The Settlers Collective do Shiraz (and a Syrah)

The Settlers Collective do Shiraz (and a Syrah) 1

The Store Tasting Collective do Shiraz (and a Syrah)

The participants: The Settler’s Liquor Store Tasting Collective (S.L.S.T.C), guided by Charlotte.

The mission: Shiraz (and a Syrah) blind tasting

Time: Wednesday night

Place: Reputable Margaret River drinking establishment (upstairs)

 As I write, it is Dental Health Week here in Australia. The Australian Dental Association’s annual major oral health promotion campaign. So what does this have to do with Shiraz I hear you ask? Well, I know what you’re thinking, and no, it’s not about the infamous ‘purple grin’ after a glass or two!

One of the stated aims of the campaign week is “to educate Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health throughout their lives.”

Lo and behold, a team of researchers in Spain recently discovered that red wine contains polyphenol, a micronutrient that actually reduces the ability of bad bacteria, known to cause dental plaque, cavities and gum disease, to adhere to teeth and gums.

The study further linked drinking red wine in moderation to multiple health benefits, including helping the heart, boosting good bacteria in the gut, lowering the risk of diabetes and increasing a person’s longevity.

So there we have it, Shiraz is good for ya! Just don’t take my word for it.

Put the good stuff in, so you’ll wear the ‘purple grin’.

(Now there’s a strangely familiar campaign slogan!)

2018 LS Merchants ‘Margies’ Shiraz, Wilyabrup, Margaret River, WA, $28.99

This is a fresh and vibrant number that invites all sorts of fruity descriptors in all departments: Raspberry coulis, red liquorice, spicy vanilla, cassis. A warm and welcoming dinner party starter.

2017 Houghton Crofters Shiraz, Frankland River, WA, $17.99

This is a young and light wine with raspberry notes and dusty tannins that always provides great value for money. Sure and smooth.

2017 Forest Hill Shiraz, Mount Barker, WA, $26.99

A medium-bodied cooler climate example of the art, this is earthy, spicy, peppery with amandine and black olive notes. A crowd fave.

2017 First Drop Mother’s Milk Shiraz, Barossa Valley, SA, $21.99

Complexity abounds with this one. Savoury and meaty with Spanish olives, slightly bristly tannins and very moreish on the palate. A stand out.

2017 De Bortoli Woodfired Shiraz, Heathcote, Vic, $23.99

Another rich and hearty number with BF Goodrich on the nose, some vegemite and blackcurrant on the finish. Worthy of the ‘purple grin’.

2017 Ravensworth Shiraz Viognier, Murrumbateman, NSW, $42.99

Shiraz Viognier’s feature beautiful aromatics, and this one is no exception. Peach schnapps and cinnamon on the nose, dusty tannins, and some vanilla bean on the palate, with a smooth finish. Magnifique.

2017 Mount Pleasant Old Paddock & Old Hill Shiraz, Hunter Valley, NSW, $50.99

Warmer climate, this is a little sweetie, with a brooding savouriness thrown in for good measure. Rich and ripe for the taking.

2016 Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Syrah, Margaret River, WA, $23.99

The Syrah doesn’t disappoint! Blackcurrant fruit pastilles on the nose, with some tannic ‘big boy’ masculinity on the palate, and a finish to match. You know you want to.

2016 Mandoon Estate Old Vine Shiraz, Swan Valley, WA, $29.99

Aniseed and proper old school liquorice on the nose, black pepper on the palate, and a velvety follow through to the finish. Lovely.

2015 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz, Margaret River, WA, $41.99

Opulence in abundance – a myriad of juicy fruits backed up by your favourites from the spice drawer. Oh, and chewy. Did I say complex too?

2014 Picardy Shiraz, Pemberton, WA, $34.99

Another fine exponent of the art. Fleshy, earthy savouriness tempered with vanilla sweetness. And like the wine itself, a smooth way to finish.

Now don’t forget to brush twice a day and floss, kids. Oh, and drink plenty of Shiraz.

John ‘Purple’ G. – Settler’s Product Imbiber & Director of In-Store Tasting Observation Studies