The Stump Jump Shiraz 2010

stumpjumpshirazThe 2010 Stump Jump Shiraz (Stump Jump is the name of a plow that is used on rough terrain) is sourced from multiply vineyards in the McLaren Vale grape growing region of Australia. This is d’Arenberg’s entry level Shiraz and is basically made from many leftover parcels of wines from their more expensive Shiraz labels, along with wine produced from grapes grown from contracted vineyards. So, there are bits and pieces of fairly expensive Estate Shiraz’s in this bottle. D’ Arenburg is a family owned, 4th generation winery that has been in business since 1912. This Shiraz has been aged in old used French and American oak barrels along with huge oak casks, to impart some oak influence and flavoring, but not a great deal of aging potential, this is a “drink it now” Shiraz. The alcohol content is an Australian Shiraz-like 14.5%.  

The color is very dark ,opaque purple with crimson highlights. The nose is dark and complicated, black cherry, herbs, bitter dark chocolate and curry spice. A medium bodied Shiraz, that has a nice balance between soft ripe fruit and earthy spice. It tastes of a smooth mix of black and blueberry, with some fudge brownie and a hit of pepper. The mid palate shows a rough edge from a mix of Altoid’s spice and curry spice, along with a late hit of tart cranberry. The tannins are there, they do not bite, but you can sense them in the back of your palate. The acidity adds a bright, fresh touch to the fruit and allows the fairly full finish to linger for an impressive amount of time.

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The Stump Jump Shiraz is no extracted fruit bomb (not that I have a problem with over the top Australian Shiraz, they were a whole lot of fun) but a very well balanced, but bold Shiraz that over delivers at $10 to $12. Many wines that you can call “easy to drink” don’t have much character, they go down easy, but are rather bland. But not the Stump Jump Shiraz, it drinks easy, while still retaining a spicy, peppery edge and a solid dose of tannins, there are some interesting things going on in the glass. Not a “wow” Shiraz, just a solid, well made Red wine that would pair well with pork or beef on the outdoor grill and would be a solid choice to share with friends while watching the sun go down on the backyard deck. 

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.