I have been evangelizing the merits of this wine for DAYS. Since I opened my first bottle earlier this week, I have been a little obsessed. Okay, more than just a little… This wine is so amazing, it has inspired me to re-visit my long neglected blog! That is pretty darn amazing. The problem with me bringing up this cabernet sauvignon/shiraz gem is that I have not been able to remember the name. I would tirade about my epic discovery and how I have now purchased three more bottles… and then… “what is this God-like wine called?!” and I would fall silent, my memory apparently eroded by copious volumes of wine. Obviously it wasn’t the name on the label that first drew me to consider purchasing this selection.
For those of you non-Ballard residents, the Ballard Market has a cozy wine set-up where they appreciate the draw of “wine blurbs” on convincing us impressionable wine consumers. We’ve already decided to buy something, now which one?! Enter hand-written wine blurb on the end-of-the-aisle wine displays. The Graham Beck Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon drew me in with the promise of a non-profit winery (huh?) and the fact that this South African winery is the largest land conservationist in South Africa (drinking wine AND saving the earth? YES!!). The lure of a shiraz cabernet blend reminding me that one of my first loves was a cab merlot mix… and that this blend I had yet to try. The real kicker of the blurb was that this bottle was worth “twice its price” – oooh! Value!! I love value. Sold!
I brought Graham home, cut up some $8 white cheddar, piccolino bread, and cracked open the bottle… and to be perfectly honest? I liked it immediately. And it only got better. Maybe you are thinking that my $8 cheddar got the best of me, but I am here to assure you that is just not so. The wine is plummy, never sharp or bitter, smooth, rather complex and smells minerally. Not hot, though it is 14.5%. They have hit the nail on the head with a 66% Shiraz, 34% Cab Sauv blend. I would drink this wine with just about anything (I made Chard and Kale for the first time that night, thank you Orangette!), and I am bound and determined to share it with as many friends as possible. I’m going to have a dinner party in this wine’s HONOR. Especially since I can now remember the name! GRAHAM BECK. The back label recounts the tasting notes as “The wine has a rich spicy Shiraz nose with layers of berry flavours and supple Cabernet Sauvignon fruit tannins on the palate.”
I went back to Ballard Market the next day to purchase two more bottles. I’m actually worried they are going to run out once everyone realizes the Graham Beck Shiraz Cab Sauv is such a steal. I better go now.
After all this, I’m still unsure of the wine blurb’s actual authenticity. After visiting Graham Beck‘s site and learning a bit about the winery, I found not a breath about it being a non-profit, yet alone into land conservation! The only thing I could find to support the claim was a post on another blog. So the jury is still out on that claim. But my claim of this wine being pretty damn good is plain irrefutable.
Ballard Market, Graham Beck Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, $8.99. Seriously – $8.99!!! Stock up, people!!!