- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Nugan Family, Shiraz, South Eastern Australia, 2002, $12

Australian shiraz too often tastes fat and unfocused these days, the result of overcropped vineyards coupled with heavy-handed winemaking. The wines have lots of alcohol, and jammy fruit but little structure and nothing remotely resembling subtlety or finesse. This

category tasted much, much better a few years ago — before it exploded in popularity and profits started to come cheap.

There are exceptions, though — wines with bold flavor but clear structure, plus secondary flavors that enhance the dominant taste of ripe fruit. Nugan Family 2002 is an excellent example. Full-bodied, this wine tastes of plums and dark berries, with a cocoa-tinged finish. I sampled it at a tasting of more than 70 comparably priced shirazes. It blew away the competition.

This wine may develop added complexity with a year or two of bottle age, but it’s hard to imagine it getting significantly better. So drink it in the near term, with equally full-flavored foods such as burgers, ribs or steaks on the barbie.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide