Charles Melton 2009 Grains of Paradise Shiraz

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I certainly don’t want readers of cellared to think that I spend my life knocking back expensive and exotic wines while I sit in front of the tv eating a cheese toastie. I most certainly don’t and as far as I’m concerned the best wines are those that retail at a price most people can afford but that punch well above their weight.

However, it’s also true that every now and then people want (or need) to buy celebration wines. You know – the wines for significant birthdays, engagements … I’m very privileged in that a few times a year I teach WSET courses where I get to try wines that I enjoy but generally don’t have the opportunity to¬† buy myself.

The Charles Melton 2009 Grains of Paradise Shiraz, from the Barossa Valley, is one such wine. The Charles Melton website lists it as $58.90 but sold out, my bottle was purchased from the Edinburgh Cellars where it retails for $68 but other internet prices look a little higher. If you’re not in Australia it may actually be cheaper than that to pick up (hint to any readers in the UK!).

In the glass the wine is super dense and ruby in colour. It smells of plums, black cherries, Black Forest cake, but there’s also something smoky and meaty there – think salami and cured meats.

On the palate, there is tons of black fruit, laced with vanilla and toasted coconut. There’s some acidity and plenty of tannins, but they’re beautifully soft. The really lovely juicy fruit is persistent and the wine has good length.

With so much fruit and tannin I would not be scared of cellaring this wine for a while but it is also drinking perfectly well now. It really depends on what you look for in a wine. Many people (particularly South Australians who are brought up on big, bold, fruit forward Shiraz) will quite possibly prefer it younger but if you are patient, and have good cellaring facilities, I imagine it will reward you well.

You can see how an older vintage is maturing with this review of the 2006 Grains of Paradise.

The wine was purchased from the Edinburgh Cellars, $68.
Closure: screw cap.