Tasting Notes: Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz

I picked this bottle up at Fresh Market a few weeks back. There was no rhyme or reason to the choice other than my parents were in Australia at the time, so I thought I'd live vicariously through them and this wine. I'm not sure it was quite the same as an exotic vacation, but it was nice to go back to a full-bodied wine!

The Facts

  • Producer: Penfolds
  • Region: South Australia
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Variety: Shiraz
  • Where I purchased: Grocery store
  • Price: $13.99
  • Eyes: This Shiraz was definitely a change from the Pinot Noirs we seemed to be unintentionally focusing on recently. This wine is a deep purple color and is opaque. The coloring is very pretty (I'm a sucker for deep red and purple wines) and is characteristic of the Shiraz/Syrah grape. 
  • Nose: To be honest, the first thing I noticed was the sting of alcohol. I had poured my glass and let it sit for at least an hour to "breathe", so I was a little surprised by that. According to the bottle, the wine is 13.5% ABV so it's on the border of "medium" and "medium high" alcohol, but regardless, that was the first thing I noticed. After my initial surprise, I got the fruit forward berry aroma with a hint of earthiness. 
  • Mouth: Holy blueberries, Batman! I could not get over how much this wine tasted like blueberry. I don't mean that in a bad way, but I think it was the first time I found blue fruits to be so prominent in a wine. There was a sweetness aspect to it, almost like jam, but I wouldn't say it was a sweet wine. I got some blackberry as well and a hint of spice. There was a tang of acidity, and I did not find this wine to be very tannic.
  • Thoughts: This was a good choice to branch out from our typical Cab or Pinot Noir. We've had a couple of other Syrahs, and this one fell in the middle. Blue fruits aren't my favorite flavor profile, but it was definitely tasty and K really enjoyed it. I tend to like more spice and tannin to my big reds, so I'm not sure I'd get another bottle, but for a venturing out, I'd say it was a success! If you don't like tannin, but still want bold flavor, I'd say check this out.