High alcohol is a big problem with many wines these days. But here was an Aussie Shiraz, at 15.5% alcohol, which wasn't unbalanced or alcoholic. How does that work? I guess it is something to do with the Clare Valley, which seems to be able to make big reds that are in balance.
Jim Barry The McRae Wood Shiraz 2003 Clare Valley, Australia
A really fantastic, traditional-styled Aussie red with lovely pure, sweet, well balanced fruit backed up by some classy oak (largely American, but some French too). It has a sweet, fresh red and black fruit nose with some spicy, chocolatey complexity. On the palate there is great concentration of pure fruit with some creaminess to the texture. Great balance: the oak supports the fruit very effectively, making a classically styled Aussie Shiraz of real appeal. Very good/excellent 93/100 (retail around £15, UK agent Negociants UK)