Never underestimate a wine, simply based on its price, region, pedigree, reputation.......big names don't necessarily produce quality wines. This point was driven home last night, when I tasted a bottle of Niagara shiraz.
Shiraz has a bad reputation. For me at least. When I hear shiraz, I think about douchey people, with their douchey friends, talking in their douchey, stuck-up way. In other words, people that think it's fashionable and trendy to be drinking big red wines, but really don't have a clue. Which is a shame, because Rhone Valley wines are some of the wines that excited me about wine in the first place. When managed for properly, shiraz can create some of the most earthy, pure wines you'll ever drink.
My buddy brought over a bottle of 2006 Creekside Estate Winery Shiraz last night. A humble wine, by any stretch of the imagination. But it was actually quite well made, more so than the price would suggest. Lots of white pepper, earth and ripe berries on the nose. Develops so much sweetness and velvety texture in the mouth. Finish drops off a bit, but enough stiff tannins to leave an impression. Can age and would be wonderful with entrecotes.
Never judge a wine before you taste. What it's like in your mouth, that's all that matters.