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By Michael Dresser | March 3, 1991
In a world of great vines, none has deeper historical roots than syrah. Compared with this ancient aristocrat, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon are nouveau riche.For more than 2,000 years syrah has been cultivated along the banks of the river Rhone in southern France. The syrah vines that produce monumental red wines today on the steep granite slopes of Hermitage and the precarious terraces of Cote Rotie are direct descendants of those planted by Romans and Gauls.But even then it was an immigrant.
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By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 25, 2012
It's widely available, it's moderately priced, and it doesn't require a corkscrew. What more do you need in a red wine? It doesn't hurt that this medium-bodied blend of shiraz (75 percent) and cabernet sauvignon (25 percent) shows plenty of earthy character, with vibrant flavors of blackberry and chocolate. It's not the most complex red on the market, but it's thoroughly enjoyable and ready to drink. A wine for the masses, not the critics. From: Australia Price: $13 Serve with: Grilled meats, pasta
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By MICHAEL DRESSER | October 26, 2005
This smooth and well-priced shiraz, an artful blend of Western Australian and South Australian grapes, is an earthy, medium-to full-bodied red wine with plenty of grip. There's a certain brightness to its blackberry and spicy vanilla flavors that elevates it above the ordinary. The modern screw cap allays any fear of cork spoilage Serve with -- red meat ('roo stew?), pasta
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By [Michael Dresser] | May 2, 2007
From: Southeastern Australia Price: $10 Serve with: Roast poultry, grilled red meat In a very strong line of 2005 red and 2006 white Rosemount releases, this blend of red Rhone Valley varietals stood out. It displays vibrant, upfront, take-no-prisoners fruit and a bracing acidity. It's full-bodied in a kind of Beaujolais-on-steroids kind of way. But somehow the flavors of herbs, cherry, raspberry and blackberry come together in a way that feigns sweetness without really being sweet.
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By Michael Dresser | November 22, 2006
This Australian red wine offers quality far beyond its price and is well worth acquiring - or giving - by the case. It's a full-bodied, smooth-textured shiraz with ample flavors of blackberry, plum, chocolate and herbs. Its complexity equals that of many wines three times its price. This screw-cap-equipped wine is ready to drink now and should keep for at least three years. Serve with red meat, pasta with tomato sauce.
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By MICHAEL DRESSER | July 19, 2006
This robust red wine from New South Wales offers a lot of concentration, flavor and aging potential for a moderate price. It has ample blackberry, black- pepper and chocolate flavors, with some earthy and meaty nuances. It comes with a screw cap, which guards against cork contamination. Serve with grilled red meat.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | April 26, 2006
This flavorful, lively, youthful red wine fills a useful niche. It's a bit wild and rustic, with a kind of character you'd expect to find from a small winery in the south of France rather than a large Aussie outfit. It's a medium-bodied wine with lively blackberry, black-cherry, herb and meaty flavors. It's not complex, but it's thoroughly enjoyable. Serve with grilled meats, from chicken to beef.
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | June 8, 1997
Imagine identical twins, separated at birth, with one raised in an ancient French village and the other in the wide-open spaces of Australia. Think they'd turn out a bit differently?You bet. And that's certainly true of the wine world's Franco-Australian twins -- the syrah grape of the Rhone Valley and the shiraz grape from Down Under.In France, the syrah grape produces the silky red wines of Cote Rotie and the majestic wines of Hermitage and Cornas. At their best, these wines rival anything produced in Bordeaux, Burgundy or the Napa Valley for complexity and sheer power.
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Sun Staff Writer | January 11, 1995
Think warm thoughts, people keep telling you this time of year. Think warm thoughts, they say, as if that's going to help dig your car out of the snow.Very well, here's a thought for wine drinkers: Let's blow this crummy Northern Hemisphere and head for Australia, even if only in our minds.From frigid France to the frostbitten Finger Lakes, the vineyards of Europe and America are cold and barren. But in Australia, the vines are lush and green. Vineyard workers swelter under blue summer skies, repairing the fences that will keep the kangaroos from devouring the plump clusters of ripening grapes as vintage time draws near.
