2006 ST HALLETT “Gamekeeper’s Reserve”

“Consuming wine in moderation daily will help people to die young as late as possible”.~ Dr Philip Norrie

Any artist knows that perspective is important.  And though I am not an artist, I suggest you take an approach to perspective with wine in general.  Game Keeper’s Reserve’s problem is that it has no tannins. So it has never (that I can recall) been given a score in the 90s. But its advantage, in perspective, is that it has no tannins.  “Serious” wine drinkers, it seems, want to go on about “depth” and “complexity” and “levels or layers of flavor” with front and back tastes. What they’re not getting is that sometimes you don’t want Chateaubriand in a white table cloth restaurant.  When the weather and circumstances are in alignment, you want a hot dog, and  maybe at a ball game.  There is room for both if you have perspective.  And the reward is that you have more to enjoy when the circumstances are right.

ST HALLETT comes from Australia’s Barossa Valley. Domestically, you could compare that to Napa Valley’s Oakville when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is made from Shiraz (80%) and Grenache (20%). Both these grapes do very well in that appellation, and enjoy a unique profile.  ST HALLETT is a well regarded vineyard. This wine, Gamekeeper’s Reserve, is not an accident. It is not meant to have tannins. The wine is not made in that way intentionally. The result is an enjoyably quaffable wine that is dark ruby in the glass with a slightly peppery nose that becomes more juicy raspberry-like as it opens up after swirling it in the glass. The taste, like the nose, is juicy raspberry.

I drank this wine against a mild BBQ. The fruitiness of the wine was a perfect offset to the mildly spicy BBQ.  After congratulating myself on enjoying this bargain wine and pairing it correctly, I sampled a Spanish Ribera del Duero. Comparatively, it was so tannic, it dried my tongue. The lack of fruit was a real problem, and I immediately went back to St. Hallert’s Gamekeeper’s Reserve.

D.B.A.W.S. (Don’t Be A Wine Snob) regulations require that you cannot always judge a wine by its price. Doing so enrolls you in another club, the IFPTM (I foolishly paid too much club). Granted, there are bargain “headache” wines out there; lots of them.  But the WineMizer blog is intended to steer you clear of those toxic juice squeezings toward wines that offer value with quality.   Try Gamekeeper’s Reserve under the right circumstance and you will enjoy its freshness and simple pleasures.  It is available at average retail of $12 - $15.

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