Barossa Valley, £18.75, cork seal
Grant Burge's entry level Benchmark wines seem to be in every restaurant in Hong Kong, yet I don't think I've ever seen any of their other wines sold here. They are a family owned, Barossa based company. I've got a sketchy memory of trying to taste their whole range on a drunken cellar door visit back in 2002; I certainly can't remember any of the wines and if the bloke who was working happens to stumble across this "I'm sorry". This Rhone style blend is a composed of 46% Grenache, 32% Shiraz and 22% Mourvèdre all from vines between 50 and 120 years old.
Man, Mourvèdre is a distinctive smelling grape; to me the dusty, coco like aromas on this are strikingly obvious. While it doesn't jump out of the glass, I'm also able to pick up blueberries, plum jam and a sprinkle of dried herbs; attractive but not earth shattering. For a Barosian red it's not overly rich; the palate starts out with green, herbal flavours and moves through to red fruits and then, well then nothing, it pulls up pretty short. I drank this with the boys at New York Cafe and they labelled it as very 'new world', while it's not so in weight, body and intensity the fruit flavours that are there are very sweet jammy. The tannin is soft and integrated and it's got a certain food-friendly drinkability to it, however, I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but this left me pretty underwhelmed.
Visit winery website.