ROLF BINDER HALES Barossa Valley Shiraz (2007)

My Fellow Inebriates,

With the impending end of the Mayan calendar I sometimes feel as though the apocalypse is breathing down my neck. And that calls for wine.

There’s something so reassuring about a big, succulent, jammy wine, and when I’m quivering with paranoia my sights turn to my local booze store’s Aussie section, and in particular Barossa Valley Shiraz.

ROLF BINDER HALES Barossa Valley Shiraz is a spectacular example of that ripe, intensely layered fruit that comforts me so much. Floral on the nose, it rewards the drinker with symphonically placed cedar and blueberry notes, good body, and an endless finish.

I’ve always been afraid of Australia. Apparently it is overrun with baby-eating dingoes, and all the Tasmanian devils are riddled with cancer. They have spiders as big as dinner plates and big-ass rastling crocs, plus poisonous snakes that could swallow me in one gulp. But perhaps these are just the right conditions for growing perfect grapes.

ROLF BINDER HALES is 90% Shiraz, collected from several vineyards along the western coast of the Valley, and 5% contributions from Grenache and Mataro grapes.

I like this vino so much that Australia has become my new top of the world.

But it’s no simple fruit bomb. Sure, it’s all-singing and all-dancing, but it has a disciplined dryness that stops it just short of going supernova in your mouth, making for a tantalizing sipper that continues to surprise as it opens up.

I RECOMMEND sipping this amazing ROLF BINDER offering for that reason. Yes, if you pound it, you’ll still enjoy it, but then it’ll be gone, right? And you’ll be crying the way I do so often. Don’t worry, the world won’t end before you finish the bottle.

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