I was worried that I would not be able to participate in this month's WBW. I am currently in Leiden Netherlands for work. I am visiting our European office. This is my fourth trip to the Netherlands for work. I have been provided an apartment in a small city, Voorschoten, just outside of Leiden.
I checked out the wine (wijn in Dutch) in the local supermarket. I didn't find any from Australia. On Saturday, I spent some time in Leiden and I found a wine store near the Saturday Market. I visited the store on Tuesday to find an Australian Shiraz. They had a limited selection. Many of the Australian wines that were stocked in the store were Shiraz/Cabernet blends or Merlot. I also didn't recognize that many labels. So I took guess and purchased a bottle of Capel Vale Western Australia Shiraz 2000.
I did a little bit of research on the web. They seem to have a limited presence in the US and are actually sold under a different brand, Sheldrake Winery, to avoid a conflict of trademark name. The cost was 14.95 Euros (~19US).
The label says
" Shiraz grapes from our vineyards in South West Australia show pronounced cool climate 'black pepper' characters softened with a generous spicy nutmeg mid palate. This wine has been aged for 12-18 months in oak barriques and although ideal to drink now, will benefit from cellaring for up to 10 years."
I found this to be a very tasty wine. I love Rhone wines and I normally do not like Australia Shiraz. I find Australian Shiraz have an over powering berry flavor and fruitiness. I prefer a more spicy wine. This Shiraz is more close to the style I like. I particularly like pepper and slight vanilla tones. It has started to mellow and will be nice in a couple of years. I would definitely buy this wine again.
My apartment has full cooking facilities. I was pretty tired after work so I ended up with having the wine with a boned chicken breast, porcini ravioli with butter and a endive/lollo rosso green salad accented with some goat cheese. It would have been better with the great lamb that I have found here in the Netherlands. Lamb in the Netherlands is more flavorful and tender compared with what I have found in the US.