Had a couple of Mollydooker wines recently. These are the new wines from celebrated Aussie winemakers Sarah and Sparky Marquis (see www.mollydookerwines.com for more info), and they've been favourably reviewed by Robert Parker among others.
The two I tried were 'The Boxer' Shiraz 2004 and 'Two Left Feet' 2004, which are imported into the UK by Seckford Wine Agencies and retail for around £11. I didn't really get them: they were smooth, ripe, quite open, without being terribly concentrated, rich, or complex. Not bad; not all that good. I went back to them for three successive nights, and still they didn't do anything for me.
My chief problem with them was that they both have an advertised alcohol concentration of 16%. That's just absurd for a table wine. I'm not saying wines can't have high alcohol levels and still be brilliant; just that it's very few that can happily carry 16% alcohol, and to reach such a level suggests that the viticulture is flawed. Alcohol has a profound sensory impact, and if flavour can only be achieved at such high potential alcohol levels, perhaps the grapes have been picked too late, or the vines not managed properly, or the vineyards are planted where they shouldn't be.
It's not that I just don't get big, ripe, concentrated Aussie wines. I do. It's just that these wines manage to hit 16% alcohol without really being terribly 'hedonistic': they aren't all that concentrated or flavour-packed.
I have one more Mollydooker wine left to try. I'll give it a fair crack, and I hope my ambivalence will be shifted.