The 2011 Banrock Station Shiraz is sourced from vineyards in several of Australia’s grape growing region. Banrock Station was founded in 1995 in part as a means to fund conservation projects all over the world, to date they have funded 95 environmental projects in 13 countries. Banrock Station’s motto is “Good Earth-Fine Wine”. This is the 2011 vintage, but if you see the 2012 vintage you will want to grab that one. The 2012 vintage grape harvest in Australia was the best in 20 years. What that means to inexpensive Australian wine drinkers is, that with so many quality grapes available, more of the top flight grapes find their way into less expensive bottles. There is nothing wrong with the 2011 vintage, it is just that the 2012 vintage by rights should be better. The alcohol content is 13.5%, which is downright mild compared to your typical Shiraz from 3 or 4 years ago.
The color is crystal clear, raspberry jelly red. The nose is blackberry, dark chocolate, eucalyptus and bacon fat, a pretty interesting nose for a Shiraz I found on sale for 5 bucks (Meijer’s). This is a full bodied, dry Shiraz, I was expecting a $5 Shiraz to be a little watered down, but no, this hits like the big boys. It tastes of black and blueberries, a little licorice, a soft slap of Altoid’s spice and a final splash of soft ripe plums. The tannins show up on the mid palate, they do not bite, just give this Shiraz a bit of backbone. The finish is plums and spice and it hangs in there for a very decent length of time.
The 2011 Banrock Station Shiraz is a well made, balanced, tasty, extraordinarily inexpensive Shiraz. It does not have the wow factor of one of those over the top inexpensive Shiraz from a few years ago, but it is a lot of Shiraz for the money. It does everything a Aussie Shiraz should do, there are more expensive Shiraz that have more going on, but the Banrock Station Shiraz has all the basics covered.