My barbecue isn't exactly the real thing but...
La Baume Selection Shiraz Cabernet...
...makes poser barbecue food entirely authentic!
At first all I could do was turn on the stove and follow a meagre strand of smoke as it trailed into the air. The only hint of real BBQ flavour I could hope for, coming up from yesterday's oil splatter still clinging to the electric element.
And so WBW #23 begins humbly, but a not-so-modest bottle stands in my corner.
The 2001 Selection Shiraz Cabernet from Domaine de la Baume pours out of its bottle (which has a nifty panoramic wrap-around wine label) in blackened reddish purple stream. A bit like black cherry syrup or perhaps blood -- c'mon it's a barbecue theme, let's celebrate the joys of meat!
This wine exalted my faux barbecue from the moment I uncorked it. Its feral volatile nose -- mustardy and at the same time funky smelling too -- was wild and unrestrained.
To finally taste it, La Baume Selection Shiraz Cabernet 2001 is not complex but assertive with great depth on the palate. It's a full-bodied spicebox kind of wine with nice tannic edges that are not too sharp but still manage to give off a generous amount of supple vanilla-loaded oak. Kind of sweet and very reminiscent of a big Aussie style of wine. Which makes sense: it's no coincidence that this Vin de Pays D'Oc hides its provenance on the back label and uses mostly English on the bottle. Domaine de la Baume is an a now-expired operation that was run by Australians transplanted to Southern France. Since 2001 was a landmark year for Languedoc, I'm happy to have had at least this lone bottle from these stylish vintners, the Hardys from Down Under.
On the second night, this La Baume (most likely a French name chosen based on its similarity in pronunciation to "The Bomb") opened up more to reveal even more fruit. Great and rich fruity flavours -- blueberry mostly and cassis. Like many wine of its style, it is a tad high in alcohol but it doesn't taste too, too hot and whatever heat it gives off you are rewarded for by pairing it with barbecue food. This wine is built to stand up to smoky, spicy and meaty meals. In general this wine is nice to have around food.
In addition to my rib-eye, grilled zucchini and taters, this Shiraz-Cabernet blend also hit it off with sundried tomato and basil sausages. Such is the beauty of the flexible and BBQ-friendly Cabernet-Syrah mixture. Good times. Thanks to Vivi's Wine Journal for the open invitation.
Servian, France. 14.5%