Fusion of three grapes balances this Australian wine

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The Strapper is a 2010 Australian wine that is a composite of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro grapes. | Larry Ruehl~Sun-Times Media

Yalumba, aboriginal for “all the land around” was founded in 1849 by Samual Smith and remains one of the oldest family owned wineries in Australia. Unlike many producers, they control every detail of production from their own on-site nursery to a personal barrel making facility. They have a vision of environmental management with a series of organic wines. The depth, quality and affordability of this portfolio can be overwhelming, but Yalumba is best known for their steadfast nature of blending other grapes into their Old Vine Shiraz. Barossa Valley in south Australia has a warm, balmy climate and affinity for ripening and transforming Shiraz into something special. Yalumba has a long tenure and understanding of the climate and soil characteristics of Australia, which has made them proficient in crafting some noteworthy offerings.

The 2010 The Strapper GSM from the Barossa Valley is a blend of 38 percent Grenache, 32 percent Shiraz and 30 percent Mataro (Mourvedre). The floral notes on opening this wine are reminiscent of the intoxicating aromas you experience from winery-crushing grapes in the middle of harvest. The Grenache tones down the jamminess of the Shiraz and adds an elegant texture to the wine. The Mataro contributes a slightly tannic and earthy element to the middle while fusing all the components together. This wine showcases crushed black raspberry, Provincial herbs and black pepper along with finely grained tannins. This in not a typical over-the-top Australian blend, but instead a well-constructed and balanced wine that would pair well with a rosemary crusted veal chop with morel mushrooms.

Suggested Retail: $19.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.