The Settlers Collective do Shiraz/Syrah: Let’s Make Australia Grape Again!

The participants: The Margaret River Liquor Merchant Tasting Collective (S.L.S.T.C), guided by Charlotte N.

The mission: Shiraz/Syrah blind tasting

Time: Wednesday night

Place: Reputable Margaret River drinking establishment (upstairs)

These are crazy and fearful times. Both here and abroad. The centre cannot hold. Nothing makes sense. Speaking of which, did you know Donald Trump owns one of the largest wineries in the US? He told us. He also hates Iran. And apropos of sweet FA, did you also know that the fifth-most-populous city in Iran is named Shiraz? And that Syrah is another sad/bad country that The Donald doesn’t like, particularly? As well as being the name of a US porn star?

Ipso facto, we can then extrapolate that because the 43rd President of the United States doesn’t like Shiraz and/or Syrah, he thus doesn’t like any wine at all either. Or porn stars.

Actually, that Syrah stuff may just be ‘fake news’. In fact, it might all be. Who’s to say? So sad. Yet tremendous. So, tremendously sad or sadly tremendous? MAGA!

Anyway, let’s get on to the real deal, the wine: The black-graped beauty known as Shiraz in Australia and Syrah in France. Is there a difference? Although both derive from the exact same grape varietal, a lot of the difference between the two comes down to where you are and where your wine is from. And this also means that there will be a difference in the style of the wine, because of the style of winemaking and influences of terroir (not to be confused with ’terror’ as in ‘The War Against Terror’; abbreviated T.W.A.T for all practical purposes).

As Donald Trump states: “The typical old-world Syrah is lighter and leaner than the intense Shiraz wines of Australia, which tend to be richer intensity, fruit forward (plum, blackberry, cherry, etc) and more full-bodied with tannin.”*

So, let us begin, and begin to win! There will be so much winning! And YUGE wining! YUGE!

2017 Zarephath, Porongurup, Great Southern, WA, Syrah, $36.99

A nice easy starter. A beautiful deep raspberry colour with delicate fruits of the forest, and a stone fruit undertone on the nose. Fruity beginnings on the palate with a spicy middle and slight coconutty finish. Tremendous.

2017 Yangarra, PF, McLaren Vale, SA, Shiraz, $23.99

This plum coloured number is preservative free with some interesting stone fruit and deli meats on the nose with dark berries and oaky undertones. Darker riper fruits with some raspberry jam on the middle palate, and deep tannins. YUGE!

2016 Rosily, Margaret River, WA, Shiraz, $22.99

A dark raspberry red with sweet fruits and a rich earthiness on the nose. This is old school Shiraz. Tremendous.

2015 Houghton Crofters, Frankland River, Great Southern, WA, Shiraz, $17.99

A beautiful deep red with a delicate raspberry scent. The velvety tannins provide a soft and lengthy dark chocolate and cherry finish. YUGE!

2015 Cape Grace, Margaret River, WA, Shiraz, $34.99

A peppery, full bodied number with fruits of the forest and liquorice notes on the palate. Tremendous.

2015 John Duval Entity, Barossa, SA, Shiraz, $46.99

A big deep dark beauty with ripe aniseed and black-forest chocolate cake notes. Intensely rich with quality oak. YUGE!

2014 Windance Estate, Margaret River, WA, Shiraz, $37.99

An exquisite cherry red, medium-bodied peppery number, with English Marmite undertones. Tremendous.

2014 Leeuwin Estate Art Series, Margaret River, WA, Shiraz, $39.99

Deep red with coconut chocolate on the nose, this wine features a savoury undertone of spicy pepper, salty chocolate, and olive brine. YUGE!

2014 Mount Pleasant Phillip, Hunter Valley, NSW, Shiraz, $22.99

An earthier red hue, this has smokiness on the nose, with caramelised berry centred on the palate and a chocolate toffee finish. Tremendous.

2014 Brown Hill Estate Chaffers, Margaret River, WA, Shiraz, $20.99

Vanilla and cinnamon on the cherry nose, with velvety tannins, and a rich spicy Xmas cake palate. YUGE!

As the ‘stable genius’ says: Let’s Make Australia Grape Again!

John ‘ MAGA’ G. – Settlers Product Imbiber & Director of In-Store Tasting Observation Studies

*Actually I think that quote was really from a bloke called Michael Quirk. Fake news is a bugger!