During dinner at The Bear Café in Woodstock, I was looking for something big and juicy to pair with my duck confit and Nancy's roast chicken and at $40, this fit the budget.
Normally with confit and roast chicken (or with most anything for that matter), I'd look for a Rhône, but there weren't any interesting ones on the fairly solid 150-selection list. When looking for value, I'd normally prefer something from Chile or South Africa, which manage to combine fruit with minerality and freshness, for the most part. But once again, the list was lacking there as well. Australia on the other hand, is nearly ubiquitous on wine lists, and so I gave it a shot.
It offered very forward, smooth-textured raspberry and plum fruit, with a hefty dose of mocha on finish. It's a one-note wine for me, but hits that one note well enough. 85 points, nonblind.
SHINGLEBACK Shiraz McLaren Vale 2005 (87 points, $22)