Several people have approached me recently asking if I've tried 19 Crimes. I thought this question was rather bold and out of line, as the crimes I've taken part in aren't normally something I discuss in daily conversation. And since when are crimes numbered … and are there really only 19? Shame on me for not realizing the reference was to 19 Crimes wine. (And thank goodness I hadn't admitted to anything that would have the law knocking on my door.)
19 Crimes is a red blend that is Shiraz dominated with Pinot Noir, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. When poured, you'll find a deep red garnet color with a nose of definite smokiness and fruit. When tasted, you'll pick up on a bit of licorice with a cocoa finish. This wine is good for the price and goes well with any food item, or can simply be enjoyed on its own. One description referred to 19 Crimes as a "Value Vino." I place it in a category of "everyday wine," which is kept in my wine rack, available for drinking on a weeknight with a sandwich, a bowl of soup or an entree from my favorite carry-out joint. "Everyday wine," is nothing fancy, but tastes good just the same.
Before writing about a wine, I always look at the winery's website to learn about location, the vineyard owner and anything else of interest. The Bailey's of Glenrowan winery is one of the oldest in Australia, established in 1670, and now combines excellent old-world techniques and contemporary skill. Current winemaker, Paul Dahlenburg, draws from the traditional techniques of careful rendering and a simple touch. 19 Crimes originally debuted in 2011 and was made exclusively for Canada, but fortunately is now reaching us in the U.S. and Australia.
Although the 19 Crimes website doesn't have a lot of information about their wine, it is entertaining. The site outlines how in the 1700's, London criminals were punished by being sent on a tortuous journey to inhabit the colony of Australia. These criminals were judged against a created list of 19 crimes, including grand larceny, petty larceny, buying or receiving stolen goods, bigamy, stealing from furnished lodgings, stealing fish, impersonating an Egyptian, etc. (Come on, let's all admit we've impersonated an Egyptian at least once.)
Other fun things you'll discover with 19 Crimes are the labels that sport a mug shot of actual criminals. The bottle pictured here shows John Boyle O'Reilly, sentenced to 20 years of penal servitude in Australia when his death sentence was overturned in 1868. Also, when opening a bottle of 19 Crimes, be sure to inspect the cork where you'll find one of the original crimes listed. The one I received with this bottle was number #14, Counterfeiting The Copper Coin.
So, as you enjoy wine, never hesitate to learn more about its origin or the winemakers'. With 19 Crimes I received a history lesson and was glad to know I am innocent of all crimes listed. Although, I would think seriously about breaking the law if it involved drinking more 19 Crimes.
19 Crimes is an Australian blend of Shiraz and Durif (aka Petite Sirah). The color is a deep and vibrant cherry red in the glass, with legs that cascade slowly down the side of the glass. The bouquet is full and rich, displaying abundant aromas of dark red and black fruits, along with notes of sweet vanilla and chocolate, licorice, and spice.
Bold, and bursting with flavor, the luscious fruit is skillfully balanced by layers of vanilla oak and soft, chalky tannins. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and rich, beautifully supporting the concentrated flavors. This memorable, Shiraz-dominated blend finishes round and smooth with touches of sweet red fruit.
19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon
A deep red in the glass, 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon offers up enticing scents of dark berries, currants, licorice, and vanilla.
The aromas carry through onto the palate with the rich, concentrated fruit complemented by notes of cedar, mint, graphite, and spice. Medium-to-full in body, well-balanced, firm, and chalky tannins, and a medium finish.
Pair 19 Crimes Cabernet with chocolate, beef, lamb, or strong cheeses.
Categories: Red Wine Blends, Red Wines, Shiraz / Syrah