Tag Archives: Yarra Yering

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Australian Syrah

At least 25 Australian wine regions regularly produce excellent shiraz. They vary in latitude from the Granite Belt in southern Queensland to Tasmania’s Tamar Valley. Top-line shiraz is also produced from the eastern to the western extremities: from the Hunter Valley to Western Australia’s Swan Valley. There is no other country that offers such a range of shiraz produced in such a variety of terroirs. Yet people still generalize about Australian shiraz as a blockbuster wine: unsubtle, superripe, high-alcohol and jammy. This is a mistake.

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In a country like Australia, synonymous with very full-bodied, high-octane, hairy-chested shiraz, Clonakilla stands in stark contrast. Its most famous wine, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, is light to medium bodied, fine-boned and aromatic. Spicily fragrant to sniff and endowed with soft, gentle tannins, it appeals to lovers of northern Rhone-style shiraz. It has more parallels with pinot noir than benchmark Aussie shiraz.