Shiraz is one of those grapes that takes on the climate more than most. It’s spiritual home, as with many grapes going round these days in the “international varieties” is France, in particular the Rhone Valley, but back in the 1830s (or something along those lines) some bright bugger took it out to Australia, and the rest is, well, quite literally history!
In moderate regions like the Rhone Valley its blackberry and black pepper tastes make it either a cracking varietal (on its own) or a spicy part of any blend. Australia isn’t too detached from here. The Margaret River Region in Western Australia is pretty moderate and does similar kinds of things. But Western Australian production is low and rare to buy over here.
Thing is, most of the areas where Shiraz has become the Aussie legend that it undoubtedly is, are seriously hot regions like Heathcote and Barossa. Here the fruit is more jammy, the spice is more liquorice, and the other flavours are the eucalyptus plants that those spaced out Koalas (I mean the bears, it’s not a slang name for the natives before anyone gets annoyed!) love so bloody much.
It’s a big, full-bodied, red that’ll leave you a bit unsure of yourself on your feet with up to 15% alcohol in the wine.
But you can just sniff it and sip it, right?
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