Bright and juicy, with lively acidity to balance the fresh berry and spice flavors, which linger effectively on the generous finish. Drink now through 2009. 3,000 cases imported. Score: 89. —Harvey Steiman, October 15, 2006.
Curiously, Robert Parker gave it a "92":
Wine Advocate- A sexy, knock-out effort for drinking over the next 5-7 years is the 2005 Shiraz/Grenache Halliwell. This aromatic blend of 60% Shiraz and 40% Grenache offers up notes of blueberries, raspberries, cherries, earth, spice, and a hint of oak. It is full-bodied with juicy, concentrated flavors, supple tannins, and a velvety, opulent finish. Score: 92. —Robert Parker, October 2006.
and Joe Czerwinski gave it a "91":
Wine Enthusiast This is 60% Shiraz and 40% Grenache, with the Grenache providing some volume and roundness while the Shiraz provides the more assertive flavor notes. It’s a heady blend of sweet—cola—and savory—black olive and coffee—notes, with a long, supple finish. Drink now–2015. Score: 91. —Joe Czerwinski, November 01, 2007.
I love reviews. Read those three, then mine, and tell me if any of us tried the same wine. That said, I think in this case Czerwinski and Parker are a lot closer. Really, I can't imagine any reason this just got an "89" other than a price south of $20.00.
Producer Rolf Binder/Veritas
Variety 60% Shiraz 40% Grenache
Region South Australia
Appellation Barossa Valley
The Little Wooden Guy signals "TOUCHDOWN!" This is startlingly good stuff for the dollar. Heck, it's just good stuff.
The color is very dark, turning to purple-tinged scarlet at the edges.
The nose starts with a bit of barnyard must and earthiness, probably from the grenache. It also has plenty of fruit, starting with creamy blueberries, plus the dusty, fruity smell of a bag of dried strawberries. There is also a touch of fennel.
The palate is deep and rich, with a very smooth full mouth feel. Blueberries and blackberries in cream, plus a hint of licorice, open the attack. Some tart red fruit shows up on the mid-palate. Toward the finish, add vanilla and pepper. The finish is long. This is very nice, well balanced with fruit and sweet silky tannins.
The nose of Night Two is still fruity, but darker than on Night One, adding blackberries and elderberries to the creamy blueberries. The pepper shows up earlier on Night Two, on the attack rather than toward the finish. The fennel is still there.
The attack is very prickly peppery plus loads of black fruit, especially blackberry and elderberry. Vanilla, ample and espresso glow on the mid-palate. Tannins are very smooth and sweet. Finish is long.
This is very good. When you factor in a price under $20, it is terrific. Grenache tempers the jammy fruitiness of Barossa Valley shiraz.