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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > NEW WORLD: Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre & Rhône Blends: Australia

Winner Details

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

2016 Gold: 7 Silver: 14 Bronze: 8 Commended: 11
2015 Gold: 5 Silver: 15 Bronze: 9 Commended: 14


Wynns, Henschke, Penfolds, Hardys, John Duval, Yalumba… the big beasts of the Australian wine world congregated round the Shiraz watering hole, and it showed in the medal count. Seven Golds is a terrific performance, the best ever and fully deserved. Moreover, there were an awful lot of really good wines ‘in reserve’ in the Silver category.

The news that Australia is good at Shiraz might not exactly have newspaper editors rushing to clear their front page, but what’s interesting is the level at which it seems to be delivering. While the sub-£12 Varietal Classic section of Aussie Shiraz has seen entries (and medals) fall over the past five or six years, this section has gone from strength to strength.

It suggests not just that this £12+ area is where the Australians themselves think their strength lies, but that the UK on-trade agrees. Cheap Shiraz is probably better replaced by something else (several tasters mentioned Malbec) nowadays, but the good stuff is in a world of its own.

They charge big bucks, but for the most part they deliver. Barossa might have had a bit of an off year, but pretty much every other region came to the party.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I enjoyed it: there was lots of consistency, and clarity of styles. They were not necessarily cheap, but you need it on your wine list. People seek them out. Australia has its own style.’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

‘All the Barossas had a sense of place, and there is demand for them in gastropubs, it is a real Sunday roast wine. In fine-dining it’ll be hand-picked specifically to match game.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘At one of the most important events of the year that we ran, the client chose a Barossa over a classic French wine.’ Joaquin Alba, Aramark at JP Morgan

‘In terms of quality of fruit, this was our best flight. It typified the style – it is what the McLaren Vale area is all about.’ Andre Luis Martins, The Cavalry and Guards Club

‘There’s a market for this – they are a must on people’s lists. But when it comes to food and wine matching, it’s a struggle.’ Andrea Briccarello, team leader

‘They demand food: spicy food, gamey food, steaks. All in all a good flight, but not cheap.’ Richard Brooks, Caroline Catering

Award winners

Found 40 wines

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

Henschke, Johann's Garden, Barossa, GMS, 2014, South Australia , Australia

Gold medal winner

'Harmonious. Great freshness with elegance,' as pronounced by team leader Olivier Marie, gives Henschke Gold for another year. Tobias Brauweiler MS of Hakkasan Group found plenty to enjoy, highlighting its 'open, red fruit aromas of cherry and plum, and palate showing notes of black tea and wild raspberries'. 'More restraint than some,' added Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, 'and a versatile foodie wine.'

£22.10 Enotria&Coe

Amelia Park, Reserve, Shiraz, 2012, Margaret River, Western Australia , Australia

Gold medal winner

'An iron fist in a velvet glove,' said team leader Olivier Marie of this Gold Lister, continuing: 'Elegant and refreshingly textured, this is plum with fleshy tannins and great length. Amazing wine.' 'A big, bold, traditional style,' agreed Ned Neville-Rolfe of Vinoteca King's Cross, going on: 'Black fruit in abundance, filled with tobacco notes within a great texture and good balance. Oak integrated well, bringing great expression.'

£25.00 New Generation McKinleys

Heirloom, Shiraz, 2013, Eden Valley, South Australia , Australia

Gold medal winner

'An amazing wine, this is savoury with blackberry and smoky notes,' said team leader Olivier Marie of this Gold Lister. Fellow team leader Laura Rhys MS found 'bright fruit, good depth and complexity', while Chris Wood of Chelsea Vintners enthused: 'Very structured and good poise, with lots of fruit and menthol character. Great typicity!'

£26.53 Liberty Wines

Penfolds, Bin 28, Kalimna, Shiraz, 2013, South Australia , Australia

Gold medal winner

'Big, big colour, big tears, big wine!' began Caroline Catering's Richard Brooks of this Gold Lister, continuing: 'On the palate, it's smooth but intense. Needs big, spicy, gamey food.' 'Lovely, juicy, but not overblown,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish noting 'a juicy, complex palate with red berry, cassis, vanilla and sweet spices'.

£25.18 Bibendum Wine

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

Gold medal winner

Gold once more for Mitolo, this time with its Angela Shiraz. Scoring Bronze in 2015, what a difference a year makes. Team leader Martin Lam found this 'savoury with good, refreshing red fruit, not heavy but balanced', while Laure Patry of Social Wine & Tapas felt it was 'good value, with concentrated blueberry and liquorice notes'. 'Syrah is shining here, giving a lot of typical bacon fat meatiness on the palate, with very Old World stony mineral notes,' added Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs. A winner.

