Penfolds Shiraz Cabernet 2011

A little serendipity can go a long way.  Just the other day I was on my way to the gym … Yes, I sometimes exercise more than my drinking arm.  lol  Anyway, I was walking past Trader Joe’s on my way to the gym, so I decided to just drop in even though I didn’t need anything.  Just a spur of the moment kind of thing.  Of course, I went to the wine section to browse where I came upon a display of this Penfolds selection.  Intrigued, I picked up a bottle and stood there mulling over the fact that I was looking at a Penfolds wine for $3.99 and thinking, “What gives?”  That’s when a helpful staffer walked past and told me that he had tried it when it first came in.  The next day, he bought a case.  With that for a recommendation, I nabbed one.  Before you ask, I did go to the gym afterward – with my purchase tucked away in my backpack.

Oenophilogical_PenfoldsShirazCabWS2011Winemaker:  Penfolds
Wine: Winemaker’s Selection Shiraz Cabernet
Varietal: Red Blend
Vintage:  2011
Appellation: South Eastern Australia
Price: $3.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  This Aussie blend is made up of 77% Shiraz and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The color was a translucent (i.e. not cloudy) dark burgundy.  The nose held aromas of pepper, earth, cedar, and dark berries.  The body of this wine was medium with a nice, interesting roundness to it on the tongue.  Acidity was fairly high but not what I’d call “racy,” and alcohol was at 13.5%.  Tannins were medium – a definite presence yet not biting.  For flavors this very budget-friendly red brought me primarily pepper, black cherry, and oak.  As it wound down, the finish had more pepper, some boysenberry and a tart green flavor I couldn’t quite nail down (lemon grass is close but just not quite right).  Overall I’d say this is a great value.  I’m not sure why this is priced at $3.99, but that won’t stop me from going back to get more.  I hope they have plenty in stock.  Planning an informal party soon?  Run on out and snap up some of this.  Sure, it’s relatively straightforward as red wines go, but it’s completely drinkable and head and shoulders above most of the wines I’ve had at this price point.  I’ll have to thank that helpful TJ staff person, too.

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12 thoughts on “Penfolds Shiraz Cabernet 2011

  1. That’s an insanely low price on a Penfold’s. Wow. Wonder how they laid hands on that lot!! Also, I just exercise my right arm (the drinking arm), so your gym journey impressed me as well…

    That said, I will never forget a wine class I took with the eccentric British, German-speaking wine writer Stuart Pigott, who has done much pushing Riesling. He used Penfolds as the prime example for what’s wrong with globalized wines….the pretentious packaging, the overwhelming oak. It was so scarring I will likely never get over it. 🙂

    • Oh my! Stuart Pigott’s warnings do sound dire. Overwhelming oak … I thought substantial oak was a hallmark of many Australian wines (esp. Chardonnays) several years ago. And even Californians were on the bandwagon to some extent. Not so much anymore.

      • I was young, and it was scarring. It was a combined tirade about marketing and quality…it was also in the late 90s, so things have probably changed a lot. It was just very, very memorable.

  2. Penfold’s at $3.99? It sounds like someone made a mistake with the pricing. Interestingly enough, it is scarcely available but shows on Wine-Searcher at $11.99… Sounds like you do need to go grab a case before it is too late.

      • May be, but a strange model for TJ’s. This wine looks like mostly available internationally under that label – so it is more of a private label deal, I think, which TJ’s does all the time. The cab-shiraz wine readily available in US is called Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat cab-shiraz, and it is available starting from $5.99…

  3. My Trader Joe’s guy told me to look up Treasury Wine Estates. It’s a corporate entity consisting of many wineries which overall is losing money, so stock is being sold off. We are the happy beneficiaries of their mismanagement.

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