The 2011 Presswork Barossa Valley Shiraz is a $9.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. The grapes seem to come from old vine Shiraz vineyards located in the Ebenezer growing region in the north of the Barossa Valley in Australia and this Shiraz was aged in French oak for 14 months. If you do a little detective work and scout out which very well regarded Australian producer uses old vine Ebenezer fruit and ages it Shiraz in French oak for 14 months, you can really narrow down who produced this wine (and if the wording on the back of the Presswork label means anything, you can find out the exact producer). This bottle may be Shiraz that didn’t make the cut, for whatever reason, to be included into wines on their own label. But, if I am right on who I think produced this Shiraz, it comes from a line of wine that sells in the $20 to $35 range. The 2011 vintage in Barossa Valley had all sorts of problems, too much rain and up and down weather probably accounts for why this Shiraz was sold off. While this is not Shiraz that they choose to put their name on, it is also not Shiraz that was ever intended to sell for $9.99. The alcohol content is a rather mild for Barossa Valley Shiraz 13.8%.
The color is a crystal clear purple with black cherry highlights. The nose is interesting, muted ripe cherry, a mix of spices, a touch of herbs, peppermint, vanilla. This is not your typical inexpensive Shiraz for 5 or 6 years ago, the fruit is lean (for Barossa Shiraz) and well balanced by a myriad of spice and herb. It starts with black cherry, soft blueberry, exotic curry spices, a bit of herbal tea, a little vanilla creme, some oak spice and an ever so slight pull from the tannins. This is a $9.99 wine that can use a few years of cellaring, it drinks fine now, but it could stand some mellowing of the spice flavors and a little more oak integration.
The 2011 Presswork Barossa Valley Shiraz is an interesting wine and well worth the $9.99. It is made with grapes and production techniques that you do not always see in sub $10 wines. I am used to Barossa Valley Shiraz that are loaded with fruit, spice and high alcohol content, but the Presswork Shiraz is none the that. The Presswork has lean fruit and enough secondary flavors and textures to make a Pinot Noir proud. The Presswork may not be a typical Aussie Shiraz, lean and spicy isn’t how you usually describe Barossa Reds, but it is a lot of wine for ten dollars.