What's this? Has the Wine Curmudgeon gone soft on us? Two favorable reviews of Australian shiraz in the past month?
Indeed. Because, if nothing else, the Wine Curmudgeon believes in tasting the wine before judging it. And, even more than the Layer Cake wine of the week, the Two Hands ($30, sample) is an exemplary wine. Yes, I'm not a huge fan of this style, with its huge burst of fruit and high alcohol, and yes, wines made this way usually drive me crazy.
But you know what? This vintage of the Two Hands is full of rich, deep red fruit -- but it's less overwhelming than it would have been a year ago. Plus, the tannins show a little more and most of the ashiness (the odd flavor that many of these kinds of wines have in the back) is gone. And the alcohol, for whatever reason, is more integrated into the wine and less annoying. All of this, I'm assuming, comes from letting the bottle age since I got it in 2009.
Highly recommended, especially as a gift for next week's holiday that must not be named. This is a beef wine, but it's a beef wine that will appeal to more people than you would think.