"The Lackey" Shiraz 2013

Australia's back! Not really, but it should be and will be as more gems such as "The Lackey" Shiraz 2013 ($15) reach our shores. It's gorgeous to look at (crimson glory), fab and fun to smell (plums, pepper and Aussie licorice) and delightful on the palate, with dark fruit flavors and the kind of firm but harmonious grip that so many Down Under wines used to lack. Plus a swell, persistent finish. It's from Kilikanoon, an outfit that has always produced stellar stuff. This is the kind of wine that should make merchants and restaurateurs reconsider their disdain for Oz wines. Try this hearty red with lamb or game dishes and mushrooms, eggplant or other earthy veggies.

Available at Cedar Lake, Vinifera, North Loop, Hums, Excelsior Vintage and Cotroneo.

Bill Ward