It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’ve had the chance to go through more than one of my sample bottles of Pepperjack shiraz. Now, I’m no wine expert by any stretch, but I don’t mind a red and for preference, I don’t mind shiraz (Although I’m also partial to a Cab Sav, Merlot, Cab Merlot and Pinot..) This review won’t be a ‘traditional’ wine review, just my take based on my limited wine drinking experience.
The wine fragrance is typical of a shiraz, it has that strong tannic smell to it when you open the bottle. There is somewhat of an almost chemical overtone to the aroma which settles after the glass is poured.
The taste is very ‘new’, that is – you can tell this was bottled recently (bottles are labelled 2012). I wouldn’t recommend drinking immediately after opening as the flavours are harsh. This wine definitely needs to breathe.
I have taken to decanting the wine before drinking. I pour the entire bottle into a crystal decanter and leave for at least a day, then open the decanter half an hour before consuming. This improves the taste of the wine quite a bit. I don’t have a wine aerator but that would probably improve it even more. As the harshness settles down, the wine sits better on my palette and goes well with each of the red meat dishes I’ve been trying it with (mostly beef & lamb).
The flavours (berry, pepper) don’t seem well infused in this wine yet. I’d suggest it needs some maturation and would be a good 3-4 year wine. As I’m not a ‘heavy’ wine drinker, I’m a bit spoiled in that I’ve been given some quite expensive wines which I’ve been able to mature for a couple of years. Once uncorked, they are generally fantastic – a well rounded drop with softer texture, unlike the very crisp new flavours of this wine.
Food matching so far with this wine, is definitely red meats. I have found that char-grilled meats complement well as the strong tannin flavours are offset with the flavour from the outside of the meat. I’ve tried some other dishes (curries etc.) which often go well with Shiraz but this wine overpowers them, so does not complement.
Finally, I’ve got a birthday function on the weekend which I intend to bring along my last few bottles and spread around and gauge feedback. I’ll post on some opinions once others have had the chance to taste and savour.
Summary: This is a ‘new’ wine and needs to decant and breathe before being really drinkable. It complements char-grilled red meats but should not be imbibed with softer flavours. I’d expect this to be an inexpensive wine and should mature well over 3-4 years.