Awhile back, I wrote about a dining experience in which I grudgingly forced a waiter to open a bottle of wine that wasn’t available by the glass and serve it to me by the glass anyway due to an error in vintage presentation on the wine list. I scoffed at the idea of drinking the 2006 Mollydooker Shiraz The Boxer over the 2005, which was Wine Spectator Top 100 Wine last year. I ended up drinking three glasses of some of the best wine I’ve tasted all year for about half the price (the Schild Shiraz Barossa Valley 2005, my wine of the month for October.) However, in retrospect, I was probably a bit too hard on the 2006 The Boxer, and the wine was able to prove itself to me in very impressive form at a tasting recently. I find it only fair to honor this inexpensive, widely available and stylistically made wine as my December wine of the month.

MOLLYDOOKER SHIRAZ THE BOXER SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2006, 91 Points, $20, 24,000 cases made

Deep, dark aromas of smoked meat, blackberry and licorice. Fleshy, inky body of smoke, meat and black licorice with notes of leather, black cherry and tons of peppery spice. This is a velvety Syrah that draws upon its strong black and blue fruit components and well integrated spiciness to carry through the long finish.

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