I find myself reaching for a cheeky glass of something quite often these days and, perhaps in a bid to convince myself I’m more dilettante than drunkard, I thought I’d review some of the new wines (and old favourites) I’m trying these days.
I’ve always had a soupçon of the sommelier about me and promise myself that I’ll one day properly indulge my hobby and take those wine exams I keep harping on about. But for now I’ll just guzzle on Clubcard specials paired with flaming hot Doritos. A concept that, to a connoisseur, is no doubt as much a tragedy as Giuseppe Gallo himself.
This evenings tipple is a proud member of an Australian family of wines I’ve been rather partial to of late; the old 19 Crimes gang. If you’ve not heard of this brand, they’re a bit of a new-kid-on-the-block, they were established in 2012 and offer vintages ranging from 2011 to 2020. Affordabley priced and typically focused on grape varieties such as shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir, they’ve taken a rather novel approach to their naming convention, with each bottle depicting a unique individual and their story of transportation as punishment for various heinous crimes. You can read about the gang on the 19 Crimes website or, as is far more fun, scan your bottle of choice using the Living Wine Labels app to have the convict himself relay his tale.
I’m currently trying out one of their red blends that my husband spotted on his weekly dash round the supermarket to mop up the remnants of the grocery shop we’d omitted from the click and collect. When I say currently, I mean that as literally as you might imagine; swishing and swilling burgundy liquid around an oversized, tall stemmed glass; sniffing and slurping in between taps on my keyboard – convinced I’m tasting purely in the capacity of ‘reviewer’ and that second glass I poured myself was quite necessary.
As I am more than partial to an Espresso Martini, Mr Sophiesbloguk clocked the ‘infused with coffee’ description on the label of this particular bottle, entitled: The Deported, and assumed it would be right up my street. He wasn’t wrong.
Describing itself as full and firm on the palate with flavours of red currants, dark cherries and chocolate*, this wine also promises a bold coffee finish bringing a uniqueness to the vintage. The rich coffee aroma is, in my opinion, more prominent than the taste, and hits the nostrils with a dense oakiness and a smoothness that doesn’t overpower. First taste brings a jammy, very slightly sweet, offering, which moves gradually to a deeper chocolatey flavour before settling into the subtle hint of a good quality roasted coffee bean. The after taste is kind on the palate, soft and smooth with the subtlest of bites – enough to temperately tang the taste buds, and is as warming and comforting as you’d expect of a mid-range red.
Lacking (although that is probably too strong a word) for me is the real depth and richness which, as a rule, is why I favour a red over the sharp, crispness of a white. I found myself craving a denser body and the lip-smacking impact of a deep, chewy flavour. The description of fullness and firmness is not one I agree with, but the tones and flavours promised are irrefutably present, of quality and, importantly, are delicious!
Overall it’s a wine I would undoubtedly reach for again and confidently give it 7 out of 10.
Now as I slurp my way through my third glass (yes, we made great progress through those last few paragraphs) I’m off to find a fitting pairing in the form of a snack to finish off the evening nicely!
Pop into the comments below and let us know if you’ve tried this particular blend or any others in the 19 Crimes range! If you enjoyed this review and would be interested in reading more please consider subscribing to my blog, and I will make that sacrifice for you all, dear readers, by continuing on my tasting quest.
Thanks for visiting, speak soon.