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Syrah/Shiraz

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Berton Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com(see blue link below).

Berton Reserve Shiraz 2015 - August 2017 Decanter review

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard's estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

The grapes come from the Barossa Valley, in South Australia. Situated at a latitude of 34° South, the region is made up of rolling hills and valley floors. The growing season often sees hot, warm weather with temperatures of 35°C, which can result in vine stress, helping to concentrate the flavours in the berries. The wide diurnal temperature differences help to retain balancing acidity. Some of the grapes come from Berton's original vineyard in the Eden Valley, where the climate is cooler. The vine age is varied, but all vines have been spur pruned and are generally trained on a single wire cordon trellising system. The vines are planted at approximately 1.8 metres apart with 3.6 metres between the rows, to allow machinery access. The soil styles in the vineyards are varied, ranging from clay, to limestone and sandy soils, with each terroir adding its own characteristic to the final wine.

In 2017, the vineyard saw a wet winter followed by mild summer conditions, which provided the vines with good access to water and a long ripening period. This combination resulted in a great season. Cool nights allowed excellent flavour development in the grapes resulting in wines with concentrated flavours and balancing acidity. Harvesting took place during the last few days of April and first week of May.

The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks with regular skin submersion in order to extract the required colour and flavour from the grapes. After fermentation, the wine was pressed off into stainless steel tanks where it completed malolactic fermentation in the late autumn. The wine was then racked off into both French and American oak barrels resulting in a rich, spicy complex Shiraz.

Shiraz 100%.

The Reserve Shiraz is deepest dark red with a very youthful and vibrant garnet hue. The aromas are powerful and complex with a wealth of fruit ranging from ripe black cherries and blackberries with hints of eucalypt and spice. The rich and full palate displays soft flavours of plum skin, mulberry and hints of vanilla and blackberry, These abundant flavours are underpinned by fine vanilla from the oak and defined by exciting spicy tannins.

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.25

Berton Winemakers Reserve (The Black) Shiraz 2017 (1x75cl)

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard is one of Hallgarten's most important partners. The estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

2017 in Padthaway saw a wet and slightly warmer winter, which resulted in later bud burst than usual. The ripening period was slow and gradual with perfect weather conditions to allow flavours and colour to develop to full maturity.

Predominantly sourced from the vineyards in Padthaway, South Australia, where the soils are sandy loam over clay, formed on old lagoon sediments. These sandy soils lead to poor nutrient and water retention which helps to concentrate the flavours in the fruit. The vines are grown on single wire trellises, ensuring an open canopy. Drip irrigation is used in the vineyards to manage the water supply and reduce evaporation, as water is applied directly above the roots.

The parcels of fruit were fermented in stainless steel vertical fermenters for four to six days at temperatures maintained between 26 to 30°C. Wine was then bag pressed at 1° Baumé and left to ferment until dry. It was then racked onto French oak for malolactic fermentation. The wine was clarified via centrifuge into stainless steel storage. Once all parcels were completed, the final cuvée wascarefully blended and prepared for bottling.

Grape Shiraz 92%, Durif 8%.

Densely hued, this is a rich and fleshy Shiraz with generous minty blackberry, chocolate and mint flavours over hints of cedar oak. The Winemakers Reserve Black Shiraz is an extreme example of this Australian Shiraz with deep colour and aromas of blackberry and plum over toasty coffee and spicy oak. The palate is full flavoured and intense with rich plum, blueberry and mocha notes. The tannins are ripe and dense imparting great structure and length to the palate.

ABV = 14.5%.

£10.20

Darenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition expert tasting (by Matthew Jukes) of Australian Premium Shiraz (see blue link below).

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2016 - November 2019 Decanter review 

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breathtaking McLaren Vale in South Australia, and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often affected vines are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an 'arm' of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.

Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees; there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.

100% Shiraz.

