Add Spice to your Christmas with a bottle of PepperBox Shiraz 2018

Peter Morrell tastes this luscious, powerful red from Australia which really does live up to its name

This wine has been crafted by the Casella Family. They have been making fine Australian wine since 1989, and the Pepperbox Shiraz is a fine example of the quality vintages they produce.

I recently tasted the wine and it lived up to all expectations. It pours a deep ruby red colour which is the first indication of its robust, full-bodied character. An initial swirl and sniff of the bouquet reveals complex aromas which include luscious dark cherries, bramble fruits, blackcurrants, and all this is underpinned with notes of freshly cracked black pepper.

As the wine moves to the palate it retains its fruity personality and strong peppery flavours now begin to dominate, but not overpower the drinking experience. Additional hints of cocoa, coffee and eucalyptus expand its repertoire.

The wine was made in 2018, and the aging together with well-balanced tannins and low acidity create a very smooth drinking experience. The finish is long, with persistent fruit tones and the ever-present black pepper.

I thought that this is a very powerful and well-made wine that lived up to promise. I was particularly taken by the black pepper which gave it an enjoyable intensity, and this made it ideal to match with a range of food over Christmas. Charcuterie, roast shoulder of lamb, grilled red meats, pizza, pasta, and Stilton cheese are all good candidates to pair with the PepperBox Shiraz.

The PepperBox Shiraz 2018 is available from Tesco for £10, remarkable value for a wine of this quality.

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