Wine Review: Clancy's 2009 Shiraz Cabernet Merlot & Le Grand Noir GSM 2011

Lately I have been on a red blend kick, and I have been looking for red blends that showcase all the strengths of the grapes that I truly love. As some of you may know, I am a big Shiraz, Zinfandel and Malbec guy, and I typically look for some powerful red wines that while are balanced are off the charts in flavors and strength. One wine that I have yet to review is the Alamos Red Blend. Besides being wonderfully prices, the wine is great with cigars! Today I am focusing on some red that have been wonderful with cigars, but paired amazingly with dinner and dessert also.

Clancy’s 2009 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

Based in the Barosa Valley in Southern Australia, Peter Lehmann is a quite simply a well-known Australian winemaker. He has been making wines since the late 70’s, and is considered the most innovative winemaker in Australia. He has several wines under his production, and today I am going to talk about Clancy’s. The red blend that I am drinking is a combination of three grapes. It is 39% Shiraz, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot. All grapes are grown in Australia, and the blend is matured in 12 months of new and old French and American oak hogsheads before bottling.  

The blend has a terrific aroma of currants, strong berries, anise and chocolate notes. It has this lovely light garnet coloring, and it is almost a blood red color. There some long and heavy legs to the wine and it is beautiful in the glass. The wine is wonderful from the first sip, and there is a lovely finish to it. I am getting a nice bit of anise and cocoa notes on the forefront, and there are some earthy qualities to that. There are some currant and plum notes on the finish, and even a jammy berry flavor. It is very well balanced and pretty medium body in terms of strength.

The tannin notes with the wine are not as powerful as some, but I think in the end it means that it is more drinkable to wine lovers. I found that the wine paired wonderfully with a hearty fall meal, and even with most cigars I have. I wouldn’t go pairing it with a Maduro, but it would and did go great with a Habano, Corojo or Criollo wrapper. I am a big fan of red blends, and the fact that it is from Australia makes it even more appealing to me as a wine lover. I am not a huge fan of Merlot, but I felt that it did a great job in the blend. I give this wine a solid 90 points, and it is a wine I will pick up in the future, but not have on my wine rack at all times.    


Le Grand Noir GSM

Le Grand Noir is a winery that has produced some very interesting blends, and a week ago I picked up this wine, and did so not expecting a treat. To begin with the wine utilizes a grape that I do not typically drink and that is Grenache. The wine begins with 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. I actually have not had Mourvedre before, so this will be an interesting pairing. This bottle is from 2011, and because it is a value wine it is not a wine that needs to be aged for a long time. I should say that all the grape in this sine are from vines that are 60 years old and older. The wine shows some wonderful aromas of nice spices, bits of pepper, cocoa, coffee beans and currants. It has a truly satisfying aroma, and I immediately search for a cigar that would pair wonderfully with this smoke. The coloring is this wonderful mixture of red and purple garnet, and in glass there are some thin legs and it is light in texture. The flavor profile is terrific, and while very similar to the aroma it is just as amazing. The coffee and cocoa notes are terrific, and with the currants and spices it has a wonderful and round flavor. There are bits of pepper on the finish, and it is really taking me by surprise. 

I loved this wine, and found that it has paired wonderfully with so many styles of cigars. It is wonderful with Maduros, and does great with some Habano and Corojo wrappers. I have paired it with a Padron 1964 Imperial Maduro, a 262 Revere Robusto, an Undercrown Robusto and every pairing was wonderful. This wine really took me by surprise and since then I have been looking for similar blends with these grapes. It is a wine that has some light textures, but some wonderful rich and powerful flavors. This wine was an incredible value and also a great pairing for cigars and rich desserts after a nice meal. I give this wine a solid 88, and will recommend to many out there.