I really like this wine. It is a very deep, dark, inky red color. The nose is huge, as are the flavors. This is what I think of as an example of what a good Australian Shiraz should be.
The color deep and dark in the glass, right to the edges. The deep ruby color is almost black at the center. Light barely penetrates to the inky core, but sparkles and picks up beautiful reds on the top and around the glass.
If you like big, bold wines you will be hooked on this wine from the first sniff. The 15% alcohol carries big, ripe, juicy plum, black cherries, dark luscious berries, dark chocolate, and a lot of vanilla to your nose. This sensory overload had me nosing this wine repeatedly before taking my first taste.
With a set-up like that from the nose it would be understandable if the mouth was slightly disappointed. Luckily, that is not the case. The mouthfeel from the high alcohol and silky smooth tannins provide the perfect vehicle for the huge fruit flavors and the peppery spice. The black cherry and ripe berry notes hit the pallette first before giving way to the plum and spice flavors.
As the fruit and spice flavors the seriously long finish lets a mocha note come through right before a delicious, rich vanilla taste takes over. I would pair this with a rich, braised beef or lamb dish.
Wine Spectator gave the Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2006 a 91, and it is easy to see why. Believe it or not, this wine can be had for under $20 a bottle.