What to know about 19 Crimes wine
When Australia was a prison island as opposed to the sunny barbecue destination it is now, committing any one of 19 crimes led to ‘punishment by transportation’ to an untamed, hot, diseased wilderness as it was seen. Hence, 19 crimes was born. A wine that reflects heritage and features real people to embody their wines. The bottles even come with an augmented reality feature, all you have to do is scan a QR code on your phone, point the camera at the bottle, and the convict will share their story in a very Harry Potter-esque style.
The convicts on labels, black bottles, augmented reality and even collaborations with Snoop Dog tell you just what a powerful brand this is. They also have 19 different corks, each with a different crime as printed back in the 1700s. And it isn’t all just bells, whistles and corks. The wines themselves are actually good: they are accessible and very good value in a busy market.
How are the Wines?
19 Crimes Red Blend
This is arguably the most loved of the range, and I can see why. It is fruit forward, strong (particularly in alcohol at 15%), rich and smooth. In typical Australian fashion, it is a Shiraz led blend, softened by merlot and given structure by Cabernet Sauvignon. Expect vanilla, chocolate, plum, blueberry, blackberry and cherry flavours. Real decadence!
19 Crimes The Banished
Elusively named as a non-varietal blend (but I suspect a lot of Shiraz in this one too), it is not dissimilar to the Red Blend but carries a lighter berry fruit to cut through the heavier flavours and uses heftier levels of oak with clove, cinnamon and vanilla notes. It also has a sweeter taste about it, although it is by no means a sweet wine.
19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon
A very ripe Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is very much on trend with desires for full flavoured and silky wines. Redcurrant, cranberry and berry flavours meet soft vanilla and chocolate notes. A little aromatic lift comes from some herbaceous violet too.
19 Crimes The Uprising
This wine recalls Australia’s ‘Rum Rebellion’ due to the government hindering the trade in 1808. As a result, it has been part-aged in rum barrels giving it a deeply decadent jammy backbone and smoky finish.
19 Crimes The Deported
Another blend, which takes blending to the next level. This is infused with a shot of Cold Brew Colombian Coffee giving it a real coffee kick on the finish in particular. It is dark and rich with cherry, berry and chocolate flavours all underpinned by coffee.
19 Crimes Chardonnay
This embodies all that is great about New World Chardonnays. Ripe stone fruit and tropical flavours are supported with toasty and vanilla elements from oak with a buttery finish. A delectable drop of honey rounds out the finish in style.
19 Crimes Sauv Block
Their Sauvignon takes a bit of a different tone and steers towards the lighter side of wine. It is crisp and refreshing balanced by strong flavours and good acidity. Gooseberry, guava, grapefruit and passion fruit are the mainstays and typical of a good quality Sauvignon Blanc.
19 Crimes Revolutionary Rosé
In a revolutionary manner, the Rose jumps ship and is actually sourced from Spanish vineyards. It is a dry style, alive with strawberry, raspberry and peach with a hint of rose petals. The finish ends refreshingly with sweet spices.
19 Crimes Sparkling White
The newest addition to the range provides a clean, crisp fizz to enjoy. It is full of lemon zest and pear drop flavours. Even a little grapey hint comes out, which, strangely, is unusual for wine. Great as an aperitif or to challenge your Prosecco loyalty.
This blog was written by our wine expert, David Andrews. Read his Instagram blog @oinosattheoikos
Updated 15th August 2023