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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre & Rhône Blends: Australia

Winner Details

New World: Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre & Rhône Blends: Australia


2015: Gold 5 Silver 15 Bronze 9 Commended 14
2014: Gold 4 Silver 10 Bronze 5 Commended 9 

Australia’s haul of medals in the SGM category is almost twice what it was even two years ago. And while the number of Golds has remained steady (largely due to the strictures of the ‘putting together a wine list’ nature of the Sommelier Wine Awards), there has been a big growth in Silvers – suggesting plenty of really good wines out there.

The only negative? Pricing. Not much came in under £10 – and even fewer made it to medal – so congratulations to our two sub-£10 Gold-Listed wines. Quite an achievement. Interestingly, though, our tasters no longer seem to see Australia as necessarily a cheaper alternative to Rhône, but a wine style in its own right, and are prepared to spend big on the good examples – of which there were plenty here.

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines where Syrah, Grenache or Mourvèdre is the main variety, or Rhône blends. Australian Shiraz/Syrah costing less than £12 ex-VAT can be entered either here or in the relevant Varietal Classic category.

From the Tasting Teams


‘It’s nice to see the changes in winemaking here; there’s still oomph, but it’s allied to elegance.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘Stylistically, they got less ready to drink as we went up the price scale. It’s OK if you’re buying for home consumption, but as a sommelier you don’t want something that’s ready for drinking in five years’ time.’ Debbie Smith, 21212

‘At the top end of the price scale you can’t just list something straightforward. You have to have strong character, not just fruit and spice, but good structure and complexity.’ Jonathan Kleeman, The Ritz Hotel

‘The Barossa wines have evolved; there is a freshness at the heart of the best of these, giving more food flexibility.’ Andrea Fasan, La Petite Maison

‘These are wines that you need on the list, people still love them, and if the quality is there, people will spend up, too, to quite high prices.’
Richard Brooks, Caroline Catering

Award winners

Found 43 wines

New World: Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre & Rhône Blends, Australia

Magpie Estate, Wishbone, Shiraz/Grenache 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

Value and flair gave Wishbone the edge, but then this is a wine from Rhône-variety specialist Magpie estate. ‘Big, spicy red mouthful at this price-point,’ declared Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, adding: ‘Juicy and balanced, needs some full-flavoured dishes to go with it. Good value.’ ‘Ripe, floral, herby and exuberant,’ agreed Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison. Don't miss.

£6.60 Boutinot

John Duval Wines, Plexus, Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvèdre 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

Big can be beautiful, as in this case, in the hands of John Duval, with this rich, black-fruited wine, with its savoury undertones, and hints of liquorice. ‘Some nicely integrated oak spice and black fruit on the nose, sweet fruit on the back. Big and well constructed,’ said Gus Gluck of Vinoteca King's Cross, with team leader Olivier Marie adding: ‘Elegance and finesse. Concentrated but not forced.’

£17.25 Liberty Wines

Henschke, Henry's Seven, Barossa 2012, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

Plump and plush, a winner for its moreishness alone. ‘Lighter style of SGM, with raspberry and wild strawberry aromas, fruit over oak on the palate. A nice change from over-extracted styles,’ said Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous, with team leader Richard Bampfield MW adding: ‘Really fragrant, with a cooler, refined palate. Food friendly, modern and flavoursome.’ 'Still very youthful, the palate shows, plenty of acids, firm tannins and a long length,' said Vincent Pastorello of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester.

£17.52 Enotria&Coe

Willunga 100, Shiraz/Viognier 2013, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

What an evocative wine, let alone a richly food-friendly one, making it a worthy winner of the coveted Rack of Lamb Food Match trophy. 'Dark intensity, some tarry burnt notes but soft, gentle tannins,' said consultant Michael Harrison. 'Minty nose, dark berries and mocha, spicy palate with leathery tannins,' added team leader Angela Reddin, while consultant Anne Krebielh MW noted: 'Blood, iron-oxide, orange peel, this is aromatically intriguing, structured and complex. Try with grilled rib-eye.'

£8.65 Liberty Wines

Mitolo, GAM, Shiraz 2012, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

Bold and enticing wins the day for this spicy, dark-fruited wine from a superb vintage. 'Medium intensity with high extraction and deep, dark red fruit, with nice acid/tannin balance,' said consultant Michael Harrison. 'Leafy, minty, spice, intense,' agreed Studio Alto's Neil Bruce. 'It's punchy, with sweet spices and a long, pleasant finish,' said Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel. Match with roast rack of lamb.

£20.35 Liberty Wines

Charles Melton, Grains of Paradise 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Super-ripe and exuberant, juicy, well defined, long and persistent, but needs some time,' began Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering adding: 'Cracking wine! Big, developing some very appealing complexity, and needs big food.'

