This is yet another wine that the recession has turned into a tremendous value. When the Wine Curmudgeon first came across the Pillar Box, it was about as hot as a cheap wine could be -- an Australian shiraz blend that Robert Parker loved. And retailers weren't hesitating to charge a couple of bucks more for it than the suggested $12.
Two years later, some retailers are still selling the 2007 vintage that I tasted then (check out the comments on the first link in this post). And the current vintage, the 2008, hasn't been replaced by a 2009 or even a 2010, which should have happened in the normal course of events. But the recession, as well as the near-collapse of the Australian wine business, means there has not been a normal course of events for the past three years.
The Pillar Box ($10, purchased) remains an excellent value; especially since it cost $2 less than it did two years ago. And I bought it at a Dallas retailer notorious for higher prices -- who knows what a discounter in another part of the country might sell it for? Look for the classic shiraz bacon fat aroma and lots of rich red fruit. But this wine's flavors are balanced; it's not over the top or too simple in the way it shows its fruit, and there is some heft at the back to balance the fruit. The extra bottle age has helped, too. This is another great Fourth of July wine -- think smoked brisket or chicken.