I hesitate to post this note, lest my loyal readers despise me as a lover of spoofy, fake wine. But I feel I need to come clean. I enjoyed the new release (2006) of the Zonte's Footstep Shiraz (94%) Viognier 6%) 2006 McLaren Vale. It's certainly a very ripe, full-on Aussie wine. But what I like is the purity of the fruit, and the fact that as well as sweetness it offers some spicy, peppery complexity. There's even a hint of ginger. It works really well - it's the sort of wine you want another glass of (although perhaps not a third glass).
Look, you don't always want to be reading Proust and Joyce - sometimes you are in the mood for John Grisham and Joanne Harris. It's a bit like that with wine. I enjoy the serious stuff, but I also enjoy the less weighty, perhaps more ephemeral wines that suit a mood or occasion. There are good spoofy wines and bad ones. This Zonte's, in its style, is a really well made wine. Perhaps the only thing I'd change about it is that I'd use reverse osmosis to dial the alcohol down a little - perhaps from its present 14.5% to around 13.9% - I reckon this would really help the wine. Heck, at 13% you'd have a world-beating Crozes-Hermitage.