Shiraz grapes (also known as Syrah) flourish in Australia, and are the most successful variety grown there. They grow throughout the country and can be seen in practically every region, although Barossa Valley is the most historic and is home to vines which are more than 100 years old. Where they are grown has a big impact on the flavour of the wine they make, with products ranging from full bodied rich flavours to medium bodied aromatic ones.
Australian Shiraz is renowned and has helped make the country one of the largest wine exporters in the world. A little known fact is that the Syrah grapes grown along the northern side of the Rhone in France are the exact same grapes as those found in Australia, although the wines made there are remarkably different in flavour.
There are many different varieties of Shiraz to choose from, meaning that this versatile wine has something to offer everyone. The taste will depend on the region it comes from and the techniques used by the producer to make it.
The Shaw and Smith Shiraz is very highly regarded and the 2012 vintage was honoured with a National Trophy from the International Wine Challenge in 2014. It is made in the Adelaide Hills using grapes from two different sites. The location and different grapes produces great flavour and balance. The cool climates give it an elegance to go with the berry flavours. It also has amazing elements of pepper and clove spice.
Barossa Valley is still the most famous wine region in Australia, and is home to many great Shiraz makers. John Duval is one of the most renowned names in this region, having served as chief winemaker at Penfolds before setting up under his own name.
Two of John Duval’s wines, Plexus and Entity Shiraz, are amongst the best examples of Australian Shiraz. The second sets the benchmark for the region with its complex flavours and well rounded finish featuring plum, bold spices and creamy vanilla oak. The Plexus is only marginally behind thanks to its bold flavours of summer fruit juice and rich softness.