TASTING NOTE: 2009 Aramis Shiraz Cabernet
Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Price: $16.99 at Total Wine
Sight: opaque black, ruby rim
Smell: red plum, burning firewood, dark chocolate, crème de menthe
Taste: plush, black cherry, black raspberry, red velvet, soft spice
Overall: I could tell from the start of the pour that this wine was going to be villainously dark. It pours a deep, almost murky black—impossible to see through—with a fresh blood-red rim. It’s stunning, really. Immediately the aromatics waft in, even from a distance, with both a smoky and a dessert-like air. The warmth of the alcohol carries up a baked red plum, smoked cedar planks, and dark mint-chocolate truffle. As the wine opens up, the tannins maintain a reassuring tension; then the plum-skin acidity tones down and sinewy dark fruit flavors swirl through layers of muted black pepper and red velvet cake. The finish is decidedly cherry and unexpectedly long—what you thought was going to be a hug ends up as a cuddle. And there’s no harm in that.