A real sleeper within Australia's $20 reds class, Primo Estate's Il Briccone typically resembles a smoothly styled expression of ripe Australian shiraz, enlivened by an Italian inspired savoury twist. The 2010 sees a dominant shiraz component (with a good portion undoubtedly sourced from Primo's esteemed Angel Gully Vineyard at Clarendon) blended with 15% sangiovese, aged in older oak barrels for 14 months.
Really resonating out of the glass with dark aroma and colour, the 2010 Il Briccone packs a very ripe yet piercingly intense punch of spicy currants, dark plums and sour cherry, with trickles of melting chocolate bullets and tar providing an aromatic richness not too dissimilar to a stereotypical South Australian 'Reserve'; without the hefty oak, that is. Not for the first time, an Il Briccone palate startles me with its fullish, voluptuous body bursting with blackberries and sour dark plums, which move ever so smoothly into the mouth with a soft embrace of accessible tannin and slight, sour-edged acids. It's absolutely ready to roll and devoid of excessive hardness, although there is a very faint, savoury grit and curl towards the climax, most likely emanating from its sangiovese component. Other than that, it's straight up ripe and juicy, dark and delicious McLaren Vale shiraz of the early drinking variety.
ü At the darker end of the field, but still an ideal McLaren Vale quaff. I must ask though, has the standard price of a good Australian quaffer gone up recently? By about $5? It does taste that way... Drink to 2015.