Barry Weinman: 4th October 2015
This tasting reinforced two points
- The diversity of wine styles that can be made with Shiraz
- What good value Australian Shiraz can be
I am often asked whether a wine that costs $40 is twice as good as a wine that costs $20. Clearly the answer is no. Like most things in life, the law of diminishing returns applies. The incremental gains in quality become smaller as the price increases. Often, it is the intangible aspects like brand, reputation and label that justify the highest prices.
I also like to point out that mid-price Shiraz offers the best value red wines on the market. Between $15 and $25, there are a number of excellent wines.
In this tasting, there were a number of highlights. None more so than the Shingleback Haycutters. A remarkable wine for the price. That said, every wine reviewed here deserves consideration, be it for delicious current drinking or for cellaring.
Xabregas – Shiraz – 2012 (18.3). A very complex nose with earthy, raspberry fruit over chocolate notes. The palate is dominated by ripe fruit with plum, licorice and black pepper. This is multifaceted and evolving. Not for the faint of heart, this is a powerful, Shiraz that will be great now or over the next 5 years. (RRP $26).
Shingleback – Shiraz – Haycutters – 2013 (18+). Fine, intense fruit that is elegant and refined on the nose. The palate is long and dense, with powerful ripe fruit, grippy tannins and texturing cedary notes from the oak. The addition of 2% Viognier no doubt adding to the immediate appeal. A remarkable wine for the price. (RRP $17).
Angove – Shiraz – Family Reserve – 2014 (18).. Dense, chocolaty fruit here, so typical of McLaren Vale. The palate is almost thick, with rich plum, licorice and mocha notes. Concentrated fruit, but not overripe, the fresh acidity and fine tannins conferring life to the finish. Try it with a BBQ steak this spring. (RRP $22).
Hollick – Shiraz – The Baird – 2013 (18). White pepper, raspberry and plum fruit characters over spice, cinnamon and leather The ample fine tannins and texturing oak add to a chewy, mouth filling palate that is both long and intense. A powerful cooler climate wine that is excellent value. (RRP $24).
Leeuwin Estate – Shiraz – Siblings – 2012 (17.8). Fresh, elegant fruit on the nose, with white pepper and spice over satsuma plum and red currant. The finish has vitality, with the elegant fruit the key feature. There is also very good length. Clearly cooler climate, this is a delicious, earlier drinking wine. ($22 from Dan Murphy).
Redman – Shiraz – Coonawara – 2012 (17.8). Real depth and weight to the fruit, with mint, eucalypt, spice and licorice. The palate has vibrant, good quality fruit, but the tannins and acid close the finish down. A serious effort that needs a few years to open up. I preferred this to the current release Cabernets for this Coonawara Stalwart. (RRP $30). (Cork Closure)