I haven’t babbled about wine for a while, but I think this one is worth a post. I found it in the Newcastle branch of Oddbins, a shop that regularly impresses me with its selection of wine I’ve never seen before. One of the really nice things about Oddbins is the way they let the staff write descriptive labels for the wines. These are often quite bonkers, and make the whole wine buying process just that little bit more entertaining.
A few weeks ago, I spotted an intriguing item on the shelf: the 2005 Tadpole Shiraz from Gemtree Vineyards of McLaren Vale, South Australia. Now I’m very partial to a nice Australian Shiraz, and this one looked interesting.
Tadpole? The name comes from the Eastern Banjo Frogs that inhabit the wetlands that the family-run company has established. As the label copy has it:
As a family we wanted to give back to the environment and local community and the Gemtree Wetlands will be a legacy that future generations can be proud of.
All very good, and the kind of thing I approve of, but it wouldn’t really matter if the wine wasn’t up to the job. Well, I’m pleased to say that it’s rather good. It’s described as an “untamed animal” – no filtration, no fining and “minimum intervention”. All very natural, and in this case it’s produced a nicely full-bodied, fruity and very drinkable wine.
I bought another bottle shortly after the first one, and that was rather nice too. After work this evening, I decided that I wanted to get a bottle of wine, so went to Oddbins before getting the bus. Being me, I couldn’t quite remember the name of the wine, but I found it quickly enough. As it was being wrapped, I mentioned to the salesman that it was a good wine for the price, and he told me that it was popular with the staff. So it’s not just me.
Anyway, if you like a nice Shiraz with a good kick (it’s 14.5% alcohol), you’ll probably enjoy this. It’s currently £6.99 a bottle in Oddbins, and it’s a very good wine for the price.
 While it’s nice to have regular selections like the lovely Wolf Blass Yellow Label, trying something new is always a Good Thing.
 That’s a process used to clear wine, often involving dropping something into it.