My answer is YES! (This post is a duplicate…from a wine review that I wrote earlier today for the Grocery Outlet Wine Blog. I don’t normally cross-post but this is too good a bargain to pass up.)
2004 The Colonial Estate Emigré Shiraz Blend $4.99
The Colonial Estate
Purchased: Albany, OR 11-5-2014
I would so like to title this “Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Grocery Outlet and buy this wine!” It is possibly the best bargain I’ve ever had on a good wine. It wasn’t on the shelf. The owner told me they had it in the back because they only got two “boxes” (see photo) and each box only had 6 bottles; so, my recommendation, ASK if they have any in the back! We decided to have this tonight to see if I would regret not buying the rest of it (I always think that there should be some left for someone else). Plus I wanted to get the review up, in case any of you might want to pick some up.
Firstly, as I mentioned on the Wine Sale thread…I don’t normally drink Australian wines. Mostly because of the predominant vegetal character that never seems balanced out by fruit (in the bottles I’ve tried). Secondly, I rarely drink Shiraz/Syrah. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just prefer Cabernet.
Online, this wine lists for $65–$109 (current prices) per bottle. That alone caused me to purchase it and I’m so glad I did. For $3.99 (after sale price), I wondered if it’d gone off, gotten old or been badly handled. Thankfully, none of the above is true.
I rarely am enthusiastic here. I like things; sometimes I really like things but this is just a combination of “liking a lot” and an excellent bargain that makes me enthusiastic.
As to the wine, there is a lot of sediment. Definitely don’t decant this traditionally (without a strainer) or pour without something like a winefiner. Color is dark, slight bricking but not bad.
We tasted so many things here…herbal, grass, spice, earth, mineral, fruit…even bacon (odd but not unpleasant). It’s hot…slightly unbalanced but honestly we enjoyed it so it isn’t going to last in the glass long enough to have time to balance out. Some people would say it has “very long legs”. I bet it would be more balanced after air. I expected it to be sweet but it wasn’t. The layers of taste balanced out the fruit well enough to keep it from being a fruit bomb. As it opens up (it’s been open for about an hour and a half) it’s smoothing out a bit. It’s more of a medium mouthfeel to me, not full but still satisfying. I think it’s got a few years left in it…but I’m just going to say it’s incredibly good.
This is a quote I found online from Wine Advocate:
“The 2004 Emigre, a Rhone-based blend of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre as well as Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon, exhibits a sweet perfume of graphite, black fruits, sweet cherries, licorice, smoke, and background vanillin. Full-bodied, rich, textured, and impressively long, it should drink well for 10-15 years … minimum.” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #167 (Oct 2006)
FWIW, there were still 5 bottles left at Albany, OR as of this afternoon.
I would also like to add that this one wine has re-opened my mind to wines from Down Under 🙂