Region: McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Appearance: Very dark purple, nearly black.
Nose: Black currant, concord grape jelly, plum, pecan, nutmeg.
On the palate: Not what I was expecting from a wine with such a typical Shiraz nose. Fairly light. The pecans have come to the fore. Little tannin, but softly sweet like the previous occupant of its barrel. Strawberries, vanilla, black currant, caramel, toffee.
Finish: Sweet and mild. Lingers on the lips like a faint hint of a stolen kiss. Faint barrel notes on the back end.
Parting Words: What makes this wine remarkable is its finish. It is not only finished in a bourbon barrel, but in a barrel out of which had come Pappy Van Winkle 20 y/o bourbon, one of the most expensive and most sought-after bourbons on the market. I had this when it was first released and it was really all over the place. Not a fun drinking experience. Like any true Southern Belle, this wine has aged gracefully. The flavors are much more integrated and she has grown into a refined, sophisticated lady.
Southern Belle is gone from the store shelves, but bottles can still be found in private cellars if one asks around. A delight from top to luscious bottom, Southern Belle Shiraz is highly recommended.
Thanks to Oscar for cracking his open and getting me a sample.