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This red wine attracted my attention because of the blend: 66% Shiraz (or Syrah for everyone outside of Australia), 31% Mourvèdre, and 3% Grenache, collected from Penfold's vineyards throughout Southern Australia. These grapes are commonly found in wines made in France's Rhone River valley, and anyone who has even casually read my wine reviews knows that I've spent a lot of time in a vinous exploration of the Rhone.

A good wine at a good price ($10). Oz Clarke, a reviewer I like who does work for the New York Times and their winetoday.com, called this wine "simple," and I guess it's the truth; but sometimes you have to be thankful for the simple things. The wine had an interesting color: moderately deep red trending toward brick, but with some slight bits of blue at the very edges. It is not a super-clear wine, as Penfolds does not generally filter their wines prior to bottling, but that's a plus rather than a minus for me. Anyway, the aroma was straightforwardly fruity, with light touches of vanilla and maybe some coffee. The taste was dominated by fruitiness, though in a general grapey way that made it seem more powerful than it was. It could have used a touch more acidity and some real tannic backbone for structure, but the tannins as they were were gentle and unobtrusive, which made this wine an easy drink. It had a finish (that I almost hesitate to call a finish, given the low tannins) that was something of a receding echo of the fruitiness. A nice wine experience that makes me eager to taste more of Penfold's stuff.

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