Yellow Tail Shiraz-Grenache 2012

There is a tradition that’s been going on for years now among some of my extended family around Halloween time.  It’s called the Pumpkin Patch Party.  [Gotta love the alliteration, right?]   I’ve heard about it year after year, but this was the first time I was able to attend.  What fun!

Attendees all carve pumpkins – some freehand, some using stencils, some talented folks using designs they have drawn up themselves.  As this was my first time, I chose to play it safe and do the usual triangular eyes, etc.  But I did mine freehand — no stencils for me!  One of the artists in the group drew a symbol for the Decepticons from the Transformers and his brother used it on his pumpkin.  Now that’s cool: a Decepticon jack-o-lantern!  Wish  I’d gotten a good picture of that one.

Since it was a party, I brought along some liquid refreshment for the adults to enjoy.  This is what we had (in cautious moderation, of course, since folks were wielding sharp implements) in the Pumpkin Patch.

Winemaker:  Yellow Tail by Casella Wines
Wine:  Shiraz-Grenache
Varietal:  Red Blend
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:  Australia
Price:  $9.49

Notes:   Color in the glass was a deep purple.  On the nose I smelled berries, barnyard and menthol.  It was light-bodied, tannins were quite light and alcohol was at 13%.  Flavors I found while sipping this inexpensive red blend from Down Under included dark raspberry and bell pepper with menthol on the finish.  It was a very simple wine yet drinkable.  By the way, I managed to snap up the bottle on sale for only $6.99.  Even so, I always quote the store’s retail price in my summary just in case folks don’t happen to run across a similar sale.

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Yellow Tail Big Bold Red

This Australian red blend is a mystery from the folks at Yellow Tail.  I say that because there is nothing on the bottle, nothing on their website, and nothing I could find anywhere else on the web that indicates which grape varietals are used and at what percentage.  If you are privy to that information, please share!!  So … how was it?

Winemaker:  Yellow Tail by Casella Wines
Wine:  Big Bold Red
Varietal:  Red Blend
Vintage:  NV
Appellation:  Australia
Price:  $9.49

Notes:   In the glass it was a very dark garnet.  The bouquet brought lots of berries, spice and tobacco.  It was a medium-to-light-bodied wine and quite soft on the tongue.  Flavors for me were a core of cherry and currant, along with pepper, tobacco, olive and smoke.  With oxidation the cherry increased in presence on the palate.  Tannins were moderate and brought some menthol to the finish.  It seemed acidity was on the low side, and alcohol is at 13.5%.  Reading this description, you’d almost think there was a pack of cigarettes in the bottle, but it wasn’t like that!  Although I don’t feel it lives up to the claims made in the name (except the red part), I found it a very-easy-to-sip selection.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.