Linked by ownership to Yalumba, Oxford Landing is a Riverland based brand whose oldest, original estate plantings happen to be cabernet sauvignon, with some vines dating back over 40 years. The back label of their 2010 Cabernet Shiraz heroically states; 'vegan and vegetarian friendly', causing me to wonder if the wine displays any warm-climate meaty aspects...
Meaty aspects? Hmm... maybe. But it's not that overcooked roast meat character prevalent to overhung, sun-drenched, warm-climate red grapes, rather, it's cured meat and herbs, spicy salami even, expressed in a style perhaps more typical to pinot noir (!?). Also in the nose are simple but fruity scents of cleanly ripened blackberries and raspberries, underlining a satisfying aroma devoid of harshness or heat. Conclusively, it's more interesting and composed than one might expect from a $7 red, which echoes into a palate whose silky softness and surprising suppleness immediately disperse any preconceived stereotypes, whilst providing an almost shameful satisfaction. Its primary announcement of charmingly fresh, juicy blackberries and red plums run smoothly into a finish baring a tiny twist of acid crunch at the end, where there's just enough structure to silence the astute without deterring the quaffers. It's a big win for anyone wanting change from a tenner.
ü+ Enlivened by balance, mouthfeel and freshness, Oxford Landing's 2010 Cabernet Shiraz is just a wonderful little red. It's simple but delicious and oh so gluggable. Go on... Drink to 2013.