The Salut! Wine Club

 The Boarding Pass Shiraz 2005 was one of my favorite wines of the year when it arrived in 2008 at my shop.  We enjoyed it thoroughly.  The Australian 2005 vintage was superb across the nation, and the wines were full, bold, juicy and well structured.  Especially the first release of a new label concept! 

It’s now an oft-used marketing concept — create a wine label that will sell on its own design merits.  If people will buy it on label alone, you have a winner already.  Then fill the first release bottles (when the momentum is greatest) with the best wine you can afford to lose money on.  The result is a wine whose popularity spreads like wildfire.  After the first year generates all the buzz and celebrity for the label, in the vintages that follow the winery can fill the bottles with cheaper wines and most people wouldn’t be the wiser.

So when The Grateful Palate, masters of the great label genre, came out with the First Class Shiraz as an upgrade to the Boarding Pass, I was eager to sample the first vintage.  It was outstanding and relatively unavailable.  Here is the anticipated 2nd vintage, and it too is an outstanding version of McLaren Vale region Shiraz!  The mid-tier releases selected by The Grateful Palate have benefited from a weak economy and abundance of great juice.

Their website describes “fragrant brambly, minty and spicy chocolate liqueur aromatics, along with vibrant raspberry and strawberry jam.  The palate is plush and creamy dark fruit, molasses and chocolate with a toasty oak and cedar spice finish.”  It is this lush and fruity character, with enough backbone to rest another 6-12 months, that provide a wonderfully full and enjoyable wine to pair with the most flavorful sweet & spicy pork ribs, stuffed chicken breasts, lean thin tender cuts of beef and port sauces.

I’ve received a mere 18 bottles of the 2006 vintage First Class, and will be doling it out to the lucky few who have joined the club.  If you want more, order it immediately!  I am not sure I will be able to obtain any more.

This wine is no longer available.

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Wine Info Links

Visit the Grateful Palate Imports website
About Syrah at Wikipedia
Some good information about the McLaren Vale region can be found at
Explore information about South Australia’s wine regions
Find information about the 2006 vintage (or others by Aussie region or year) at WineBiz
Check out The Grateful Palate’s food site and their Bacon of the Month club
Watch a video of the First Class treatment on Lufthansa airlines, Hong Kong to Frankfurt

Great Food Pairings

Learn how to make amazing ribs of an array of styles & types at
Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Reduction from an online Blog
Cream Cheese, Garlic & Chive Stuffed Chicken Breasts from AllRecipes

Have you tasted this wine? When you’ve had a chance to enjoy this wine, please return to this blog and leave your comments! Others will appreciate your input, unique viewpoint, and recommendations.