You may have heard that the band AC/DC recently released their own range of wines, four varietals that each bear a name of one of their classic songs. I decided that this would make for a very different Gourmet Geek post, so I have tried each to let you know whether you are buying these bottles to drink, or just purely for the novelty value.“Back in Black” Shiraz 2010
Of all the wines on offer from this selection, this is the wine that one would most expect to be marketed by a rock group. Based on the quality of this wine alone, one would wonder why they were not just more honest and released a selection of wines in casks rather than in bottles. This Shiraz would more aptly be called “plonk” than it would a fine wine.
Perhaps this is a harsh assessment, the wine still being very young, and hence very strong on the tannins. Yet normally even with a young Shiraz, there is some hint of the wine it is to become. There is little of that quality here. This is definitely a wine to just buy for the bottle, I do not recommend going in for its contents. The only thing saving this from being a single star is that, scarily enough, I have had worse reds. Worse reds than this one though are few and far between.
Given the appalling start, this wine was definitely a step in the right direction, but only up to a point. There is quite a nice sweetness to this wine, with hints of honey, and yet, the enjoyment of this flavour is limited. In my amateurish wine tasting experience, most wines have some level of after-taste. Sometimes this after-taste can be to the detriment of the enjoyment of a wine, particularly true of some young reds, but more often than not you get a lingering flavour of what makes the wine so enjoyable.
This wine has absolutely no after-taste. You enjoy it while it is in your mouth, you can almost tell there is a specific targeting of the sweet taste buds. Yet after swallowing, absolutely nothing. No lingering taste what-so-ever. This is a major disappointment for me, as enjoying the wine should not be about holding it in your mouth (though there is certainly room for that up to a point). As this flavour did not last, my enjoyment of this wine overall was limited.
5 stars out of 10
This was actually the first wine in this range that I would classify as drinkable. It doesn’t knock your socks off, it is not really memorable, but it is about what one would expect from a $17 bottle of wine. It was actually the first in the range that I tried, and it gave me enough reason to hope that I could expect something similar from the rest of the range. As you will note from my reviews above though, that wasn’t the case.
This is a true middle wine in every sense of the word. It has a nice enough flavour in the mouth, and the extra aging on this one is to its benefit. It is very smooth to drink and has a pleasant after-taste. I have had many better cab savs, but I have also had many worse. If you want an AC/DC bottle, and you are more in the mood for a red than a white, this would be the one to pick.
For me, this is the pick of the bunch. It is the one wine of the lot that I would actually consider buying again, not for packaging purposes, but for enjoyment of the taste. A closer examination of the bottles may just give a clue as to the reason for this increased quality. Whereas the other three bottles bear the assertion that they are wines of Australia, this is a wine of New Zealand. Okay, ever since our honeymoon in that beautiful country, especially our time on the South Island, I have been a bit of a NZ wine snob over Australia. Australia has some fantastic vineyards, a number of which I am a member of, but overall, it seems that the New Zealand climate does lead to better produce.
This wine was more than drinkable, it was smooth, it was full of flavour. There was a hind of sweetness, but not to an overbearing extent, and being much drier than the moscato, it sits very well on the palate. There is also a pleasant after-taste that assists enjoying the flavour of this wine without necessarily having to keep sipping to keep up the flavour levels. Once again, I have had better Sav Blancs, but in this price range, this is one of the better ones I have tasted.
7.5 out of 10