This iconic wine always displays the power and intensity of McLaren Vale Shiraz, yet has an elegance and refinement that few other wines from the region possess. It’s vibrant and lifted on the nose with bustling red fruits and savoury spice. The palate is long, linear and pure with tightly wound tannin and mouth-watering acidity. Beneath the layers of blueberry, pomegranate and satsuma plum is an intriguing core of earth and crushed rocks. If stored correctly, this wine should age for 15+ years.

ABV = 15.0%.

£33.85

Fowles Wine Are You Game? Shiraz 2014 (1x75cl)

The Fowles family are what you could affectionately call a wild bunch! At Fowles, they are a motley crew of raconteurs and entrepreneurs, auctioneers, law men, farmers, hunters and wine makers. From the frontier land, their forefathers (and mothers) founded what is now Bendigo Bank. Since then, they've gone wild, settling into a life on the land. Vigneron, hunter and farmer, Matt Fowles raises the bar, swapping the vitriol of the courtroom for the vineyards of the Strathbogie Ranges. Matt leads a team of characters making wine with character.

Fowles Wine own and manage 360 acres of vines across two vineyards called Upton Run and Billi's in the Strathbogie Ranges. The rugged and beautiful Strathbogie Ranges are located an hour and a half drive northeast of Melbourne. It is here, in vineyards peppered with massive ancient granite boulders, at elevations between 430 and 550 metres above sea level that the vines from which they source Strathbogie fruit grow. The style and character of Fowles Wine reflects their cool climate location. The white wines have great fruit intensity, minerality and are light and fresh, while the red wines are highly perfumed, intensely coloured and powerful, yet restrained and elegant.

96% Shiraz, 4% Viognier.

To see the winemakers' excellent notes on this wine, please click the blue link below.

Fowles Wine - Are You Game? Shiraz 2014 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.0%.

£12.75

Fowles Wine Are You Game? Shiraz 2015 (1x75cl)

The Fowles family are what you could affectionately call a wild bunch! At Fowles, they are a motley crew of raconteurs and entrepreneurs, auctioneers, law men, farmers, hunters and wine makers. From the frontier land, their forefathers (and mothers) founded what is now Bendigo Bank. Since then, they've gone wild, settling into a life on the land. Vigneron, hunter and farmer, Matt Fowles raises the bar, swapping the vitriol of the courtroom for the vineyards of the Strathbogie Ranges. Matt leads a team of characters making wine with character.

Fowles Wine own and manage 360 acres of vines across two vineyards called Upton Run and Billi's in the Strathbogie Ranges. The rugged and beautiful Strathbogie Ranges are located an hour and a half drive northeast of Melbourne. It is here, in vineyards peppered with massive ancient granite boulders, at elevations between 430 and 550 metres above sea level that the vines from which they source Strathbogie fruit grow. The style and character of Fowles Wine reflects their cool climate location. The white wines have great fruit intensity, minerality and are light and fresh, while the red wines are highly perfumed, intensely coloured and powerful, yet restrained and elegant.

96% Shiraz, 4% Viognier.

To see the winemakers' excellent notes (technical and tasting) on this wine, please click the blue link below.

Fowles Wine - Are You Game? Shiraz 2015 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.5%.

£12.75

Glaetzer Amon-Ra Shiraz 2011 (1x75cl)

Amon-Ra Shiraz is an iconic wine that epitomises Ben Glaetzer’s passion to create wines that are full flavoured, multi layered and intense but still elegant, stylish and finely balanced. In Egyptian mythology, Amon-Ra is considered to be the king of all gods. The temple of Amon-Ra was believed to be the first temple to ever plant a monoculture vineyard to produce wine for the citizens of the temple. The eye on front of the label is the all-seeing eye of Horus or wedjat ("whole one") - a powerful Egyptian symbol of protection. It is represented as a figure with six parts, corresponding to what Egyptians regarded as the six senses; touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell and thought. Ben created Amon-Ra Shiraz to appeal to all these six senses.

Exceptional old vine fruit was sourced from the famed Ebenezer sub district at the northern tip of the Barossa Valley. Vine age 50—130 years old.

