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Cooler Shades of Shiraz

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Shiraz. A much-loved variety that’s won Australia considerable praise over the years, with the best examples often coming from warm sunny places where gnarled old vines have a knack for turning out some truly spellbinding wines. But great as that style of Shiraz is, there are others – cooler, darker, fresher, spicier styles that are every bit as spellbinding as their sun-loving siblings, and they’re not just limited to Australia either.

For the next two weeks, we’re celebrating the cooler face of Shiraz (aka Syrah). There are no sledgehammers here. Just a dozen mid-weight, easy-drinking wines layered with exotic aromatics and delicate textures, minus the big alcohols and heavy-handed use of oak that, in our opinion, still dominate too many examples.

As always, we’ve tried to cast the net as far and wide as possible in an effort to give you as broad a snapshot of this style as possible. Pepper, spice and all things nice – you’ll find it here in abundance. We hope you enjoy the selection.

Happy drinking,

The Drinks List Team

Large Pack (12 Bottles) - Cooler Shades of Shiraz
$350 inc GST
Add to cart lrg
  • 1. PUNT ROAD ‘Napoleone Vineyard’ Shiraz 2016
    YARRA VALLEY, VICTORIA

    Following in the footsteps of the much-lauded 2015 Punt Road Shiraz (a wine that scooped numerous awards at both the Royal Melbourne & Yarra Valley Wine Shows), the current instalment is right on point. From the warm & quick 2016 vintage, this is a bright & juicy wine where glossy red & blue fruit, lifted whole-bunch spice & fine silky texture combine to create one extremely delicious wine. Drink it with fried pork tonkatsu.

  • 2. JAMSHEED HAREM ‘La Syrah' 2015
    MULTI-REGIONAL, VICTORIA

    Our favourite ‘La Syrah’ to date draws fruit from select Victorian vineyards in both the Yarra Valley & the Pyrenees. Whole-bunch fermented using indigenous yeasts, expect a wave of wild cherry, spiced plum, clove & cinnamon on the nose, while in your mouth it’s not at all heavy, comes loaded with sour cherry fruit & is bookended by a wash of fine savoury tannins. Drink it with beef rendang.

  • 3. REED ‘Knife Edge’ Shiraz 2016
    GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA

    Sierra Reed’s debut Grenache blew our minds (& many of yours, too) last year for its purity & lightness of touch. This year, we’re honoured to be among the first to sell Sierra’s 2016 ‘Knife Edge’ Shiraz. Fermented wild (including a third whole bunches) & matured in old French oak, expect a floral & fragrant nose of dried leaf, incense & forest fruit, while the palate feels almost Pinot-like, with racy acidity & a wash of uber-fine tannins to end. Drink it with roast five-spice duck.

  • 4. NORTH RUN ‘North Harcourt’ Shiraz 2015
    BENDIGO, VICTORIA

    North Run is the debut solo project from sommelier-turned-winemaker Lincoln Riley (Stokehouse, Taxi, Maze). Drawn from the granitic soils of the Harcourt Valley, expect a cool, dark & fragrant wine packing plenty of bright blue & black fruit, cool earth & mild spice notes. It’s mid-weight & controlled in your mouth, too, before tangy acidity & firm drying tannins bring it to a close. Drink it with Toulouse sausages & mash.

  • 5. SIMÃO & CO. Old Vine Shiraz 2015
    GLENROWAN, VICTORIA

    Simon Killeen is one of the current generation of winemakers championing the next chapter of Victoria’s iconic north-east. While Glenrowan is hardly cool climate, this wine boasts a level of finesse & control that you’d generally expect to find much further up the Hume Hwy. Drawn from vines planted early last century, expect plenty of confit red & black fruit coupled with smells of dried leaf & lifted sweet spice. In your mouth it’s bright, intense, fine boned & beautifully balanced. Drink it with beef tataki.

  • 6. NICK O’LEARY Shiraz 2015
    CANBERRA DISTRICT

    Following on from the delicious 2014 Nick O’Leary Shiraz, the 2015 example takes things to a whole new level. A two-time winner of NSW Wine of the Year, expect a cool, dark & floral nose that’s layered with everything from white pepper & spiced cherry smells through to exotic notes of citrus, sandalwood & smoked meat. In your mouth, it’s mid-weight, pure & tightly wound. Drink it with slow-roasted pork belly.

