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The Best Australian Shiraz, According To People Who Drink It For A Living

"A savoury bomb full of tight black olives."

The Best Australian Shiraz, According To People Who Drink It For A Living

There’s a time of week when you’re after something fun-loving and easy to drink. For those days a Merlot or Nebbiolo could be on the cards. There also comes a time when you want something a little more hard hitting. Whether it’s to accompany a thick juicy steak or you’re simply after something a little riper and full flavoured, these are the moments when you crack open a Shiraz.

But what to pick? Although Shiraz is the fairly specific love-child of two obscure French grapes (Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche), it is now grown internationally, and Australia is one of the most prolific producers: so how do you decide which of its many quality vintages to lash out on?

You either strike out on your own and end up with a fuzzy mouth and a hangover, or you read this list and end up with a waitlist for your next dinner party and an epiphany. Well: perhaps the difference isn’t quite that pronounced: but you get our drift.

These are the best bottles of Australian Shiraz, picked by some of the country’s foremost sommeliers and wine connoisseurs.

Battley Syrah by Russell Bourne

Vintage: 2010

Picked by: Sean McManus, Sommelier at French restaurant Hubert in Sydney’s CBD, and Italian restaurant Alberto, Surrey Hills.

Sean’s two cents: From Beechworth, Victoria this vintage was challenging and rewarding at the same time. 2010’s cool drying autumn saw great elegance and complexity in this European style Syrah (Shiraz). A savoury bomb full of tight black olives, blasts of truffle and wafts of wild herbs, melting tannins saturate the palette of condensed black berry fruit, lifted by soft aromatic florals from 3% Viognier (grape) and gentlest splash of salty sea spray leave this Syrah perfectly poised.

Buy @ Cellar D’Or  $55

Harkham Aziza’s Preservative Free Hunter Valley

Vintage: 2016

Picked by: Chiara Danieli, head sommelier at Matteo Downtown.

Chiara’s two cents: Blackberry and juicy blue fruit, earth, spice. Fat, but medium bodied, with a load of silty tannin, round mid-palate, then a lick of soft acid and sweet fruited perfume to finish. So good to drink.

Buy @ Vaucluse Cellars  $40

Grampians ‘Over the Way’ Shiraz

Vintage: 2017

Picked by: Mark Willoughby, head honcho at Esoterica Wine & Food.

Mark’s two cents: Single vineyard shiraz grown at Rices Vineyard in the Grampians, 30 year old vines grow intensely flavoured grapes that are handpicked and processed then given 14 months in seasoned French oak. Only 1600 bottles produced, this wine shows great fruit intensity but retains an elegance that is the hallmark of great cool climate shiraz. Mid bodied, blackberry, cherry and spice, a wine for the warmth of the colonial Christmas and well matched to the ham and turkey fair. A premium shiraz without the premium price.

Buy @ Over The Way $35

St Hugo Shiraz

Vintage: 2016

Picked by: Luc Wiesman, founder of D’Marge and avid wine drinker.

Luc’s two cents: The Barossa Valley provides this wine’s dark berry fruits with opulent herb and spice characters. With a cellaring potential of over 10 years, you can either savour this generous, supple and loose-knit wine now, or save it for later. Check it out if you like a “big” wine, full of complexity and freshness.

Buy @ Dan Murphy’s   $33.60

Mollydooker The Boxer  Shiraz

Vintage: 2015

Picked by: Luc Wiesman, founder of D’Marge and avid wine drinker.

Luc’s two cents: The Boxer Shiraz epitomises the full-bodied Mollydooker style, so if you love succulent, soft and luscious wines, the Mollydooker Shiraz is worth a sip (or swig). Brimming with fresh black fruits, plums, figs and a hint of cigar box (and liquorice) this wine is velvety and layered with lovely warming oak—all without being too much.

Buy @ Vintage Cellars  $31.10

Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz

Vintage: 2017 

Picked by: Nick Stamford, Managing Director of MW Wines in Collingwood, Australia’s largest independent wine auction house.

Nick’s two cents: Easily the most approachable Jasper Georgia’s I’ve seen on release. This wine has all the hallmarks of great Heathcote Shiraz with deep red and black fruits, firm tannins and beautiful acidity from one of the pioneers of organic farming and winemaking. Jasper Hill has been organic since its vines were first planted in 1975.

Buy @ MW Wines $89

Linke Shiraz

Vintage: 2015

Picked by: James Booth, writer and wine event ‘enthusiast’ at D’Marge.

James’ two cents: Deep red-black hues invite you in, while the inky black colour hides its secrets. This Shiraz’s powerful aromatics (think liquorice, ripe blackberries and liqueured black cherries) are made to drink over the next 3-4 years, while its velvet smooth tannins, aftertaste of ripe black cherries, spicy vanillin oak and subtle hints of dark chocolate make this a great—and affordable—wine to add to your collection.

Buy @ Vintage Direct  $17.99

Australian Shiraz FAQ

Which is sweeter, Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon?

Cabernet has a sweeter taste, fruity like blackberry with mint and cassis. Shiraz is spicy, peppery and smokier, a lot more complex, with a savory and meaty notes.

What food pairs well with Shiraz?

Shiraz go well with hearty red meats, steaks, barbeque and wild game like venison and kangaroo. It also pairs well with grilled vegetable and thick stews.

How to store Shiraz after opening?

Full-bodied red wines like Shiraz and Merlot can last 3 to 5 days after opening when stored in a cool dark place or refrigerator with their cork on.

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