by the raspberry and sweet spice of the Shiraz, this is round, mellifluous stuff, like the sound of a baritone sax.
Yalumba has been around for a long time (since the 19th Century) and their brand is present pretty much anywhere wine is sold, but the winery is a special breed of mass producer who manages to maintain a family-owned, artisanally crafted quality to their very large portfolio of offerings. The Scribbler happens to be somewhat of a rarer find on the shelves, at least here in North America, but it should be sought after and immediately picked up on sight. Such a pleasing wine at a pleasant price is such rare pleasure. –J.M.
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