If there is one red variety Australia does, it’s Shiraz, but to often all Aussie Shiraz is tar with the same brush – big alcoholic fruit bombs. Part of the reason we love Shiraz comes down to its vibrant fruity notes dark and red berries and plummy notes, it is general voluptuous and smooth with the wines on the cheaper end offering much more sweet fruit notes. But is simply note a one size fits all variety. The variety produces various different styles depending on the region it is grown in the most famous two being Barossa and McLaren Vale. But it also inspires in wines from many other regions where the climates vary extraordinarily and hence the styles do as well – think cool climate like NSW’s Orange and SA’s Adelaide Hills.
Generally speaking here’s what to expect
- Barossa is big and bold flavours and body.
- McLaren Vale tends to a bit lighter with earthy and mocha notes.
- Clare Valley tends to berry flavours with hints of Mint and Eucalyptus and again a medium to full style.
- Orange is a beacon for producing cool climate wines of finesse and elegance in an old world style. Rich plum, and dark berries with pepper notes.
- Adelaide hills another cool climate district that produces refined Shiraz with red berry flavours and cracked pepper notes.
But these are so general to be easily ignored, as the individual wine makers look to craft unique interpretation of their own.
Three to try
1) O’Leary Walker Shiraz 2010 €19.95
A blend of 70% Clare Valley Fruit with 30 % McLaren Vale. Showing blueberries and blackberries of Clare with a little under one-third McLaren Vale Shiraz to rev it up. Mocha, dark fruits and oak on a firm palate, fine tannin profile promises this wine will age gracefully.
2) Logan Shiraz 2009 €21.95
Hailing from the cool Orange region. The Logan 2009 Shiraz is a deep but bright red colour. The intensely perfumed aroma has mixed berries, white pepper, dried woody herbs and Chinese 5 spice characters. The medium bodied palate has flavours of red berries, plums and tarragon before a long spicy finish.
3) Yalumba ‘Galway Vintage’ Shiraz 2011 €17.95
This Shiraz shows all the hallmarks of a traditional Barossa Red. It has a bright colour with crimson hues. There are aromas of mulberries, ground spice and liquorice all sorts that speak of its varietal and regional origins. The palate is ripe and generous with flavours of mulberries, dark chocolate and hints of beetroot. It finishes with cocoa powder like tannins that give evenness and generosity to the wine.