  • 7. LANSDOWNE ‘Peloton’ Syrah 2016
    ADELAIDE HILLS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

    We’re honoured to be the first retailer in the country to offer Lansdowne’s delicious 2016 ‘Peloton’ Syrah. From fruit grown 350 m up in the chilly Adelaide Hills, & assembled by the talented Peter Leske, this is a cracking expression of cool-climate Shiraz. Expect a pure & deeply layered nose of blueberry, blackberry & red cherry-like fruit coupled with smells of ground Middle Eastern spices. Dangerously easy to drink, & perfect with slow-cooked lamb shanks with couscous.

  • 8. HERSEY ‘Tunnel Vision’ Syrah 2015
    ADELAIDE HILLS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

    Jono Hersey’s ‘Tunnel Vision’ Syrah is seriously good. Drawn from a tiny plot in the Adelaide Hills, the good news is that it’s all hand-picked, wild fermented (including 30% whole bunches), matured in old French oak for 18 months & bottled minus fining or filtration, but the bad news is that Jono made all of two barrels. Expect a barrage of forest fruits, citrus peel, juniper, spice & dried leaf, while the palate is mid-weight, mineral textured, long & savoury. Drink it with coq au vin.

  • 9. FRANKLAND ESTATE Shiraz 2015
    FRANKLAND RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

    Warm days, chilly nights & the rocky ironstone-rich soils of Isolation Ridge are the key ingredients in this jaw-dropping example of cool-climate Shiraz from Australia’s extreme south-west corner. Fermented long & cool (& including 3% Viognier), expect a dark & tightly wound nose of graphite, white pepper, clove, incense & black cherry, while in your mouth it’s medium-bodied & well supported by vibrant acidity & a wash of tight grainy tannins. Drink it with sticky beef short ribs.

  • 10. A.A. BADENHORST ‘Secateurs’ Shiraz Blend 2014
    SWARTLAND, SOUTH AFRICA

    Swartland-based winemaker Adi Badenhorst is currently handcrafting some of the most exciting wines coming out of South Africa. From old, unirrigated bush vines, this Shiraz-dominant blend (Shiraz 51%, Cinsault 40%, Grenache 9%) is brilliant. Expect layers of confit plum, violet, freshly ground coffee & spice bazaar smells on the nose, while the palate is medium–full-bodied, long & nicely balanced. Drink it with all-day shoulder of lamb.

  • 11. CURATOLO ARINI ‘Paccamora’ Syrah 2015
    SICILY, ITALY

    Drawn from the clay-rich soils of Trapani in Sicily’s west, the 2015 instalment of ‘Paccamora’ Syrah is primed for drinking now. Fermented cool in stainless steel, expect a nose full of sweet dark cherry, blood plum, pepper, tobacco & five-spice, while the palate is pure & focused with sweet plummy fruit taking centrestage & gentle drying tannins to finish. Drink it with pappardelle & duck ragu.

  • 12. MAXIME GRAILLOT ‘Equinoxe' Crozes-Hermitage 2015
    NORTHERN RHÔNE, FRANCE

    Son of legendary Northern Rhône producer Alain Graillot, Maxime Graillot (together with long-time friend & business partner Thomas Schmittel) continues to build a solid reputation as one of modern France’s true stars. Fermented cool in concrete tanks (with a portion of whole berries), the screw-capped ‘Equinoxe’ is easy-drinking Syrah at its best. Expect smells of sour cherry, citrus, bunch & spice, while the palate is crunchy, insanely fresh & loaded with sour-cherry-like fruit. Drink it with Sunday cassoulet.

Show all profiles
12 Cracking bottles for $350 inc GST
Medium Pack (6 Bottles) - Cooler Shades of Shiraz
$180 inc GST
Add to cart med
  • 1. REED ‘Knife Edge’ Shiraz 2016
    GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA

    Sierra Reed’s debut Grenache blew our minds (& many of yours, too) last year for its purity & lightness of touch. This year, we’re honoured to be among the first to sell Sierra’s 2016 ‘Knife Edge’ Shiraz. Fermented wild (including a third whole bunches) & matured in old French oak, expect a floral & fragrant nose of dried leaf, incense & forest fruit, while the palate feels almost Pinot-like, with racy acidity & a wash of uber-fine tannins to end. Drink it with roast five-spice duck.

  • 2. NICK O’LEARY Shiraz 2015
    CANBERRA DISTRICT

    Following on from the delicious 2014 Nick O’Leary Shiraz, the 2015 example takes things to a whole new level. A two-time winner of NSW Wine of the Year, expect a cool, dark & floral nose that’s layered with everything from white pepper & spiced cherry smells through to exotic notes of citrus, sandalwood & smoked meat. In your mouth, it’s mid-weight, pure & tightly wound. Drink it with slow-roasted pork belly.

