- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Penfolds, Club Tawny, South Australia, $10

Australia produces some outstanding bargains in fortified after-dinner wines, particularly those made in a tawny style. Penfolds

Club is a consistent best seller Down Under, and because it offers superior quality at a low price, it’s well worth buying on these shores, as well.

Tawnies are port-styled wines that have been aged in cask at the winery, so they are fully ready to drink when purchased. This particular tawny, a blend of shiraz, grenache and mataro grapes, matured in small oak barrels at the Penfolds Kalimna Cellar in the Barossa Valley. It tastes spicy and smoky all at once, with aromas and flavors that echo toffee, walnuts and candied citrus. Sweet but balanced, it’s dessert in a glass.

Wines like this are best savored slowly at the end of a meal. They warm both body and spirit, so they seem especially welcome this time of year. And they won’t spoil if not consumed at once upon opening. A bottle like this might last for weeks, if not months, with the last glass as good as the first. That makes the bargain even more attractive.

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