Oliverhill Winery Red Silk ‘McLarenVal’ Shiraz 2010

Purchased from Costco, $14.99
Oliverhill Winery Website

Aaron: Huge is the best way to describe this bottle.  The smell was enormous, featuring some spice with red berries.  The flavor was nice but very spicy – think chili peppers.  There was no cream and this was a bit harsh but honestly, in a good way.  There were solid tannins and a full flavor.  Don’t drink this to be refreshed, but as a standalone or pairing with an intense meal, go for it.  90 points

Teri: Paired with a beautiful dark purple color and medium legs, Oliverhill’s Red Silk carries a full robust flavor that is surprisingly smooth. The chunky tannins smooth out to a rich flavor of dark berries, licorice, and some oak. 92 points

Pillar Box Red 2009

Purchased from Costco, prices vary by store
Total Wine & More: $9.99, 750ml
BevMo: $10.99, 750ml

Red Blend: 70% Shiraz, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot

Aaron:  Skip it.  Why? The berry and oak smell (with a hint of mocha at the end) does not compensate for the sharp flavor that was way too harsh.  I suppose this would be ok if you were at a keg party and weren’t into Bud light, but other than that find something else.  85 points

Teri: This red blend carries consistent fruity flavors with organic spice, cherry, and earthy tones. A slight bite at the end, possibly from the medium/strong tannins, but overall a standard drinking red wine blend. 86 points 

Yellow Tail Reserve Shiraz NV

Total Wine & More, $8.99

Aaron:  This bottle seemed chilly to me.  Smoke surfed over a chocolate milky texture with a tingle (which I usually associate with poor quality).  The tannins felt like they were using my tongue as a trampoline while playing catch with plums and vanilla.  I felt the finish was rather mediocre.  87 points

Teri: For how great the regular Yellow Tail Shiraz is, I expected more from this bottle. A plum vanilla smell, medium bodied, with medium tannins this bottle’s spice, plum, dark cherry and nutmeg flavors are run of the mill. With a slight harsh finish I don’t think the reserve label made the bottle any better than the regular. Although not too expensive, stick with the regular bottle. 85 points 

The Little Penguin Merlot 2010

Total Wine & More, $4.99 (750ml) or $8.99 (1.5L)

Aaron:  The strong smell of this merlot blended berries with oak to reveal a rich but sharp nose.  The flavor was great, featuring butterscotch and chocolate (which came to prevalence primarily on the finish).  The smooth, medium body was enjoyable and lacked any bite making this a very gentle wine with lots of cherry.  92 points

Teri: If I never tried this wine I would still love it for the label. Having spent time in Australia and seeing the little fairy blue penguins this wine label brings back great memories. But after trying the wine I feel the label is spot on classifying the wine inside at the same awe inspiring level as these extraordinary animals and the price as small as their size. This merlot has a full rich flavor not commonly found in merlots with extremely smooth flavors of black cherry, rhubarb, and blackberry with a slight finish of strawberry and smoke/spice. High points for the wine and some bonus for the amazing label. 94 points