Koomilya, the 'new Wendouree'

The Koomilya vineyard in McLaren Vale

Komilya is the exciting new vineyard-based project from one of the McLaren Vale’s stars, SC Pannell. I don’t like to hype wines, but this is one of the most exciting discoveries I’ve made in Australia. This is the McLaren Vale’s Wendouree, in terms of style, intention and potential longevity.

Stephen Pannell […]

Voyager Estate Shiraz 2009 Margaret River

I have been drinking this young Margaret River Shiraz for the last couple of evenings, and it’s impressive. Normally, you’d associate this rather beautiful part of Western Australia with Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties, but it can also do good things with Syrah/Shiraz. It’s ripe and sweetly fruited, but there’s also freshness, definition and restraint. […]

The IMW Australian Shiraz masterclass

Just on my way back from the Institute of Masters of Wine Australian Shiraz Masterclass. It was led by a distinguished group of Aussie winegrowers: Tim Kirk (Clonakilla), Julian Castagna, Prue Henschke, John Duval and Ron Laughton (Jasper Hill).

Julian Castagna flanked by Prue Henschke and Ron Laughton

The line up of wines, was – on […]

The 50th vintage of Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz

Early in my wine drinking journey, I was heavily influenced by the Penfolds bin series reds – 28, 128 and 389. Grange, although cheap by today’s standards at £35, was a bit out of my league.

Bin 28 is named Kalimna after the famed vineyard in the Barossa bought by Penfolds in 1945, although today it’s […]

St Hallett Dawkins Vineyard Shiraz

Now this is interesting. It’s a new single-vineyard Shiraz from Barossa producer St Hallett, and it has bags of personality. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s distinctive and potentially ageworthy. Very Australian in style, but quite serious with it.

St Hallett Single Vineyard Release Dawkins Vineyard Shiraz 2009 Eden Valley, Barossa
From a single vineyard […]

Video: Syrah and Shiraz - northern Rhone and Barossa

Here’s a short film of me tasting two contrasting wines. Both are from the same grape variety, but one is a Syrah (Jean-Luc Columbo Crozes-Hermitage Les Gravieres 2008), the other a Shiraz (St Hallett Dawkins Vineyard Eden Valley Shiraz 2009 Barossa, Australia). Both are very good but in quite distinctively different styles.

Clare Valley Shiraz - two good ones

Australia’s Clare Valley is a region I’m drawn to. It’s capable of making great Riesling, great Shiraz and great Cabernet Sauvignon – an unusual mixture. Perhaps this is because the temperature here is more moderate than the official statistics (which I heard once were taken from a weather station behind the post office in Clare) […]

A pair of Mad Dogs - Shiraz and Sangiovese from the Barossa

I first reviewed the Mad Dog wines, made by Barossa grape grower Matthew Munzberg, some time ago. Here I’m taking a look at the latest releases, which are just fantastic.

This is the first ever convincing Barossa interpretation of Sangiovese I’ve encountered, and it was paired with a much improved Shiraz from the 2007 vintage. In […]

A wonderful Aussie Syrah with a French accent

This wine is brilliant. I really like the style, which bridges the Northern Rhone and warmer-climate new world regions. And it’s very well priced.

Domaine Tournon Shiraz or Syrah 2008 Western Victoria, Australia
Cork sealed, 14.5% alcohol. This is fantastic. Sweet berryish nose with some plum, pepper and spice notes, as well as some violet hints. There’s […]

The Wanderer: impressive Shiraz and Pinot from the Yarra Valley

Two very nice wines from a new (to me, at least) producer in the Yarra Valley, Andrew Marks’ The Wanderer. The story of Australian wine isn’t actually about big brands, over-ripeness and critter labels – it’s a country with many hundreds of good small producers, many of whom are making very interesting wines. Marks is […]