£27.85 Liberty Wines

Accolade Wines, Eileen Hardy, Shiraz 2007, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

A wine that impressed the whole team, with Neil Bruce of Studio Alto saying: 'A deep, rich, "wow" wine on nose and palate.' Team leader Angela Reddin agreed: 'Lead pencil, Black Forest gateau with a sprinkle of tobacco. Intense in every way, but finishes with great balance.' Without doubt destined for greatness, but not quite yet. We hope to see it on its return.

£26.90 Matthew Clark

RedHeads, Dogs of the Barossa, Shiraz 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Bright, youthful colour and nose, and lovely on the palate – texture rather than residual sugar,’ said team leader Richard Bampfield MW, continuing: ‘Good, spicy length. Elegant and lovely with steak.’ 'Savoury and smoky, with pepper and soft, creamy oak,' noted fellow team leader Tom Forrest.

£19.97 Direct Wines Production

Peter Lehmann, Stonewell, Barossa Shiraz 2010, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

While its 2008 sibling scored Gold in 2014, unfortunately the 2010 just seemed a little too youthful to scale the Gold List. Nevertheless, it was much appreciated. 'The nose is deep and complex, with cocoa, sweet spices, vanilla and a hint of smoke, with many of these flavours following on to the palate,' said Julien Sahut of Wine Culture, adding: 'Great texture, I would partner with game or venison loin.'

£27.75 Liberty Wines

Peter Lehmann, Eight Songs, Shiraz 2011, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Clean, developed, complex nose, with baking spices such as vanilla and cinnamon,’ said impressed team leader Olivier Marie, adding: ‘Lovely tannins, finely grained and well balanced.’ 'Sweet spice and cherries and hints of vanilla on the palate,' noted Laszlo Vagasi of Kensington Wine Rooms.

£18.50 Liberty Wines

Katnook Estate, Shiraz 2010, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Blueberry and blackcurrant with notes of spice and mint on the nose,' said Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels, adding: 'Well balanced on the palate with attractive, silky, smoky notes integrated with ripe fruit and refreshing acidity.'

£15.63 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Brokenwood, Graveyard Vineyard, Shiraz 2011, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys admired its 'bold, great structure and lovely elegance', while Debbie Smith of 21212 advised: 'Will drink fantastically in a few years' time.' 'Very spicy, good Syrah blend,' added Guillaume Kaczmar of L'Ortolan.

£62.00 Negociants

Wynns, Black Label, Shiraz 2010, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Very seductive wine,' said Guillaume Kaczmar of L'Ortolan. 'Lovely mouthfeel with very soft tannins and well-integrated oak for the age.' 'Complexity; can improve,' added Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel.

£15.22 Bibendum

Yalumba, The Tri-Centenary, Grenache 2008, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Elegant and fruity but with subtlety, persistence with some delicate background spice,’ said Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel. ‘Elegant, cool, fresh fruit. Superb,’ added team leader Olivier Marie.

£24.14 Negociants

Fowles Wine, Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch, Shiraz 2012, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Very good,' said Debbie Smith of 21212, continuing: 'Redcurrant and blackcurrant, excellent balance and viscosity.' 'Herbal complexity with fresh eucalyptus on the nose and palate,' added Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel.

£17.40 Enotria&Coe

Willunga 100, Grenache 2013, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

With dark fruit, good tannin and some nice freshness, Studio Alto's Neil Bruce noted: 'Mid-colour, clean and brightly spicy nose. Dry, spicy, ripe; very drinkable and balanced.' 'Rich, opulent nose with raspberry/cherry fruit,' team leader Angela Reddin concurred.

£8.65 Liberty Wines

Rathbone, Mount Langi Ghiran, Cliff Edge, Shiraz 2012, Grampians, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest noted a palate of 'creamy vanilla and spice and a medium-length, peppery finish', rounded off with some leafy herb notes, while Julien Sahut of Wine Culture noted the 'complex nose with its spicy, wood notes,' adding: 'The palate shows its youth, being juicy, spicy and good with food, but the tannins need time.'

£12.32 Bibendum

Shaw + Smith, Shiraz 2013, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Great ripe fruit profile, with a superb finish,' enthused 21212's Debbie Smith. 'Plum, black cherry, meaty, with some nice acidity, balanced with the tannin and alcohol,' added team leader Laura Rhys MS.

£17.00 Liberty Wines

Dandelion Vineyards, Red Queen of the Eden Valley, Shiraz 2012, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Richard Bampfield MW was impressed, saying this was an: ‘Exciting, satisfying wine. Very deep, youthful, with black fruits and black pepper, it’s very promising. Intense, lingering black fruit on the palate, with pepper seasoning well.’

