The 2008 Razor’s Edge McLaren Vale Shiraz (75%) Grenache (25%) is an Australian take on the wines of the southern Rhone Valley. McLaren Vale has a climate similar to the Mediterranean and Rhone grapes grow well there. The wine was aged in 50%, 2 and 3 year old French oak barrels and the other 50% is aged in new American oak barrels. French oak has a very tight grain and is usually used for wine aging, while American oak has a more open grain and is used in whiskey aging. Greater care must be taken when aging wine in American oak barrels. The Razor’s Edge Shiraz Grenache was #22 on this years Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buy wines. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
The color is deep, dark and thick combination of red and black. The nose is both jammy and funky, equal parts blackberry jam and mushroom followed by tea and chocolate. This wine is both big and balanced at the same time. There is a large, silky with and edge mouthfeel. It starts off with blueberry and black twizzlers, followed by tart cherry and Altoid’s spice. The mid palate a soothing touch of vanilla cream and a counterpoint of orange peal.There is a lot going on here, but not at the expense of structure, the tannins are firm and well integrated and the acidity is balanced and gives the wine some nice length. The finish is dark berry and spice and is fairly strong and lingers for a decent amount of time.
I like my Australian wines to be a little on the wild side and the Razor’s Edge walks the walk. Extracted color, huge complex nose, tons of flavor, but still achieves some Rhone style balance. To me these large Australian wines are not really food wines, they are drinking with friends wines and there is nothing wrong with that.