|Black Cluster Shiraz (right) photography courtesy of Wyndham Estate; Johann Shiraz Cabernet (left) photography courtesy of Jacob’s Creek|
It’s time to shed your Shiraz stereotypes. While it’s true that Shiraz is fruit-forward, peppery, and complex, it is not true that it should only be drunk young and is generally less than $10 a bottle. Sure, you can find it at that price but it’s time to take a splurge on a stellar bottle of age-worthy Aussie Shiraz. The best regions in Australia to grow Shiraz are the Coonawarra, Barossa, and Hunter Valleys.
In Hunter Valley, the Wyndham Estate is known for Black Cluster Shiraz ($35). It is a deep purple with generous fruit and spice with a little oak. You’ll love it with rich fall feasts with game and lamb. The winery is known for its attention to quality, which sets it apart from many upstarts in the region. Wyndham Estate is Australia’s oldest continually operating winery and has been winning awards since 1882 (under the name Dalwood Wines). If you’re really in the mood for something different, try Bin 555 Sparkling Shiraz ($17). The crimson bubbly has a fruity bouquet, but is bone-dry with spicy, smoky notes. Pair it with a hunk of rich dark chocolate.
About 600 miles west of the Hunter Valley in South Australia is where most of the key wine- growing regions are nestled between the rolling hills and valleys. In the Barossa Valley you’ll find Jacob’s Creek, which is the first commercial vineyard in the valley, planted in 1847 on the banks of Jacob’s Creek. The flagship bottle from this historic winery is the Reserve Shiraz ($12.99). It is a perfect everyday wine paired with anything from backyard barbecue to hearty soups and stews. The Johann Shiraz Cabernet ($75) often steals the spotlight. It has all the fruit and spice of an Australian Shiraz accented by a little blackcurrant burst and well-structured tannins from the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon. Try this with prime rib or a juicy T-bone.
Wines can be ordered by request at Pogo’s, 5360 W. Lovers Ln., 214.350.8989.