£30.00 Liberty Wines

Heirloom Vineyards, Shiraz 2012, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Rich, with nice aromatics and good fresh fruit,’ began team leader Olivier Marie, continuing: ‘High-toned and elegant, with granitic minerality. Super-serious, complex wine with dimensions and multi-faceted complexity.’

£30.00 Liberty Wines

Chalk Hill, Sidetrack, Shiraz/Grenache 2012, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Gentle, very approachable,' began consultant Michael Harrison, with Neil Bruce of Studio Alto adding: 'Intense, ripe, smoky aromas. Dry, ripe, bright, lovely fruit and balance.'

£13.20 Matthew Clark

Yangarra, Old Vine, Grenache 2012, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Though Neil Bruce of Studio Alto felt this wine was 'yet to fully knit together', he enjoyed its 'leafy, bramble, oak spice, dry, juicy palate and grippy tannins'. 'Intense layers of dark fruits spiked with Asian spice. Big tannins, big wine,' agreed team leader Angela Reddin.

£14.30 Boutinot

John Duval Wines, Entity, Shiraz 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Vinoteca King’s Cross's Gus Gluck enjoyed this ‘dense, black-fruited Shiraz', saying: ‘The fruit is well defined here and sticky, long and balanced.’ Team leader Olivier Marie added: ‘Richly textured with high concentration, dark plums and bramble fruits.’

£18.50 Liberty Wines

Chapel Hill, Mourvèdre 2011, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Deep colour, slightly menthol and a little closed, but balanced, with a spicy, leafy and ripe palate,' said Neil Bruce of Studio Alto. 'Raisiny fruit, intense tannin grip with earthy mineral fruit, needs to soften but will be good,' added team leader Angela Reddin.

£13.41 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Langmeil, Hangin' Snakes, Shiraz/Viognier 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Really tangy, big alcohol and warmth but has all the big plummy fruit to go with it, along with some elegance. Lovely at this price,' said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, while team leader Tom Forrest noted smoky spice, creamy eucalypt and hints of liquorice.

£10.45 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Langmeil, Three Gardens, Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Warming, with a classy note of oak,’ began team leader Richard Bampfield MW, continuing: ‘Good flavour, really does what it says on the tin. Good fresh finish and food friendly.’ 'Defined, solid, classic and long with great purity,’ added Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison.

£9.15 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Fowles Wine, Are You Game?, Shiraz 2013, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Deep cherry red in the glass, this Shiraz with 10% Tempranillo is juicy, with tar and charred blackcurrant alongside the bright fruits and spices on the palate.

£9.89 Enotria&Coe

Brand's Laira, The Laira, Shiraz 2013, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh, with red and dark berries on the nose, with fresh blackberry and dark plum fruit on the palate, cinnamon spice and soft tannins,’ said impressed team leader Olivier Marie, adding: ‘Richly textured, with ethereal, apricot stone fruit balance.’

£8.22 Sogrape UK

Mitolo, Angela, Shiraz 2013, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Inky dark colour, lifted nose of raspberry, cherry and mulberry,' began a clearly impressed team leader Angela Reddin, adding: 'Sweet oak notes. A compelling mouthful laden with fruit. Excellent structure.'

£15.00 Liberty Wines

Accolade Wines, Starve Dog Lane, Shiraz 2013, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£9.10 Matthew Clark

Charles Melton, Nine Popes 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£22.75 Liberty Wines

Wakefield, Jaraman, Shiraz 2013, Clare Valley/McLaren Vale, Australia

Commended medal winner

Some Young Punks, The Rude Mechanicals, Three Monkeys, Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro 2013, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£7.90 Boutinot

Peter Lehmann, Hill & Valley, Shiraz 2013, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£9.95 Liberty Wines

Voyager Estate, Shiraz 2012, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Penfolds, Bin 28, Kalimna, Shiraz 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£20.87 Bibendum

Penfolds, Cellar Reserve, Kalimna Block 25, Mataro 2010, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£32.02 Bibendum

Tim Adams, Bluey's Block, Grenache 2010, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.98 Bibendum

Yalumba, The Strapper, Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£10.15 Negociants

Château Tanunda, Newcastle, Barossa Syrah/Grenache/Mourvèdre/Carignan/Cinsault 2012, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£10.39 Bibendum

Willunga 100, The Hundred, Grenache 2013, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£13.00 Liberty Wines

d'Arenberg, The Bonsai Vine, GSM 2010, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£13.64 Enotria&Coe

Mount Pleasant, Philip, Shiraz 2011, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Commended medal winner

£9.67 Sogrape UK

 

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