• Luma Monteiro

Syrah (Shiraz) Series: Barossa Valley



A quick overview


A black variety known as Syrah in France and Shiraz in Australia. Small, thick, darkly coloured skins. The grape makes deep coloured wine, with medium to high levels of tannins and medium acidity. Typically, the wines are full-bodied, with black fruit (blackberry) and dark chocolate character.


Syrah/Shiraz does not ripe in cool climate. In moderate regions, may have hints of herbaceousness (mint, eucalyptus), smoked meat, and spice (black pepper). In hot wine regions, It shows more sweet spice notes (liquorice, cloves). With age, the best wines develop animal and vegetal complexities (leather, wet leaves, earth)

They go well with oak treatment getting flavours of toast, smoke, vanilla and coconut.


Shiraz from Langmeil - Vineyard The Freedom (see below Langmeil and the Iconic The Freedom 1843)



Regional Differences


Fruit Forward (new world)

Blackberry, Blueberry, Sweet Tobacco, chocolate, smoke, baking spices and vanilla. Full-bodied.


California, USA

South Australia

Spain

Argentina

South Africa


Savoury (mainly old world)

Plum, Olive, Green Peppercorn, savoury, leather, bacon and cocoa powder. Medium-to-full bodied.


Rhone, France


Single Varietal

South Australia

Northern Rhone

California, USA

Columbia Valley, WA, USA


Blended

Cotes-du-Rhone, France

Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Castilla-La Mancha, Spain


GSM - The Rhone Blend


GSM is the name given to a wine made by a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre (in some cases, Cinsault also added). Typically, the wine has Red Fruit (Raspberry), Dark fruit (Blackberry), dried green herbs and baking spices.


Grenache has high sugar, low acidity, thin skins. Typically have a red fruit character (strawberry, raspberry), with spice notes (white pepper, liquorice, cloves). With age, the spice notes evolve to toffee and leather. The grape needs a hot climate to thrive.


Adding Grenache to Syrah, give a wine with more alcohol, lower levels of tannins and less acidity. It adds a boost of red fruit flavours and extra spice flavours.


Where is made?

France, Spain, Australia, USA, South Africa


Highest quality ones:

Northern Rhone (Hermitage, Cote-Rotie - the best appelations), France

Southern Rhone (Chateauneuf-du-Pape), France

Priorat, Spain

Barossa Valley, Australia


Serving and Food Pairings


Room temperature - 15 - 18 degrees celsius


- Perfect with:

Barbecue

Grilled or roasted beef

Big, flavoursome beef stews

Roasted lamb


Cheeses

Hard ones like cheedar, parmeggiano, grana padano


The expression in Barossa Valley


Australia > South Australia > Barossa > Barossa Valley


In Australia, Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro (Mourvedre) make full-bodied, intense and complex wines, especially from South Australia. The oldest and most important region is Barossa. This region is unique. Their isolation from the rest of the world protected the vineyard's soils from being infested by Phylloxera. Because of that, the region has some of the oldest living vineyards in the world.

Barossa is the name of a larger area divided into two sub-regions (AKA “GIs”) called Barossa Valley and Eden Valley. Despite the proximity to each other, these two areas produce recognizably different styles of wines.


Barossa Valley is known for producing some of the most powerful and delicious wines in the world. Typically using Shiraz from old-vines, the wines are big, full-bodied with softer tannins and less acidity.


Langmeil and the iconic The Freedom 1843 Shiraz


The producer has a wine called Langmeil Shiraz Freedom 1843 -one of Australia's most important and iconic wines. The Freedom Shiraz vineyard is believed to have been planted in 1843 by vigneron Christian Auricht. Escaping war and persecution in Prussia, Auricht travelled to Australia, finding “freedom” in the Barossa Valley. His original plantings survive to this day. Now, at 171 years-old are some of the oldest and rarest vines in the world.⁠


Some pictures of the winery and Orphan Black vineyard.


The wine and Tasting Notes (WSET lexicon)


Old Barossa vignerons referred to their vineyards as gardens. The Three Gardens is a contemporary blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro, varieties which have been grown in the Barossa since the 1840s. The best characteristics of each variety have been combined to create a truly harmonious wine.


Three Gardens GSM 2018

35% Grenache, 34% Shiraz, 31% Mataro (age of the vines 10 -100 years old)

Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

£14.95 (Hic-Merchants)


*before trying this wine, recommended to decant for 1 hour for better access of the aromas and flavours.


Colour deep ruby.

On the nose, medium (+) intensity with aromas of ripe/cooked blackberry, strawberry, dried herbs (oregano), black pepper, vanilla, cloves, dark chocolate.


On the Palate, It is dry, medium acidity, high alcohol (14.5%).

Soft, ripe tannins, medium (+)

full-bodied with medium (+) flavour intensity.

The finish is medium (+).


Quality assessment: Very Good

B - The wine has enough fruit concentration to balance the high level of alcohol on this wine. With more time, the alcohol would be better integrated into the fruit on this wine, making it outstanding.

L - the finishing has a great length, but the alcohol is overpowering a bit the fruit. If the wine had a little bit more concentration, it would be outstanding.

I - The flavours on this wine has a great intensity with good finishing. A bit of alcohol (burning sensation) coming back to the palate and staying instead of the fruit, so the wine is not outstanding.

C - The wines are showing a great combination of different clusters of primary fruits. Show some secondary aromas and flavours from oak treatment. The wine has complexity.

Varietal definition - The fruit flavours are well-defined in this wine. You can identify some aspects characteristics of the grapes part of the blend GSM.


Suitable for bottle ageing.

The level of tannins in this wine can hold the structure for some ageing. The primary fresh fruits will evolve into dried fruits (tertiary). The alcohol could be integrated into the wine with time.