Maker: Wolf Blass Wines, Nuriootpa, Australia
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
The packaging of Black Opal Shiraz 2003 is straightforward and elegant. The label has no critters, no Art Deco paintings, just the brand, a modest jewel medallion, and gold foil trim. (One label oddity is the alcohol content, which is printed in such light type as to be virtually invisible; it took a minute of careful study in bright light to reveal it.) The aroma of this Shiraz is dominated by a pleasant carmelized sugar note that I can only describe as “toasted marshmallow” – the sweet, slightly smoky aroma one gets when one browns a marshmallow over a campfire. The flavor features rather intense blackberry and currant notes, with pepper and oak in the finish. In short, Black Opal is another solid, inexpensive Australian Shiraz that has a fruit-forward character and an interesting nose.
From looking at the Black Opal Wine website, it seems the newer releases will feature a shiny foil logo on a black field – still simple and elegant. One hopes the contents, too, will be as elegant.