£15.00 Liberty Wines

Accolade Wines, Eileen Hardy, Shiraz, 2012, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Gold medal winner

Vibrant character and a rounded, approachably peppery style secured Gold for this top-range Hardys red. 'Powerful nose of tobacco, meat and mushroom aromas, spicy with good acidity and high tannins on the palate, but very well balanced,' began an approving Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don, while Tomasz Kuszneruk of Plateau Restaurant felt it was 'complex, and already showing some evolution'.

£26.95 Matthew Clark

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

Gold medal winner

Silver in 2015, Gold in 2016 – the benefit of age. Bread Street Kitchen's Stefano Pirondi found this a 'classic, well-balanced, youthful Shiraz', while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering admired its 'big fruit flavours and smooth intensity, to match well with a big steak or game', and team leader Olivier Marie found it a 'sophisiticated style with rich, opulent fruit and decadent richness, with bramble fruits and chocolate mocha'.

£15.33 Bibendum Wine

Chapel Hill, Shiraz, 2013, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

'Inky colour, a slight funk on the nose, structured with muscular oak. A bruiser, needs decanting,' said team leader Martin Lam, while Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs noted its 'gamey, spiced meat, serious character, but handled really well with lots of complexity'.

£13.41 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Chapel Hill, McLaren Vale, Grenache, 2010, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

'Tobacco and spicy oak with mushroomy notes on the nose, and toasty oak and good acidity balancing the palate. Calls for a good steak,' suggested Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don. Meanwhile Mark Dorber of The Anchor at Walberswick noted: 'Nicely poised cherry fruit on the nose, a little liquorice on the palate. It's very juicy.'

£13.41 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Heirloom, Shiraz, 2014, Barossa Valley, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

'With red cherry and redcurrant, the palate is ripe with cinnamon and liquorice, medium to high acidity, tobacco and chocolate hints,' said Gregg Lambert of Galvin La Chapelle, with team leader Sam Caporn MW adding: 'Good, this is lifted and fresh, with notes of pepper and bacon.'

£15.27 Liberty Wines

Château Tanunda, Newcastle, Barossa, Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvèdre/Carignan/Cinsault, 2013, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

'Warm and spicy on the nose with brambly fruit flavours on the palate and herbaceous tones on the finish,' said Sarah Guignard of The French Table. 'Cherry, good fruit, warm and thick,' added team leader Jade Koch.

£10.67 Bibendum Wine

Yalumba, The Octavius, Barossa, Shiraz, 2009, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

While team leader Jade Koch admired its 'bitter chocolate, mint, bloody and oily texture', Sarah Guignard of The French Table said: 'Fresh cassis fruit on the nose and palate with a clean finish and long tones of bitter chocolate and spicy tobacco.'

£45.04 Negociants

Pirathon, Shiraz, 2013, Barossa Valley, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

Enikő Heidenwolf of 67 Pall Mall felt this was very fruity without being jammy, saying: 'Amazing dark colour, ripe baked black cherry and plum, smooth texture, ripe tannins, mouth-coating with well-integrated alcohol. Definitely good value for money.' New Street Grill's Mauro Pirovano agreed, citing 'the smoky, juicy, mineral notes, alongside hints of leather, coffee and chocolate'.

£15.15 New Generation McKinleys

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

Silver medal winner

Sarah Guignard of The French Table found a 'palate full of brambly fruit flavours with a little warmth and spiciness', while The Harrow at Little Bedwyn's Marcin Oziebly noted 'blackcurrant and blueberry with great ripeness, smoky bacon and roasted coffee notes', adding: 'Exactly what you expect from Australia.' Still young, we'd love a return visit to witness its evolution.

£40.50 Liberty Wines

Mitolo, Jester, Shiraz, 2014, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

With team leader Andrea Briccarello finding 'savoury, fruity style with plenty of blackberry and blueberry notes', Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club also noted 'intense baked fruit, cassis, spice and earthy body'.

£10.50 Liberty Wines

Shingleback, The Gate, Shiraz, 2012, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

Tomasz Kuszneruk of Plateau Restaurant was struck by the 'dark chocolate, plums, blueberries and a touch of tobacco' on the nose, all supported by 'fruit concentration and ripe tannin in a medium- to full-bodied style'.

£20.52 Matthew Clark

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

Silver medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam found 'smoky bacon, black plum, liquorice notes and plenty of spices, for a big wine that needs red meat', while Blandford Comptoir's Devon Pryor highlighted 'purple fruit and bramble leaf aromas, a fresh and elegant palate with savoury, meaty notes on a lengthy finish'.

£17.95 Liberty Wines

RedHeads Studio, Princess of Thieves, Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro, 2014, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

'Nicely made, silky and enticing blend, with sweet fruit and spices,' began team leader Martin Lam, with Laure Patry of Social Wine & Tapas noting: 'Developed nose with meaty aromas, rustic and toasty with ripe fruit mid-palate and black pepper on the finish.'

