Price – $22-30 (the average is about $25)
Day 1 – Dark and brooding black in color framed in deep red – not much purple here. Aromas of dark ripe berries, sweet oak, and mint jump from the glass. In the mouth the wine fans out with layers of dark chocolate, blackberry, oak and mint. Unctuous and concentrated with a solid tannic base, the wine soars with flavor and texture. The finish is bold and sure; fruit, tannin and that Aussie accessibility make for a wonderful experience
Day 2 – Just as dark and red, raspberry and blackberry, subtle notes of cocoa, oak and mint (still!) make up the nose. More complex flavors develop after a day of blackberry and raspberry, tobacco, spicy oak, dark chocolate and mint. The tannin still remains and is even a little more obvious (good sign) as well as more acidity as the fruit from Day 1 has relaxed in its expression. A wonderful, more precise finish evolves on day 2.
Blend – The 2005 Dead Letter is a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% cabernet sauvignon.
Food – Perfect with lamb chops, ribs or even a filet mignon, though I had it with lamb on night 2 and it was excellent. I am sure some mint and reduced sugar to the marinade or as a sauce would make the pair that much better given the mint notes in the wine.
The Dead Letter Shiraz is made by the folks at Henry’s Drive, makers of full throttle Shiraz and cabernet from Padthaway and McClaren Vale. The Dead Letter is relatively new as the 2005 is only the second vintage of this wine. I have had a few vintages of the reserve and the regular HD Shiraz and they have always been excellent wines that have impressed me each time. Depth, concentration and 100% Aussie define this wine.