- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Grant Burge, Shiraz “Miamba,” Barossa, 2004, $18

Looking for a full-flavored red wine with rich fruit and a substantial texture but without irritatingly astringent tannins?

If so, think southern Australia, where the reds tend to be intensely flavored but at the same time soft and sumptuous. The Barossa Valley remains the historic heart of the region, and this shiraz from Grant Burge exemplifies an intense but inviting Barossa style.

Shiraz is the same grape variety as syrah. In its European home, France’s Rhone Valley, this grape yields pungent, peppery wines. In the Barossa, where temperatures tend to be much warmer, the wines are less spicy and more fruit-driven. They also feel softer, even while often being more alcoholic. The result can be power combined with approachability.

The grapes for this particular wine were grown primarily in the Miamba vineyard at the southern end of the valley. Picked when fully ripe, they have yielded a concentrated, juicy wine capable of aging well for five years or so but offering plenty of pleasure now.

Pair it with equally full-flavored foods — grilled meats, for example, or, as the weather gets colder, hearty stews. (Imported by Wilson Daniels.)

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