Shiraz Shiraz Shiraz

The Grape Escape:
2005 Shingleback Shiraz

Shiraz – the wine Aussies are known for. Many don’t realize that Shiraz is actually the Syrah grape in disguise. There was some discrepancy about the origin of Syrah – some thought it originated in Persia near the city of Shiraz. However, the French claimed it was native to the Rhone region of France. The French happened to be right, but for some reason in Australia, the name Shiraz just stuck.

This is all well and good because Australian Shiraz just doesn’t have the same personality as French and American Syrah. For one thing, Aussie Shiraz is big. And I mean Big. Rippling with intensity. Lots of luscious, juicy fruit is very typical because of the warmer climate and growing seasons.

But big fruit isn’t always a good thing. In fact, I love the smoky, gamey characteristics of French Syrah that a lot of Australian Shiraz can’t match. There’s often a certain elegance lost in translation. But of course, there are exceptions, and Shingleback is one of those exceptions. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of restraint this wine has compared to other Australian Shiraz in this price range. It still has a lot of the fruit that makes Shiraz so juicy and appealing, but it also has a darker classiness to it. I guessed 30 dollars when I first tried it, but it’s actually fairly cheap. (About 16 dollars).

2005 Shingleback Shiraz hails from the McLaren Vale, one of the major wine regions located in South Australia. This region is known for producing world class Shiraz. Featuring a Mediterranean climate and many different soil types and terroir, this area can produce vastly different styles of wine. On a side note, 2005 was a phenomenal year for South Australia. Wine Spectator reports this as some of the greatest quality Australia has had in decades. Later vintages did not fare as well as this, so get the 2005 vintage while you can because I have a feeling it won’t be around for long. I was actually surprised that there was any of the 2005 left since most states are drinking the 06 Shingleback.

Categories: Food