Home Winners > Winners 2014 > VARIETAL CLASSICS: Australian Shiraz

Winner Details

Varietal Classics: Australian Shiraz 

2014: Gold: 2; Silver: 5; Bronze: 2; Commended: 3
2013: Gold: 2; Silver: 2; Bronze: 1
Must-list index: 90%
Overall performance SWA 2014: B

It’s astonishing to think that, not that long ago, we used to have genuine hopes of finding a stack of medal winners under £8 here. But while quality was high this year, so were the prices.

It was undoubtedly good news that we saw a record number of medals in 2014, but only two of them came in under a tenner, which is likely to make them closer to £50 than £40 on a wine list. This is probably OK if you’re a top-end restaurant, but it’s not such good news if you’re a bistro or gastropub, where the £40 price point can be something of a Rubicon that most customers refuse to cross.

That said, not everyone was downhearted by the prospect of having to move people forcibly upmarket. ‘These are styles that people know, that sell easily – big chunky reds. The cheaper, easy-drinking styles will sell themselves, and sommeliers can very easily sell the higher quality wines as the style is understood by customers,’ said Bocca di Lupo’s Riccardo Giacomelli.

The kind of concentration that really marks out this style started to kick in around the £10 mark, but several judges felt that nowadays it’s also starting to be allied to a certain freshness. These are wines not just with power, but also lift.

‘This was a lovely flight, showing different styles of Shiraz, and there is definitely room to have two or three of these on the list,’ said Paul Quintela of The Cricketers. ‘The quality of the wines was very good indeed.’


All of the Gold and Silver medal winners here came from the Barossa Valley.

From the Tasting Teams

‘This was our best flight yet. There is definitely space on the list for Shiraz and Syrah [styles], ticking two different complexity levels, appealing to two different palates or occasions. There were both styles here.’ Courtney Stebbings, The River Café

‘The price points were very disappointing.’ Patricia Stefanowicz MW, consultant

‘These were intense wines with lively quality and lots of different styles. There was a lot of interest in this flight.’ Amelia Thornhill, The Plough Inn

‘Australian Shiraz is an easy sell, people understand and like Shiraz.’ Ricardo Giacomelli, Xxxxx

Footnote: The price limit for the Varietal Classics categories is £12 ex-VAT