Nothing illustrates the crisis facing the wine business more than Layer Cake's shiraz, a Robert Parker favorite with a suggested retail price of $15. Yet the Wine Curmudgeon has seen it selling in Dallas for as little as $11.99, and it recently showed up on Wine-Searcher.com for as little as $12.59.
When this kind of wine gets discounted 20 percent for no other reason than the world is awash in $15 wine, and especially $15 Australian wine (to say nothing of $8 Australian wine), we're having a crisis.
Which is not to say that the Layer Cake (sample) isn't worth $12. It may even be worth $15. It's a typical Australian shiraz, with an almost blueberry middle, and solid shiraz flavors and structure. Best yet, it even tastes a little fresher than most shirazes (if that sort of thing is possible). Drink this with beef and barbecue and some more beef. And if you see it somewhere for $11 or $12, buy a couple of bottles.