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07 February 2007

Is it/Isn't It?

Question_2 Let's do something a bit different for WineBloggingWednesday #30.  This month's theme is new world S[hi]yra[z]h.  My entry is most definitely new world.  But, the 100-Shiraz question is this:

Is this single-varietal wine a Shiraz or something else?

 The Entry: An old-vines (allegedly really old vines) 2004 red w/screwcap from Australia's Barossa Valley.

This deep, indigo wine offers initial scents of cedar chips and bacon fat.  However, rather quickly, these nasal treats are overtaken by big, burly berry scents of blackberry preserves (some may say, "jam") with hints of black pepper and asphalt.

In the mouth, this red Aussie wallops the tongue with hearty, shrivelly fruit flavors coupled to coffee and vanilla accents.  Even though body-wise the wine is a big-un, it still possesses fairly balanced acidity (a nifty trick) and semi sandpapery tannins.  All in all, as new world reds go, this wine is actually hospitible to food - the right food of course.  Try it with mashed potatoes slathered in truffle butter and a medium rare, dry-aged slab of steak.

So what say you, S[hi]yra[z]h or no S[hi]yra[z]h?

Reminder: SLC folks can taste more wines like this at next week's, "Wines of the Future" class/tasting.  Don't forget to sign up.  It's only twenty-bucks!


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My guess is that you have a GSM-style blend with the required 51% Shiraz... hope I'm correct as everyone else so far has chosen the 100% Syrah/Shiraz route.

Tim Elliott


Sorry Tim, wrong answer. Hint: this wine may not be permitted in WBW, but by the sniff & sip, one would definitely think it a new world Shiraz.


I'm going out on a limb and guess Merlot, I had one blind at a tasting that screamed shiraz to me in the same way...

Garry Clark

Is it the Kaesler "Old Bastard", which is 100% old vine shiraz. Apparently the name came from when James Halliday tasted it and the first words he uttered were "Bastard!".


Ryan - No Merlot, but I can definitely see where you're coming from. Merlot, in my opinion, is the red equivalent of Chardonnay in that it possesses chameleonic (!?) powers.

Sir Garry - Very, very good guess.

The mystery wine however is Hewitson's 2004 Barossa Valley 'Old Garden' Mourvedre. Allegedly, these vines were planted in 1853! It was a fine wine, though it didn't scream "Mourvedre!" to me. Rather it hinted at being something other than an Aussie Shiraz.

Garry Clark

Weve got his Miss Harry, GSM on in the brasserie. Its a dry grown - ie no irrigation, which is rarer than you would think apparently- wine. Very rich spicy notes with a savoury undertone of peppercorns,licorice root and a really elegant strawberry topnote. These also are supposed to come from ancient vines. There were a lot of vines planted by the original germanic settlers, but I find it quite odd that the old vines are by and large Shiraz, when to the best of my knowledge there is no record of syrah (shiraz) coming from Germany. The only red that is moderately successful there is Pinot Noir. But thats one more mystery to wine!!

Nice selection!!


Kim Smith

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