I read in our local newspaper that a recent Talus bottling of Shiraz was a best buy. Today, in a shop selling remaindered wines, I found what must be an earlier bottling for $4, brought it home, tried it, and decided to write about my trust in the label.Trusting a low- to mid-price label is a dicey business. But Lodi is turning out to be a fine place to grow warm-country grapes, as the Mondavis, the Sebastianis, and others have been proving. For a California Central Valley location, Lodi is surprisingly moderate in temperature. So here we have a wine from a known appellation.
Talus earned a bit of trust by describing the contents in a restrained way which, when I opened it, I found to be accurate. The producer (and that’s another thing – the label says the bottler made the wine, they didn’t just “cellar” it) says to expect ripe berry fruit and chocolate flavors. By golly, I did.
With 13.5 percent alcohol, the wine could be a bit warm going down the throat. But this one isn’t. It’s firm and round and delicious and I didn’t “feel” the alcohol.
For some people, the tannic aftertaste would be undesirable, but I expected it. And with any grilled meal (as the label suggests) the tannin will recede and the fruit will be enhanced. Remember that “grilled” need not mean grilled meat: this wine would go nicely with grilled vegetables over a buttery helping of polenta.
This particular bottling was first shipped to England and then it was returned to the USA! So – had it suffered in transit? Thankfully, no.
So whether or not the Talus Shiraz you find presents a visa, just go ahead and buy a bottle or two. You might go back for more. –Bob Cramer, The Fearless Taster.