The collected wine-tastings & wine-ramblings of one who prefers to describe wines with metaphors, not percentages

Act Five Shiraz Viognier 2009 review

A bottle of Act Five in the sunshine, on a wooden garden table

Well, here was a nifty young wine. A slinkily androgynous wine. One where you’re pretty sure you’ve got its gender right — but there remains that frisson of doubt.

This androgyny comes courtesy of the blend, which combines the grape varieties Shiraz and Viognier*. Yeah: Viognier. So what we have is some white grape on red grape action. If we were in Othello, some tedious fart called Brabantio would be going mental at this interracial tupping.

It is my hope that today’s attitudes will be less blinkered.

Anyhow (Jesus Christ, Parn, get to the point) it may just be that my tastebuds were so frigging grateful for anything in the aftermath of this week’s Le Froglet horrors — but I thought this was a bloody good wine. A bloody alluring wine.

It’s really full, properly blasting out that peppery blackcurrant POWER that you’d expect of our pal Shiraz. There’s some oak in there, some earthy bitterness, some toasty (um) toastiness. This (in other words) is the part of the wine that’s strapping and crocodile-wrestling as you like.

But, oh boy, it’s all lifted thanks to a (most seductive) lightness. A freshness. A heady breath of spring breezes across fecund meadows.

This same freshness is fucking transformative, what’s more, when it comes to the blackcurrant. Because (to my gob, anyhow) full-on dark fruit flavours can get a mite tedious and two-dimensional, despite their initial appeal. But this wine sacrifices nothing of the intensity of the fruit, yet renders it complex, subtly floral, light. Blackcurrant and elderflower.

Fuck yeah.

Verdict

Okay, yes, so I liked this wine rather a lot. I liked it even more when I found out that it costs only goddamn £7.49. £7.49, by the risen Christ! (Yes, Parn can do topical expletives too.)

It tastes a good bit more expensive than that.

So if you haven’t yet recognised the allure of a subtle bit of vinous gender-bending, I implore you to get with the programme, you dull old Brabantio, you.

Rating ★★★★ (4 stars)
ABV 14%
Price £7.49 from Avery’s
* For those who like to know this stuff, Syrah + Viognier is the signature combo of the celebrated Cote-Rotie region of France.

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