Soft, fruit forward, lightly oaked (if at all) and lighter-bodied red wines made for immediate consumption and consumer enjoyment are gaining prominence in Australia. This trend makes perfect sense in places like the Barossa and McLaren Vale, where their abundant sunshine and plentiful plantings of the grenache grape suit the easy drinking, summer red style to a tee.
Brightly scented with stewed plums, blueberries and raspberries, St Hallett's 2008 Gameskeeper's blend also reveals a sweet influence of chocolate and coconut. As anticipated it's a lighter, softer style of Barossa red, with a finish drawn out more by its marked acidity as opposed to penetrating length of fruit or structure. There remains a vivid base of ultra-ripe, sweet/sour edged regional fruits, so it should sit well with those who seek its style.
O This is a pleasingly balanced little quaffer which successfully achieves its goals. It suits outdoor dining, with, as the bottle suggests, game, duck, smoked meats and hare. Drink to 2010.