£10.56 Direct Wines Production

Yangarra, Estate Vineyard, GSM, 2013, Kangarilla, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

'Floral and gamey at the same time,' noted Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs, 'with lovely forest fruit character, spice and savouriness.' 'Heavy on the Syrah, loads of black pepper and even turmeric and cumin spice hints, tannins chewy but fine,' added Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir.

£14.30 Boutinot

Skillogalee, Basket Pressed, Shiraz, 2012, Clare Valley, South Australia , Australia

Silver medal winner

'Full bodied and peppery with good balance, quite spicy on the palate with a chocolatey richness to finish,' said Emilie Sagot of The Sign of the Don. 'Elegant blend, perfect balance,' added La Trompette's Tanguy Martin.

£13.43 Enotria&Coe

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

Silver medal winner

James Hocking of The Vineyard Group found 'impressive aromatics' here, 'peppery, proper Rhône style with great length and depth, and beautiful concentration', and team leader Olivier Marie noted: 'Lighter in style, this is elegant and concentrated with fresh, minty finish.'

£17.40 Enotria&Coe

Voyager Estate, Shiraz, 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia , Australia

Bronze medal winner

Portland's James Fryer found 'cinnamon spice aromas with juicy plum, Ribena and earthy notes on the palate, chalky tannins and spice', while Michael Fiducia of Drake's Restaurant enjoyed its 'very elegant, lightly floral nose with subtle nuances of soft red fruits'.

£17.80 Justerini & Brooks

Redheads Studio, Dogs of the Barossa, Shiraz, 2013, Barossa Valley, South Australia , Australia

Bronze medal winner

'A little restrained on the nose,' said Marcin Oziebly of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, adding: 'Very typical. Palate explodes with very ripe blueberry, black plum and sweet coffee flavours, with a touch of mint. What an amazing wine.'

£16.64 Direct Wines Production

Innocent Bystander, Syrah, 2014, Yarra Valley, Victoria , Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Juicy ripe fruit and a lovely, rich mouthfeel, working well on the mid-palate, though a touch of bitterness on the finish,' said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. 'Concentrated, cooked plum fruit,' added Whatley Manor's Andrea Domenicucci.

£10.35 Liberty Wines

Shingleback, The Davey Estate, Shiraz, 2013, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Bronze medal winner

Plenty of 'black bramble fruits and blueberry' on this medium-weight red, according to Meg Ryan of Fox Fine Wines & Spirits, while team leader Andrea Briccarello highlighted its 'toasty, savoury, spicy character and smoky complexity on the palate'.

£14.46 Matthew Clark

Shingleback, Red Knot, Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvèdre, 2015, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Bronze medal winner

Subtle aromas of black fruit with high-toned, fresh character, followed by a young and chewy, yet balanced palate, ripe fruit with some herbaceous and vegetal notes.

£9.55 Matthew Clark

Willunga 100, The Hundred, Grenache, 2014, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Very intriguing nose, showing lovely berries and flower notes,' began Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir, going on: 'Power on the palate, but it's not over-extracted, not too weighty or hot, with fine tannins and floral notes on the finish.'

£13.00 Liberty Wines

Accolade Wines, Eileen Hardy, Shiraz, 2010, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Ripe plums, liquorice, blackeberries and coffee,' began Laure Patry of Social Wine & Tapas, continuing: 'Classic style, good concentration with medium to dry tannins, spices well integrated. Could develop to Northern Rhône style.'

£26.95 Matthew Clark

Shaw & Smith, Balhannah Vineyard, Shiraz, 2013, Adelaide Hills, South Australia , Australia

Bronze medal winner

Tobias Brauweiler MS of Hakkasan Group found this full of 'blue fruit and plum, spices and herbal thyme and juniper notes, with rich and well-integrated, powdery tannins', while Andrea Domenicucci of Whatley Manor enjoyed its 'nice cooked plum and tarry fruit'.

£32.50 Liberty Wines

Katnook Estate , Shiraz, 2012, Coonawarra, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

Dandelion Vineyards, Red Queen of The Eden Valley, Shiraz, 2013, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£27.75 Liberty Wines

Langmeil, Three Gardens, Barossa, Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache, 2013, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

Oakridge , Local Vineyard Series, Shiraz, 2013, Yarra Valley, Victoria , Australia

Commended medal winner

£17.64 Matthew Clark

Langmeil, Hangin' Snakes, Barossa, Shiraz/Viognier, 2013, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

Tim Adams, Bluey's Block, Grenache , 2011, Clare Valley, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.98 Bibendum Wine

d'Arenberg, The Derelict Vineyard, Grenache, 2011, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£13.64 Enotria&Coe

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

Commended medal winner

£15.20 Liberty Wines

Willunga 100 , Shiraz/Viognier, 2014, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.65 Liberty Wines

Willunga 100 , Grenache, 2014, McLaren Vale, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.65 Liberty Wines

Heartland , Directors' Cut, Shiraz, 2012, Langhorne Creek, South Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£17.42 Enotria&Coe