With over 45 000 hectares of Shiraz planted in Australia, Barossa Shiraz wine is the superstar of the country and Barossa valley. There might be some disputes over which is Barossa’s ‘greatest’ wine, but those who have tried Barossa Shiraz wine are aware of its high quality and have no doubts that it is what this region is most famous for. It is often stone-fruit driven, a little licorice-tinged, supported by warm, earthy tannins and although it is often ‘generous’, Shiraz can also be fine and supple.
Shiraz is well-suited to the Australian climate, so it is able to produce a great quantity of grapes on a single vine even in low fertile soils. Although versatile, it is most known for its peppery flavour and plum colour. If Shiraz is left to ripe more deeply, the peppery flavour develops into notes of dark cherries and stewed plums and after it becomes very ripe, flavours resemble chocolate and coffee.
Whichever style of Barossa Shiraz wine you choose to try, know you cannot go wrong, as Shiraz has been consistently recognized as the region’s superstar. So, let’s take a look at Shiraz’s modern evolution.
- 1970-1980 – Cabernet-Shiraz blends dominated which were also referred to as ‘claret’;
- 1990 – Shiraz was blended with Mataro and Grenache;
- 2000 – in the early part of the new millennium, Shiraz-Viognier caught the winemaker’s attention with the heavy aromatic lift of the white grape, often obscuring some young Shiraz vine limitations.
Nowadays, Shiraz is combined with more bold assemblages such as Malbec, Touriga, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and many more.
Although there are so many good Barossa wines, we present you some of the finest.
- Barossa Valley Estate Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2012 has a fragrant violet colour with a burst of red berry fruits lingering softly on a velvety texture which contains 14% alcohol. This sophisticated wine won the Blue Gold Medal at the Sydney International Wine Competition in March 2015.
- Charles Melton Nine Popes GSM 2009 has a very complex spicy nose. Upon tasting it, you can feel its sweet cedary aromatics from the whisper of new oak mingled with a hint of licorice. It is produced in Barossa Valley and contains 14.5% alcohol.
- Charles Melton Nine Popes GSM 2010 is an exquisite wine with a deep, bright crimson colour. It has a reserved but distinct Provencal herb nose with a hint of green leaf.
Despite the wide range of choices, generations have agreed that chasing wine trends and fashion, such as Mediterranean varietals, paranoid alcohol levels as well as fickle oak regimens, will only obscure the greatest asset of the region: the great, 170-year old tradition for producing Australia’s finest Barossa Shiraz wine.