This wine was fermented in 1 and 2 tonne open fermenters, as well as being hand plunged 3 times daily. It was matured for 16 months in 100% new oak hogshead barrels (95% French and 5% American) and matured on its lees to maintain fruit profile and animation. Amon-Ra is bottled unfiltered to ensure minimal intervention with the wine’s natural characteristics.

The Amon-Ra is deep purple, almost black in colour. It is highly perfumed with dried spice, espresso, plum and blackberry on the nose. On the palate there is awesome balance which is combined with tremendous depth. This is a wine that will develop beautifully with long term cellaring over decades.

ABV = 15.5%.

£54.00

Shirvington Estate Shiraz 2006 (1x75cl)

Shirvington was founded in 1996 by Paul and Lynne Shirvington (with sons Tony and Mark), with the planting of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines in their first vineyard, Redwind.  The 16 hectares of red clay and limestone soil are located in Willunga, just south of McLaren Vale, that was chosen by the Shirvingtons for the area’s ability to consistently produce outstanding table wines of great character and quality.  Further purchases in 1997 and 2001 saw the development of two new vineyards, Kurrawyba and Manjalda, in McLaren Flat and McLaren Vale itself.

Lynne and Paul, in close collaboration with their viticulturist and winemaker, have been making the highest quality wines from McLaren Vale since the release of their 2001 Shiraz, which received a 98 rating from Wine Advocate. None of their vintages since have garnered ratings in the major wine publications below 90. Indeed, the 2006 vintage received 95 points from Wine Advocate (October 2007): 

"The 2006 Shiraz was barrel-fermented and aged for 14 months in 85% new oak, with the barrels 90% American and 10% French. Saturated purple in color, it reveals a splendid bouquet of smoke, pencil lead, bacon, grilled meat, and blueberry. Supple-textured and opulent, this full-bodied Shiraz offers a range of spicy, complex flavors, superb balance, and enough well-concealed tannin to support 5-7 years of additional cellaring. This hedonistic Shiraz should drink well through 2026." <we note the ageing contradiction>

The growing season leading up to the vintage of 2006 presented varying challenges. Above average winter and spring rainfall brought the threat of downy mildew. Irrigation systems were then stretched to the limit during a hot January and February. Cooler and wetter conditions followed and almost brought the sugar and flavour accumulation to a standstill. Although very challenging, good yields of excellent quality fruit have made this an excellent wine.

100% Shiraz.

The 2006 vintage has an opaque red colour with a purple hue. It shows an amazingly concentrated and intense nose with blueberry and blood plum filling the headspace. These fruit notes are joined with dark chocolate, vanilla bean and golden syrup nuances. The opulent palate has a magnitude of oak-driven, sweet creamy layers, soft and supple tannins and a seamless length, full of liquorice, toasted coconut and cracked black pepper. The Shirvington 2006 is drinking well now but will cellar for many years. Like many 'major' Shirazes/Syrahs, it has thrown a noticeable sediment and will repay careful decanting.

ABV = 15.5%.

£25.00 £24.00

Two Hands Coach House Block Shiraz 2006 (1x 75cl)

Quality without compromise is central to the Two Hands philosophy, driving all the decisions from fruit and oak selection to packaging and promotion. "We strive to differentiate ourselves; to be unique, fun and innovative in our business approach while maintaining a high degree of professionalism and integrity."

The Coach House Block Shiraz comes from an estate grown single vineyard near the tiny hamlet of Greenock in the Barossa Valley. It is generous and supple whilst soft and approachable upon release. An ultra-rich, heady, mouth-filling Shiraz that combines balanced acidity and mid-palate texture.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Two Hands Coach House Block Shiraz 2006 - fiche technique

Simply an outstanding wine. Once decanted, you can smell this beast from three feet away. Black fruits highlight the full bodied palate with bits of spice, tobacco and licorice. The finish goes on through desert and part of the journey home.

ABV = 16.5%.

£32.00
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