Bottoms up from Down Under

South Australian winemakers are producing some of the finest red wines in the world; they have the most modern techniques available at their disposal, as well as a certain healthy irreverence for the "establishment" of Bordeaux or the Rhone. Fueled by Sydney and Melbourne's equally progressive restaurant scenes and using Australia's most famous red wine, Penfolds Grange, as their model, these young winemakers are stirring things up Down Under. Here's a selection of serious reds currently available in Seattle. *'95 Jim Barry "The Armagh" ($75): 100 percent Shiraz (syrah) aged in American oak and displaying intense blackberry and anise flavors. Long full finish has hints of eucalyptus and dark chocolate. Named for the part of Clare Valley that was originally settled by the Irish. *'95 Jim Barry "McCrae Wood" Shiraz ($23.50): 98 percent Shiraz, 2 percent Malbec. Jim Barry purchased his land from Duncan McCrae Wood in 1964, and today Mark Barry crafts a rich, spicy, black current-filled wine. Drink now! *'97 Charles Cimicky "Gnarled Vine Grenache" ($21.50): Old vine grenache from Barossa Valley. Very ripe, lots of cherry and spice. 1997 is the fourth great vintage in a row in South Australia. *'97 Tim Adams "The Fergus" ($24): Tim and Pam Adams produce intense, aromatic, fruit-filled wines in the Clare Valley. This particular grenache was purchased from neighbors Ferg and Vyv Mahon—hence "The Fergus."

 
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