Max Schubert deserved something better - the Karrawirra Barossa Valley Shiraz at $15.99 would fit the bill
There's something cheap and more than a little demeaning to the memory of a great man of the Australian wine industry about the Penfolds Max's Shiraz. The tawdry red bottle suits the quality of what is inside but fails to represent the company's former Chief Winemaker, Max Schubert. The man who established the company's reputation with Grange and other wonderful reds deserves a better memorial than this wine.
Sure it is adequate drinking in the house style but at $24.90 a bottle there is far better value elsewhere on the shelves of Dan Murphy. Drinkers are paying an extra $5 a bottle or more for the company and winemaker names. On the Owl's scale it's an 89*.
I tried it at dinner along with a 2016 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet which is down at the bottom of the brand's price scale. Sound and pleasant without any particular distinction. Perhaps this is another label where the dropping of the Penfolds name would enhance the aim of building that prestige image which the parent Treasury Wines keeps speaking of. $14 a bottle at Dan's and rated an 87*.
A wine of far more substance and distinction is the 2015 Karrawirra Barossa Valley Shiraz which the Owl also sampled recently - this time with considerable enthusiasm. A big and bold Barossan. At $15.99 it proves you don't have to crazy to enjoy the fruits of this region. Rates a 95* on the Owl's scale.
* You will find details of how the Owl does his ratings at RATINGS TO HELP YOU FIND GOOD BOTTLES AT VALUE FOR MONEY PRICES THAT GIVE PLEASURE OUT OF THE ORDINARY