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By Michael Dresser | June 4, 2003
2002 Woop Woop Shiraz, Australia ($13). Here's a different take on Australian shiraz. This isn't one of those rustic, earthy red wines that have become so common in this market. It's a medium-bodied wine with youthful, high-toned fruit. It offers engaging blackberry and smoked-meat flavors and an intensity that goes beyond its modest weight. You could serve this in much the same circumstances you would serve a fine Beaujolais. Grilled chicken would be a perfect match. And who could resist the name?
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By TROY McCULLOUGH | February 25, 2007
There are some minimal components needed to hold a successful wine tasting. First, of course, there's the wine - you'll need lots of that. And it helps to have a place for people to gather - an apartment, home or, better still, a rustic winery. And an enthusiastic crowd certainly never hurts. But a new world syrah/shiraz tasting earlier this month had none of these things - at least not in the traditional sense - but by all accounts the event was a resounding success. Edward loved the dark berry and rich chocolate notes of the Thorn Clark Shotfire Shiraz.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | November 22, 2006
This Australian red wine offers quality far beyond its price and is well worth acquiring - or giving - by the case. It's a full-bodied, smooth-textured shiraz with ample flavors of blackberry, plum, chocolate and herbs. Its complexity equals that of many wines three times its price. This screw-cap-equipped wine is ready to drink now and should keep for at least three years. Serve with red meat, pasta with tomato sauce.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | July 19, 2006
This robust red wine from New South Wales offers a lot of concentration, flavor and aging potential for a moderate price. It has ample blackberry, black- pepper and chocolate flavors, with some earthy and meaty nuances. It comes with a screw cap, which guards against cork contamination. Serve with grilled red meat.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | April 26, 2006
This flavorful, lively, youthful red wine fills a useful niche. It's a bit wild and rustic, with a kind of character you'd expect to find from a small winery in the south of France rather than a large Aussie outfit. It's a medium-bodied wine with lively blackberry, black-cherry, herb and meaty flavors. It's not complex, but it's thoroughly enjoyable. Serve with grilled meats, from chicken to beef.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | October 26, 2005
This smooth and well-priced shiraz, an artful blend of Western Australian and South Australian grapes, is an earthy, medium-to full-bodied red wine with plenty of grip. There's a certain brightness to its blackberry and spicy vanilla flavors that elevates it above the ordinary. The modern screw cap allays any fear of cork spoilage Serve with -- red meat ('roo stew?), pasta
NEWS
By ROB KASPER | October 5, 2005
LATELY I HAVE BEEN FILLING MY GLASS WITH WINE from boxes, not bottles. Boxed wine has taken a big leap forward from the days not so long ago when it either tasted like sugar water or wet cardboard. Now the boxed chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet that I have been drinking have been respectable stuff, with clean, balanced flavors. I would give each of the five boxed wines I sampled a grade of B minus. They wouldn't send a sommelier into ecstatic conniptions, but they are pleasing everyday beverages for family gatherings, neighborhood get-togethers, even an office party, provided you're not trying to impress any clients.
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By Michael Dresser | April 26, 2000
1999 Stonehaven Shiraz Cabernet, Southeastern Australia ($9). This medium-bodied blend of Shiraz (the syrah of the Rhone) and cabernet sauvignon is a surprisingly elegant version of this common Australian combo. It's a medium-bodied wine with a lot of intensity, offering flavors of black cherry, black pepper, blueberry and chocolate. There's a racy quality to the wine that would make it an excellent companion to grilled food and pasta. This might not be the most complex red wine on the market, but it offers a lot of vibrant character for such a low price.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | February 25, 2004
2002 Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz, Southeastern Australia ($7). After tasting a string of disappointingly tough Australian shirazes in the $20-$30 range, it is a delight to taste one that delivers soft, pleasant and complete flavors for under $8. It offers generous blackberry, plum and chocolate flavors - with no hard edges. It's not complex or profound, but this is a thoroughly enjoyable red wine for the novice or veteran taster.
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