Sometimes the good intentioned get into no good situations. Such is the story of John Boyle O’Reilly. Irishman by birth. Poet and activist by passion and trade. In 1867 John Boyle O’Reilly was banished from England to Australia on the Hougoumont – the last ship to transport convicts to the down under British colony. He was sentenced to 20 years of servitude for his role in the Fenian Conspiracy – an uprising against British rule in Ireland. Nineteen crimes turned criminal into colonists. Upon conviction, British rogues, guilty of at least one of the 19 crimes were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death. This punishment by ‘transportation’ began in 1788, and amany of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited. As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick by brick. this wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built. It would be a crime not to drink it!
19 Crimes wine is a deeply opaque blackish-red color with streaks of purple in the center going out into a dark ruby-red rim definition with medium-high viscosity. The wine exudes tremendous ripe crushed blackberry fruit, including boysenberry, black currant and elder fruit. Then there is some creme de cassis, faint oak references, vanilla custard, creme brulee and fruit-driven minerals with just a touch of “heat” as well. There is impressive concentration with gobs of jammy black currant, boysenberry marmalade, concentrated extracted blackberry fruit — featuring superb balance with the fruit and tannins in complete harmony — and then nicely complemented by minerals and a hint of star anise. The midpalate is a firmly structured and seamless fruit effort with excellent delineation going into the lengthy finish that shows blackberry extract throughout, even hints of sweetness.