  • 3. LANSDOWNE ‘Peloton’ Syrah 2016
    ADELAIDE HILLS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

    We’re honoured to be the first retailer in the country to offer Lansdowne’s delicious 2016 ‘Peloton’ Syrah. From fruit grown 350 m up in the chilly Adelaide Hills, & assembled by the talented Peter Leske, this is a cracking expression of cool-climate Shiraz. Expect a pure & deeply layered nose of blueberry, blackberry & red cherry-like fruit coupled with smells of ground Middle Eastern spices. Dangerously easy to drink, & perfect with slow-cooked lamb shanks with couscous.

  • 4. FRANKLAND ESTATE Shiraz 2015
    FRANKLAND RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

    Warm days, chilly nights & the rocky ironstone-rich soils of Isolation Ridge are the key ingredients in this jaw-dropping example of cool-climate Shiraz from Australia’s extreme south-west corner. Fermented long & cool (& including 3% Viognier), expect a dark & tightly wound nose of graphite, white pepper, clove, incense & black cherry, while in your mouth it’s medium-bodied & well supported by vibrant acidity & a wash of tight grainy tannins. Drink it with sticky beef short ribs.

  • 5. A.A. BADENHORST ‘Secateurs’ Shiraz Blend 2014
    SWARTLAND, SOUTH AFRICA

    Swartland-based winemaker Adi Badenhorst is currently handcrafting some of the most exciting wines coming out of South Africa. From old, unirrigated bush vines, this Shiraz-dominant blend (Shiraz 51%, Cinsault 40%, Grenache 9%) is brilliant. Expect layers of confit plum, violet, freshly ground coffee & spice bazaar smells on the nose, while the palate is medium–full-bodied, long & nicely balanced. Drink it with all-day shoulder of lamb.

  • 6. MAXIME GRAILLOT ‘Equinoxe' Crozes-Hermitage 2015
    NORTHERN RHÔNE, FRANCE

    Son of legendary Northern Rhône producer Alain Graillot, Maxime Graillot (together with long-time friend & business partner Thomas Schmittel) continues to build a solid reputation as one of modern France’s true stars. Fermented cool in concrete tanks (with a portion of whole berries), the screw-capped ‘Equinoxe’ is easy-drinking Syrah at its best. Expect smells of sour cherry, citrus, bunch & spice, while the palate is crunchy, insanely fresh & loaded with sour-cherry-like fruit. Drink it with Sunday cassoulet.

Show all profiles
6 Cracking bottles for $180 inc GST
Small Pack (3 Bottles) - Cooler Shades of Shiraz
$90 inc GST
Add to cart sml
  • 1. REED ‘Knife Edge’ Shiraz 2016
    GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA

    Sierra Reed’s debut Grenache blew our minds (& many of yours, too) last year for its purity & lightness of touch. This year, we’re honoured to be among the first to sell Sierra’s 2016 ‘Knife Edge’ Shiraz. Fermented wild (including a third whole bunches) & matured in old French oak, expect a floral & fragrant nose of dried leaf, incense & forest fruit, while the palate feels almost Pinot-like, with racy acidity & a wash of uber-fine tannins to end. Drink it with roast five-spice duck.

  • 2. LANSDOWNE ‘Peloton’ Syrah 2016
    ADELAIDE HILLS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

    We’re honoured to be the first retailer in the country to offer Lansdowne’s delicious 2016 ‘Peloton’ Syrah. From fruit grown 350 m up in the chilly Adelaide Hills, & assembled by the talented Peter Leske, this is a cracking expression of cool-climate Shiraz. Expect a pure & deeply layered nose of blueberry, blackberry & red cherry-like fruit coupled with smells of ground Middle Eastern spices. Dangerously easy to drink, & perfect with slow-cooked lamb shanks with couscous.

  • 3. MAXIME GRAILLOT ‘Equinoxe' Crozes-Hermitage 2015
    NORTHERN RHÔNE, FRANCE

    Son of legendary Northern Rhône producer Alain Graillot, Maxime Graillot (together with long-time friend & business partner Thomas Schmittel) continues to build a solid reputation as one of modern France’s true stars. Fermented cool in concrete tanks (with a portion of whole berries), the screw-capped ‘Equinoxe’ is easy-drinking Syrah at its best. Expect smells of sour cherry, citrus, bunch & spice, while the palate is crunchy, insanely fresh & loaded with sour-cherry-like fruit. Drink it with Sunday cassoulet.

Show all profiles
3 Cracking bottles for $90 inc GST