Tim Kirk of Clonakilla presented a session principally designed to show the cooler-climate expressions of Australian Shiraz, no doubt aimed at dispelling the myth that ‘Australia Shiraz’ equals overly alcoholic, burly wines that are little more than ‘fruit bombs’ (sadly, a common enough opinion in some parts of the world, although not, mercifully, in mainland China where the whole concept of ‘Australian Shiraz’ is relatively new).
Seminar 3: ‘Shiraz – seriously cool’ Blind-Tasting presented by Tim Kirk
- 2004 Paringa Estate Reserve Shiraz, Mornington Peninsula
- 2004 Yabby Lake Roc Shiraz, Mornington Peninsula
- 2005 Plantagenet Shiraz, Great Southern
- 2005 Forest Hill Block 9 Shiraz, Great Southern
- 2006 Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz, Grampians
- 2005 Dalwhinnie Wines Moonambel Shiraz, Pyrenees
- 2006 Shaw + Smith Shiraz, Adelaide Hills
- 2006 Ngeringa Syrah, Adelaide Hills
- 2006 De Bortoli Reserve Syrah, Yarra Valley
- 2004 Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 2 Shiraz , Yarra Valley
- 2006 Collector Reserve Shiraz, Canberra District
- 2005 Clonakilla Shiraz/Viognier, Canberra District
- 2005 Giaconda Warner Vineyard Shiraz, Beechworth
- 2004 Castagna Genesis Syrah, Beechworth
- 2006 Best’s Wines Bin 0 Shiraz, Great Western
- 2004 Seppelt St Peters Shiraz, Great Western
It was significant that this was the first blind-tasting of the Tutorial which, arguably, gave the wines a real chance to show without bias as to origin, either regionally or by producer. Whilst some participants probably wanted to see, glass against glass, the major differences between warmer and ‘cooler-climate’ styles, there were plenty of opportunities in other parts of the Tutorial to see classic warm climate Shiraz at work.
One issue that affects the domestic wine trade in Australia, however, is consumer unwillingness to countenance that some of these cooler zones even produce Shiraz. Kim Bickley, sommelier, recounted how well-nigh impossible it would be to maintain, for example, a Mornington Peninsula Shiraz on a wine list, simply because the region is etched in people’s minds with Pinot Noir.
These remarks were aired earlier on a side-visit to Paringa Estate, where Fongyee and I had heard just how hard it is for this winery, and others in a similar position in Mornington Peninsula, to sell its award-winning Shiraz. Perhaps wine competitions in Australia geared toward cooler-climate expressions will help in raising awareness of some of these wonderful wines among wine lovers, both home and abroad.
For my money, in what was a very high quality line-up, the stand-out wines at this tasting were: 2005 Plantagenet Shiraz, Great Southern, 2005 Forest Hill Block 9 Shiraz, Great Southern, 2006 Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz, Grampians, 2005 Dalwhinnie Wines Moonambel Shiraz, Pyrenees, 2004 Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 2 Shiraz , Yarra Valley, 2005 Clonakilla Shiraz/Viognier, Canberra District, 2005 Giaconda Warner Vineyard Shiraz, Beechworth, 2006 Best’s Wines Bin 0 Shiraz, Great Western, 2004 Seppelt St Peters Shiraz, Great Western.