Thirty grapes in thirty days: Shiraz

Our final grape for the weekend is a fantastic one if you enjoy red wine. This is a dark skinned grape filled with luscious black fruits and spice. Yes it’s the Shiraz.

Shiraz is grown in many countries all over the world making it a great success with both Old World and New World vineyards. Contrary to what some people may think not every Shiraz has to be a great, heavy red. Whilst many Shiraz’s have an ABV of around 14 and 15% some of our Shiraz’s are only 12% making them an ideal wine for discerning drinkers who are new to Shiraz and/or like young reds with smooth tannins.

However, don’t let the higher ABV of some Shiraz’s put you off, these wines are seriously grown up with great depth and make a very quaffable wine! Top tip: the Shiraz’s with the higher ABV tend to have the best ageing potential. Whilst all of our Shiraz’s can be enjoyed in the present, our Aaldering Shiraz is best after 6-8 years of ageing.

The Shiraz varietal was first produced in France and in Europe it is known as Syrah. Countries such as Australia have adopted the name Shiraz with the aim to establish this grape as the most grown dark-skinned varietal.

Typical tasting notes for a quality Shiraz would be spice and pepper on the nose with fresh herbs and dark berries. The palate will have a vibrant acidity giving longevity and a fresh finish. Many will be robust with tannins giving fantastic structure. To look for tannin structure in a wine try swilling the wine around the glass and observe the movement of the wine. The ‘thicker’ the consistency of the wine, the more intense the tannic structure is.

A perfect pairing for this much loved grape is perfect with a simple roast beef or leg of lamb. If you want to be a little more adventurous try a rich, dark and sticky szechuan dish. For the veggies try chargrilled vegetables with a bold sauce and parmesan cheese.

by Rebekah Hilton

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