Wine Review: 2012 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia

.If Mollydooker stands for left-handed, does that mean the Marquis family makes wine one handed? If they do, they have to be the best one-handed winemakers in the world. Taking the expression, “I could beat you with one hand tied behind my back” to another level. No, really—I  know they use both hands, but for the life of me why they use the Aussie slang for left handed as the name of their winery is beyond me. It does sound catchy and I guess it is better than another animal, tree, creek, river or mountain name.

On the other hand, (pun intended) calling this Shriaz “Carnival of Love” is very apropos. This is the third vintage I have tasted and although each vintage was very different, they have all represented a loud, tawdry extremely entertaining experience that will win you over one seductive sip at a time. It comes from the Gateway Vineyard in McLaren Vale known for producing the some of the finest Shiraz grown anywhere.

One whiff of this wine and it is like the feeling you get at a racetrack when the engines are revving right before the flag drops and you smell the fuel and burning rubber; you know the race is on. The aromas are fruity, spicy and all up in your olfactory receptors. A boysenberry and vanilla swirl of flavors assault the palate in a warm and inviting manner.

Beyond the fruit and vanilla flavors, there is a chewy, sinewy, earthiness to the wine giving it some powerful palate cleansing capabilities. With 100% new American oak aging, it is no surprise the vanilla is as pronounced as it is. This vintage has a bit more acidity to the structure than past vintages adding to the powerfulness of this big boy Shiraz. 4,700 case production.

Rating: Excellent (91) | $75 | 16.1% ABV

 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz