The Shiraz grape (called Syrah in the U.S. and Europe) found a great home in Australia, and this popular varietal thrives in the tough climate. The thin soil, lack of water, and hot Australian summers make this grape especially vigorous and intensely-flavored – – and the resulting wine can often cellar for decades. Some of the flavors expressed in Shiraz wines include dark berries, spice, dark chocolate, licorice, and even a delicious “tar.” Some of the cooler regions express a ripe raspberry flavor, and each Shiraz-growing region of Australia will produce distinctly different expressions of this grape in its wines.
We have been on the lookout for more Australian Shiraz, and we have a few new ones just off the truck as of yesterday:
Razor’s Edge Shiraz, McLaren Vale
The Razor’s Edge Shiraz has a nose of intense blackberry laced with spice and fresh black licorice. The palate offers rich, ripe plum and blackberry, with a luscious texture. This wine has soft, velvety tannins, and a nice balance of fruit with the tannins.
Penfolds makes a wide range of Shirazes in many different styles and price ranges, and we think they offer some of the greatest values currently available for this grape. Their Thomas Hyland Shiraz features aromas of pepper and spice, with notes of plums, dark fruit, Black Forest Cake, licorice and aniseed. The palate features cherry chocolate, plum, and dark fruitcake. The well-balanced use of oak adds a creamy, warm texture of vanilla and toast, with a sweet mid-palate and lovely, velvety tannins on the finish. The Thomas Hyland Shirazes are bright, fruit-driven wines; they are well-made, generous wines but overall lighter in weight than the Penfolds Bin range.
Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre grapes make up a classic blend originally grown in France’s Rhône Valley – – and the Australians have given this blend a delightful twist. The Stump Jump has a nose of plum, dark cherry, game, earth and black pepper. The palate adds mulberry, raspberry and a beautiful spice with a dash of minerally grit. The fine, powdery tannins are fruity and lively, making for a nice long finish. A charming GSM!
We are happy to have found these great little wines, and we think you will agree that they are delicious additions to your weekday wine rack! Look for them in the Australia-New Zealand section of the shop.