Sunday, February 1, 2009


Permutations is known – in mathematics – as an ordered sequence of elements given from a finite set, without repetitions, and not necessarily using all the numbers in said set. An interesting name to choose for a wine, but then again, nothing can be surprising from the madmen behind R Wines, the Aussie venture by Grateful Palate founder Dan Philips and winemaking superstar Chris Ringland. And so it goes with the Permutations Pinot Noir, a brand new wine from Ringland and winemaker William Downie.

The Grade: OUTSTANDING. The Mojo: The Permutations Pinot Noir 2008 is a light and lively red with aromas and flavors of Bing cherries, ripe plum and fresh strawberries. There are hints of rosemary, Golden Beet and nutmeg, finishing up with creamy berries and toasted oak. A nice PN for the price.

What fascinates me about Luchador is the label, which is masked wrestlers with names like “Inferno” and “Gato Loco.” I wonder what these wrestlers infer. Is the wine wrestling your palate to the mat, beating your senses into submission? Regardless the inference, the outcome is another kooky package from the winemaking team at R Wines.

The Grade: OUTSTANDING. The Mojo: The Luchador Shiraz 2007 is a blend of fruit from Barossa Valley and Langhorne Creek. 100% Shiraz, this red clocks in at a somewhat subdued 14.5% (that’s subdued?) to showcase rich textures of blackberry and kirsch with flavors of oak, cocoa powder, loganberry and espresso leading into a long, robust finish. Textbook Aussie Shiraz with well-nuanced tannins, this is a nice little Shiraz for under $20.

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