Aldi Iron Horse Barossa Valley Shiraz Review
I get impression that Aldi’s Iron Horse Shiraz (named, apparently, after the trusty tractor used in the vineyard) is a very popular wine. And why wouldn’t it be? Shiraz is arguably the most approachable red grape variety (a point that I argue myself in my Top Five Smoothest Red Wines For Beginners piece). And, despite the fact that it’s currently the most expensive red wine at my local branch, it still flies off the shelves for a measly £6.99.
I got chatting to a couple in the wine aisle, as I was checking out this bottle. “This is about the sixth time we’ve bought it,” they said. And if you glance at Aldi’s website, there are dozens of five-star reviews from fans praising its smooth flavours and value for money. Was I equally seduced by it? Well… not entirely.
South Australia’s Barossa Valley, near Adelaide, produces some beautiful, rich, fruity, full bodied Shiraz. In fact, some of the fruitiest reds I’ve ever tried come from the region. But this one’s a little different from most, in that its blackberry and dark cherry flavours take a back seat to an intense whack of chocolate and coffee. In this respect, it reminded me of the Chocoholic Pinotage, a wine that turns its chocolatyness into its main marketing feature.
To be fair, I can’t help mentally comparing the Iron Horse Shiraz to pricier wines here, but to me it lacked a little of the richness in colour and the intensity of fruit I normally expect from Barossa Valley Shiraz. That said, this is still a smooth and full bodied wine, and I can’t argue with its popularity and price.
I’d have preferred it if its balance slider leaned more towards the fruity end of the spectrum, rather than the chocolate. But its milky sweetness does make the Aldi Iron Horse Shiraz a solid budget option, and perhaps a good idea for Easter. I’d pair it with a Yorkie Easter egg or a box of Celebrations.
3.5 NINJA STARS
Aldi Iron Horse Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017, £6.99. 14.5% volume
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