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No `wimpy’ shiraz on this list

Last week I wrote of the world’s oldest wine grape, as it is celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday in July.

I have decided to continue this as so many of you are firing up the barbecue and shiraz/syrah goes with beef like chocolate goes with strawberries. I promise that there will not be a wimpy one among them.

We make one stop in California and then move on to Australia where this grape is better known than any other.

The Hope Family NV Troublemaker is a hearty blend from the Paso Robles area that consists of 54 per cent syrah, 15 per cent petite sirah, 14 per cent grenache, 10 per cent mourvedre and 7 per cent zinfandel – together they offer a deep opaque purple colour and powerful aromas of ripe cherry, dried plum and savoury sage.

The palate entry is somewhat of a surprise as the finesse of black current, hints of sweet oak and espresso lead into luxuriously soft yet firm tannins that linger through the mid-palate and beyond. The family feel that they get the best results for this wine by blending various years, hence the non-vintage designation.

Wine Enthusiast rates this a very respectable 90/100 and writes: “Aromas of caramelised black fruit, oak and black pepper lead into an extremely rich palate that’s loaded with vanilla, caramel, fudge and black cherry.” This is aged in a combination of French oak and American oak barrels. In my opinion the former is best known for adding hazelnut flavours and the latter vanilla. $28.30 (Stock #8029).

As we leave the Troublemaker behind, we move on to Australia and set our taste buds by thinking of movies like Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max.

Our 2018 Penfolds Bin #28 Kalima Shiraz is described by their winemaker in this way: “Deep dark cherry-red. Initially, plummy fruits meshed with sweet spices (predominantly cinnamon), almond appear on the nose. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with raspberry and chocolate flavours with a sprinkling of spice and cola. Its tannins are integrated and embedded, supportive and not standing apart. No obtrusive oak flavours to speak of. The acidity is in tune with the wine’s weight and structure. Drinking well now but will improve with time. Peak drinking 2022 to 2038.”

This rates 94/100 with James Suckling who comments: “A strong vintage for warmer-climate shiraz and this wine is certainly reaping the benefits. The nose has such eclectic fruit aromas that run a full spectrum, from the lighter spiced red-fruit aromas to red plums, through blue fruit to darker blackberries and plums. The palate has impressively layered flavours that run the same broad spectrum as seen on the nose and the tannins are so well groomed and run very, very long.” $49.95 (Stock #7217).

The 2017 Jim Barry Lodge Hill Shiraz is a deep red with a bright magenta hue. Vibrant aromatics of red and blackberry fruits, a lift of violet florals, clove spice and mixed garden herbs. The palate is dominated by a lively burst of berry fruits, which are well framed by fine, powdery tannins. Juicy plum and blackberry flavours persist through the finish, with sweet spice to close. Wines & Spirits Magazine feels this way as it rates it 92/100: “Peter Barry makes this wine with fruit from his family’s Lodge Hill Vineyard, in the hills three miles east of the township of Clare. It’s a shiraz with vibrant flavours of red and black raspberries, showing off the cool side of Clare in 2017. Fresh and bright, opening to graceful intensity.” $29.05 (Stock #6419).

The 2018 Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz is comprised of fruit sourced from the unique terra rossa soils of Coonawarra, a region that exemplifies the perfume, transparency and seductive nature of cool-climate red table wines. The nose displays the complexity of Coonawarra, with of assortment of gamy scents, redcurrant, and regional Coonawarra “red dirt”. Medium-bodied and well proportioned on the palate, with notes of cracked pepper, red spices, and savouriness reminiscent of glazed meats and green olive. Well known Australian winemaker, judge and critic James Haliday gives this wine 94 points. $57.80 (Stock #7218).

In 2016, when Wine Spectator released their list of the top 100 wines in the world for that year, spot number 30 featured 2014 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz and, with a score of 95/100, they wrote: “Bold, expressive, velvety and generous, with ripe cherry and plum flavours at the core. Complex details of vanilla bean, liquorice, Earl Grey tea and gingerbread explode on the long finish. Drink now through 2030.” $86.05 (Stock #6090).

We also have stocks of the 2017 that earns 94/200 from The Wine Advocate and this comment: “Say what you will about the Mollydooker wine style or marketing, there's no denying that Sarah Marquis is able to build wonderful texture into her wines. The 2017 Carnival of Love Shiraz frames powerful dark fruit aromas with strong cedar overtones, but the highlight is the high-end Mollydooker texture – somewhere between heavy cream, plush velvet and Asia's finest silk.” $85 (Stock #6097).

If you are looking for a tasty, but very reasonably priced red, then let’s end with 2017 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz that we sell for $23.40. Red mulberry and white chocolate offer sweetness and raspberry generously persists on the palate. Oak sits in the background of this 77 per cent shiraz and 23 per cent cabernet sauvignon blend.

Canadian critic Natalie MacLean awards it 89/100 and writes: “A juicy, smoky, full-bodied Australian red wine blend of shiraz and cabernet grapes. Love the aromas of campfire smoke and dark fruit on the palate and finish. Pair with prime rib. Shiraz cabernet food pairings: hamburgers, meat lovers' pizza.” (Stock #7205).

This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Contact Michael Robinson at mrobinson@bll.bm. Burrows Lightbourn have stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). Visit www.wineonline.bm

Burrows Lightbourn has the 2014 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz which earned a score of 95/100 from Wine Spectator

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Published July 16, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated July 14, 2021 at 10:52 am)

No `wimpy’ shiraz on this list

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