The 2011 Berton Vineyard The Black Shiraz is a $7.49 Trader Joe’s imported wine, sourced from several contracted vineyards in the Barossa Valley growing region of southeast Australia. Berton Vineyard is a wine Estate located in the Eden Valley area of the Barossa Valley and the The Black Shiraz is their “bang for the buck” Shiraz. In an interesting side note, even though the grapes were grown and the wine was produced in the Barossa Valley of Australia, the wine was bottled at Wine Trees, St. Helena, Ca. (Napa Valley). I guess it is much cheaper to ship large tanks of wine than it is to ship the same amount of wine that is already in bottle. The wine was aged in assorted oak barrels and they say it can be cellared for about 5 years, which is what you would expect for a “drink it now” Red wine that has seen some barrel aging. The alcohol content is, a mild for Barossa Valley Shiraz, 14%.
The color is an almost opaque burgundy red with black highlights. It has a serious, heavy duty Red wine nose, intense dark berries, concentrated licorice, dark chocolate, a touch of cough syrup, oak vanilla spice and new leather coat. Well, I can say this upfront, this sure does not taste like a $7.49 Shiraz. It is rich and spicy, but with a little bit more finesse than some of the more popular Aussie Shiraz from a couple of years ago. It starts with blueberry and cassis, black Twizzlers (without the sugar sweetness) and a dash of POMWonderful. The mid palate transitions to a slap of Altoid’s spice, raisin and Dr. Pepper. The tannins are smooth and sweet, the acidity is well balanced and the finish is full and longer than any other $7.49 wine I can think of.
The 2011 Berton Vineyard The Black Shiraz is an extremely solid Australian Shiraz. This is a fairly large Shiraz in flavor, but overall it shows more balance than you can usually expect from a value priced Barossa Shiraz. Now, I loved some of the wild, over the top efforts from a few years back, I was sad when they went out of style and gradually disappeared from the store shelves. They were wines that were not afraid to shine a light on themselves. The Black Shiraz has some of that boldness, along with the balance that would pair well with Carne Asada or Beef Bourguignon. And did I mention it only cost $7.49?