As the cooler months are upon us we’ve been heading back to some bigger reds. Taking a breather from traditional examples of Aussie Shiraz, we’ve been enjoying what the new wave of winemakers has been up to.
Here’s a quick hit list of new wave Australian Shiraz you need to get in your cellar.
Sami-Odi is Fraser McKinley’s own label based out of the Barossa. With fruit sourced mainly from the Dallwitz vineyard these wines come in stumpy bottles with some rather unique artwork attached. With everything from multi-vintage blends, to single plots and even individual vines there is a wine for all occasions.
Our pick for the cellar is the 2013 DW-Old, a blend of the oldest block in the Dallwitz vineyard. Planted between 1888 and 1912 the vines produce an intense wine full of Barossa power and dark fruit, yet with some layered savoury notes already showing. Not the best vintage but a wine that shines in the glass. Tuck it away for 4 to 8 years.
Adam Foster knows a bit about Shiraz having worked in some of Frances best known Syrah wine regions. Making wines from different vineyards in the Heathcote region of Victoria he spends serious time researching sites to get some of the very best examples of Victorian Shiraz fruit available.
The 2009 La La is a one for some serious cellar time. Having seen 100% new French oak for 36 months, this is destined for the cellar to reach its best. It’s a big structured wine with intense dark cherry, violets and spice. A pure acid line and the concentration of dark brooding red fruits combine for a wine that’s powerful as well as finessed. Adam thinks this will go another 20 years, put it away for a very special occasion.
On other side of the Shiraz fence is the 2013 Demi, a selection of Shiraz from the Greenstone vineyard in Heathcote. Great value with juicy crunchy acidity, this is one to enjoy now.
It would be a crime not to mention the Hunter Valley when it comes to Aussie Shiraz. The Worthington family are fairly new to the game in this, the oldest of Australian wine regions, having only launched their first wines in 2012.
The 2013 Silver Fox Syrah is an ode to those old style Hunter Burgundy’s of yesteryear. Poised in the lighter spectrum of Shiraz, it blends mulberries, red and blackcurrent with a sinuous line of fine tannin. Drinking beautifully now it will easily go another 5 years in the cellar, building secondary savoury character that the Hunter is famed for.
OK, so all of the Ruggabellus wines are blends. However the 2013 Archaeus is the Shiraz dominant of the portfolio with 77% Shiraz, 11% Grenache, 8% Mataro and 4% Cinsault. Adel Gibson comes from a long line of Barossa winemaking pedigree, (his dad worked for all the greats and now runs Gibson wines) plus he’s worked with some legends himself including Chris Ringland.
The Archaeus shows classic Barossa fruit concentration with blackberry, redcurrent and a touch of oak. Rich and rounded but with great acid line this medium to full bodied Shiraz blend finishes long with a nice savoury edge. Still looking good, this is a mid-term cellaring option for another 5 years.