Australian Shiraz wines continue to evolve and refine. Previously often thought of only as high alcohol, jammy, and rich wines, today’s Shiraz wines have an incredible diversity of styles to offer. From an everyday drinking wine to a collectible, top-rated, fine wine – Shiraz is more versatile than ever. Now is the time to rethink Shiraz, and here is why:
1. It is currently on the rebound
Shiraz is the #1 exported variety (with Chardonnay and Cabernet in #2 and #3). It accounts for 28% of Australian wine exports (both in value and volume). The U.S.A. is the third largest export market for Shiraz by volume, and fourth largest by value, in the year ending June 2021.
2. It offers the widest range of styles than ever before
Grown in 60 of the 65 wine regions in Australia, from warm to cool climates, Shiraz now has a more diverse range of styles due to distinct terroirs and the new techniques used by wine makers to produce it.
- Warmer-climate regions such as the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale typically produce powerful, full-flavored styles with bold, fruity flavors.
- Cooler-climate regions like the Adelaide Hills or Eden Valley, produce lighter, elegant Shiraz wines, often with flavors of pepper and spice.
3. 2021 was a great vintage
After a couple of consecutive short vintages, the 2021 vintage was a record crop, due to near perfect growing and ripening conditions. Shiraz showed a +41% increase in volume from the 2020 vintage and represents 26.5% of the total 2021 crush.
4. The oldest vines are in Australia
Shiraz was one of the original varieties planted in Australia and continues to flourish in the warm, dry climate. Australia boasts some of the oldest pre-phylloxera Shiraz vines in the world, dating back to the 1840s, including Langmeil’s Freedom 1843 Shiraz vineyard and Henschke’s Hill of Grace vineyard, planted in the 1860s.
5. It has created highly rated wines for many years
Shiraz from Australia has garnered plenty of 90+ ratings. Mollydooker, John Duval, and Yangarra are familiar names that consistently produce the best expressions of the varietal.
Interested in learning more about top-rated Shiraz wines? Wine Australia will be hosting a Top-Rated Shiraz virtual tasting with Wine.com on November 18, at 4 p.m. PST. Gwendolyn Osborn will lead the conversation with top producers to explore the dazzling spectrum of styles. Register at www.wine.com/tasteAustralia. With code SOUTHAU10 get 10% off the purchase.
Interested in learning more about some of those everyday drinking Shiraz wines? We can help connect you with samples or further discussions with producers.