Wine of the week: Layer Cake Shiraz 2008

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 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.

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5 thoughts on “Wine of the week: Layer Cake Shiraz 2008

  • By - Reply

    Mr. Curmudgeon:
    I liked your blog; but, as a representative of Layer Cake I think there are a few points that separate us from the pack.
    Most importantly, Jayson Woodbridge who owns and makes Hundred Acre (Napa Valley), Layer Cake and now Cherry Pie takes as much pride, care and time in making Layer Cake Wines as he does his Cult Wine Hundred Acre. To him, it’s all one effort, he’s always there to make the very best possible. And although there are a lot of $15 wines, there aren’t a lot of $15 wines with the purity that Layer Cake Shiraz represents; it’s One Hundred Percent Pure Shiraz, hand picked lots (as opposed to mechanically) and typically very, very low yields per ton via Napa Valley standards as opposed to Aussie.
    I’ve had more wines in a lifetime than most will have in 50 and believe that ‘whats behind the label’ makes me passionate about Layer Cake. We agree not everyone is going to fall head over heels, but, alas, it’s this type of banter that allows for growth and understanding of the market place and palates of the world.
    We hope you’ll try more of our wines, Malbec, Primitivo, Cabernet and Shiraz. As you know, as a wine expert, sometimes you retaste, re think and review and come out with new ideas and opinions.
    Please keep in touch with us and always let us know your thoughts.

  • By Hilary - Reply

    I recently discovered Layer Cake while dining at the Common Man in Concord NH, love it!!

  • By Robert burgess - Reply

    Primitivo by Layer Cake is my house favorite !

  • By Mike Wagner - Reply

    Picked up a bottle of the Layer Cake Shiraz for $13.99 at my local Safeway grocery store here in California after seeing the Wine Spectator 89 point rating. And all I can say is Wow . . . Just WOW!!!
    So much robust blackberry and jammy currant flavor from start to finish with some nice chocolate as well. Just incredible! Very chewy, full of creamy black plum flavor . . . smooth, rich, licorice, tobacco, and mocha. Can’t wait to try the Primitivo as well, but for now this Shiraz is my favorite!

  • By Katie - Reply

    I had a glass of the Shiraz at The Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, PA and loved it! Tried to buy a bottle at the State store, but they only carry the Malbec and were out! Where can I buy Layer Cake?????????????

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