Rex-Goliath Shiraz (2015)

Sometimes I just can’t pass up a sale.  This already cheap bottle of red was on sale not too long ago for a bargain basement price.   I hadn’t tried the Rex-Goliath Shiraz in about 5 years, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Vineyard:  Rex-Goliath
Varietal:  Shiraz
Vintage:  NV
Appellation:  California
Price:  $6.49

Notes:  This dark, opaque purplish wine had an interesting if fairly gentle bouquet including what seemed like butterscotch, minerals, dark fruit and wood.  Acidity was pretty high and alcohol was 13.5%.  Weight on the tongue was on the light side of medium.  I found flavors of plum, pepper, oak, a hint of raisin and a lingering dark currant on the finish.  It was a little bitter for me, so I didn’t think it a very good wine for sipping on it’s own.

Don Simón Seleccion Shiraz

Here is another budget-priced wine from the shelves of Whole Foods.  I haven’t seen this line of wines (there are several in the Don Simón Seleccion series) at my local Whole Foods previously.  Either I haven’t been paying attention, or they are a new addition.  Either way, just the other day the Don Simón wines were conspicuously placed right in front of the check-out area.  How could I pass them by?

Winemaker:  Don Simón Seleccion (by J. Garcia Carrión)
Varietal:  Shiraz
Vintage:  NV
Appellation:  Castilla, Spain
Price:  $3.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  In the glass this Spanish red was deep ruby in color.  On the nose I got berries and a dry earthy scent.  It’s a light-bodied Shiraz with very light tannins and good acidity.  On the palate I tasted primarily black raspberry and currant with a sprinkling of pepper.  There was tea leaf near the finish, and the currant flavor lingered on the tongue for quite awhile.  At this price, the long finish surprised me.  Alcohol is at 12.5%.  This is not one of those big, spicy, robust Shiraz selections from Australia.  On the contrary, it’s a simple, straightforward, soft and lightly sweet wine from Spain.  Is that bad?  Well, no.  Unless you’re unreasonably anticipating the same experience you’d expect from a $20-30 Australian Shiraz!  Personally, I think they should have labeled this as Syrah – which is what vintners usually call this grape in the “old world.”  Even some Australian producers who are making wines from these grapes in a more European style are using the Syrah name.  But enough of that!  I could imagine this pairing well with grilled veggies or perhaps chicken and veggie kebabs.

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