Sunday, February 7, 2010

Australian Shiraz Has a Message for You . . . .

F. U. No joke, there is actually an Australian Shiraz produced by Chris Ringland's R Wines named F.U. Apparently it sold so well at its original $300 price that it had to be liquidated for $124.50. Big surprise as a Jay Miller 99 rating and 16%+ ABV aren't quite the selling points they once were. Apparently there were enough suckers, though, as this sold out (no idea what the quantity was) at the still outrageous liquidation price.

One has to wonder what kind of person would want to serve a wine that delivers such a crass message. It's one thing to eschew the stuffiness and snobbery associated with fine wine. But it's entirely another to tell your customers to eff off with the name of the wine. Surely this is a joke on the part of the winemaker to see if an insulting name and an insulting price would still attract buyers, right? Because the joke is certainly on whoever buys this.

After reading Jay Miller's tasting note, does this wine seem attractive at any price?
The 2004 F.U. Shiraz (200 cases [12 bottles per case]) is similarly brooding and liqueur-like. It spent 30 months in new French oak hogsheads and offers a compelling bouquet of toasty oak, pencil lead, mineral, blueberry, and blackberry. Lighter on its feet than The Wine with a more forward personality, it has layers of flavor, savory fruit, and enough silky tannin to evolve for a decade. Drink it from 2014 to 2034. 99 points
This note is a masterpiece in the annals of ridiculous critiques. Miller smells minerals, apparently, though there's no mention as to which minerals those could be. Then there's the clear impression this wine is over-oaked and over-ripe based on the toasty oak and liqueur descriptors. Good luck finding any minerality amongst the jammy fruit and oak vanillin. Also note the reference to The Wine, a different cuvée from R Wines. Those are some cojones to name a cuvée simply The Wine. But what else would one expect from a winemaker who names a $300 wine F. U.?

I wonder what Sadat X's F'ed Up Factor (FUF) would be for F. U.? I'd bet on it being off the charts. I think I'd rather have the Suxx Shiraz. Yes, this exists! Thank God for truth in labeling.

3 comments:

Matt Mauldin said...

The sad part is that there are so many well balanced and quality Australian wines that are missing out on all the pub that all this over the top stuff gets. As for the review, how can you predict that much long term aging based on that description? "Pretty vacant"

CabFrancoPhile said...

I know there must be fascinating Aussie Rhone-styled wines. But it's as if some cartel is controlling the Aussie imports and only fruit bombs and oak monsters get any publicity. At this point I think any 90+ Shiraz will be a caricature.

Matt Mauldin said...

I went to a tasting put on by Wine Australia a few months back. All of the wines were great. I think only one had alcohol at 15%- and even it was expertly balanced. Victoria is a good region in the east to look for balance and elegance. Margaret River in the west as well. I made notes of what I tasted that day- http://bit.ly/at1Bqu

Fittingly, the FU bottle is spirits-shaped.