I was in Lancashire last weekend for a wedding to two lovely friends of mine. We paid a visit to the amusingly named town of Clitheroe to go to the excellent wine merchant D. Byrne. It was filled with an embarrassment of riches which were generally very reasonably priced. My chum Jeremy Seysses saw this wine on the shelf and told me I should buy it as it had rave reviews from some American journalists. It was only £13 so I thought why not? When I had paid I noticed it was 16.5% alcohol and so I challenged Jeremy, who I know to be a lover of beautiful wines, on why he had recommended lighter-fuel for me try. He came clean and said he knew I would hate it, but he likes to read my torrents of invective about horrible wines. He had knowingly got me to buy despicable wine. Thanks, Jeremy, thanks a bunch. So do I hate it? Read on…
Shiraz “The Boxer” 2006, Mollydooker
By arse, I’ve smelled less confected jam than this. This smells of alcohol, wood and jammy fruit; it is depressingly simple and horrifically overblown. Smelling this for more than a couple of seconds burns my nose. There is nothing even remotely attractive about its aromas. No. Oh no. Really, no. For fuck’s sake, the palate is truly horrible. Sweet, flabby, painfully alcoholic; how can people like shit like this? It is vile filth. OK, if you want monster-get-pissed-fast, soupy, unbalanced, sweet mouthwash, this will do. If you think wine should have redeeming qualities like elegance, style and, let us be honest, drinkability, you’ll find this as offensive as I am as I try to choke back enough to write this tasting note.
Which leaves us wondering what sort of wine journalism recommends this kind of crap. I am reminded of how I used to chose girlfriends whilst at university. Tall or short, beautiful or ugly, clever or stupid, it didn’t matter to me as long as they had big tits. That was all that mattered – huge bouncers. Of course, this is a terrible way of viewing women, just as viewing over-ripe monstrosities like this as the pinnacle of wine-making is a shameful view of wine. Complexity, style and balance are to be applauded, and simple, booze-tastic, beasts are to be pilloried. I am disgusted to think that someone could recommend something as shamefully crap as this.