Oxford Landing Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2006 ·
The “Rhone Rangers” are gaining fame for growing traditional Rhone Valley varietals in California. However, there are winegrowers “down under” doing the same thing in Australia. This is one example.
Though Shiraz is well-known as a wine from Australia, you may not be as familiar seeing the other two grapes from that continent. Grenache is more commonly seen as a varietal wine from France, and Mourvedre is another French grape used almost exclusively as a blending agent. On its own, Mourvedre (a.k.a. “Mataro” or “Monastrell”, depending on the country of origin) is fairly tannic and has a gamey, earthy character. That’s not necessarily a pleasant combination on its own but when blended with the comparatively fat and thin Grenache (funny, only a wine could be both simultaneously), you have a perfect match resulting in a balanced and interesting wine. Add in some Syrah / Shiraz and now it’s balanced, interesting, and has a bit of oomph.
The French have been blending these three grapes together for centuries, and now Australia is beginning to do the same. Oxford Landing is an estate on the Murray River in South Australia that’s been around since the late 1950s, so they’re not new to the game. But, the label has been put on bottles for only about a decade — it is a secondary brand of the large Yalumba wine company. What that means to you is you should be able to find Oxford Landing wines easily, the prices should be affordable, and their flavor should be consistent from year to year.
You may be able to find the 2007 vintage on your retailer’s shelf; they’re still selling the ’06 in my parts.
Tasting Notes: Oxford Landing Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2006
Nose is open, with ample aromas of black and red berry fruits, blackcurrant, earth, and red licorice. In the mouth there is plenty of red and black berry fruit upfront, almost jammy, with notes of tobacco and earth. Tannins are soft, acidity is mild. Finish is pleasant, filled with black cherry, blueberry, and chocolate licorice, with a bit of drying acidity at the tail end. Reminds me a bit of Borsao, or Dao wine from Portugal. Enjoyable alone, will also be good with lean meats and fish, mild cheeses. At under ten bucks, a good value.
a-8 t-8 b-7 fc-7 v-8 ~ 88 Points
A solid, easygoing, reliable red that is tasty on its own and won’t overwhelm a meal. Good value.