If you’re looking to break someone in to Australian reds, this is as good a place to start as any. The Breaker Shiraz Cabernet 2004 from Laithwaite’s has the lot. It’s a thick dark ruby-purple with gloopy legs. It smells of toast and jam.
It’s dry but there’s lots of sweet fruit flavours, with extra sweet spice from the well toasted oak. There’s enough acid to keep it standing, but not so much as to be intrusive and there’s fruit, cooked blackcurrants and loganberries, not much spice, a smidge of menthol and a good thunk of alcohol.
It’s certainly not a shy wine, or one that blends quietly into the background. If you’ve just cooked a beautiful meal you probably want to keep this for later as it is likely to dominate. I enjoyed it with a game of Agricola.