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“I just love Isabel Estate. It’s an honest and passionate winery that is 100% focused on single estate wines and sustainable winemaking. They know their craft intimately and make the fruit truly shine. Their Sauvignon Blanc is always my first choice for long lunches with family and friends – every single time.”

~ Dave Short

If you live in the Barossa and grow grapes and make wine, Shiraz will figure predominantly in what you do. it is the most commonly planted grape, with a history going right back to the beginning of winemaking in the region from the 1840s. The Barossa is the most locally and internationally recognised winemaking region of Australia and Shiraz is the grape variety upon which the reputation is founded.

Shiraz has no historical relationship with the city of the same name in Iran. In Australia and South Africa, we have traditionally referred to the french grape variety Syrah as Shiraz. Syrah arose through cross-pollination of the grape varieties Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche in the Ardeche (Rhone Valley) sometime late in the first millennium AD. It was very fortuitous that James Busby selected cuttings of this grape to transport to the new colonies of Australia. Shiraz was very well suited to the arid Australian environment and was very useful for producing strong, sweet vintage port-style wines. As dry red table wines grew in popularity, Shiraz was equally well adapted to making the modern Australian red wine style.  

The Barossa Shiraz wine style is very distinctive. There is always a richness and fruit sweetness that conveys the Southern Australian climate, bathed in sunshine. Yet, even within the different sub-regions of the Barossa, you can detect unique aromas and palate structures that belie the complexity of this environment. The fun lies in getting to know these differenlt. 

 

I have selected five Barossa wines that I particularly enjoy, created by winemakers who seek to portray the unique characteristics of their vineyards within the ocmplex Barossa landscape. 

 

 

 

The Shorty's Pick from

Chris Ringland Wines

Chris Ringland Reservation Shiraz 2016


Concentration doesn't even begin to describe this truly luxurious Barossa Shiraz. When harvested, plum and prune aromas which were simply crying out for some extra maturation, After which the wine has now begun to show off a wonderful array of warm spicy notes with that trademark mouth-filling soft tannin and gentle acidity. With the capability to cellar for another 5 to 8 years, this is the Barossa Shiraz you have to own!

McLaren Vale Grenache by Michael Fragos


Grenache is undisputedly the variety that expresses the personality, history and charm of McLaren Vale. I grew up in McLaren Vale surrounded by these adorable stoic vines, there is something so reassuring and grounding about them. The first vines were planted in McLaren Vale in 1838, so we are so fortunate to be blessed with this amazing resource of gnarly old bush vines. Grenache is really suited to bush vine viticulture as the vines have a vertical growth pattern. The last five years have been phenomenal for McLaren Vale Grenache as the variety has moved from unsung hero to now achieving the celebrity-like status that it truly deserves.

Barossa Valley Shiraz by Chris Ringland


Experienced winemaker Chris Ringland took on the task of reinvigorating 100-year-old vines back in 1994 and has brought them out of the shadows and into the light. A wealth of top-quality Shiraz fruit has led to Chris crafting expressive, bold Shiraz at every level.

Celebrate winemaker Chris Ringland dishes on his affair with Barossa Valley Shiraz and picks some of his favourites. 

Eden Valley Shiraz by Justine Henschke


Elegant, spicy Shiraz, made from the correct sites for the variety has a bright future in Australia. There are so many contrasting styles that there really is something for everyone. It is the variety that put Australia on the international stage. Fourth-generation Cyril Henschke pioneered varietal and single-vineyard Shiraz wines in an era when blended wines and fortified were in vogue. His greatest legacy was the creation of Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone in the 1950s - Shiraz wines from Eden Valley that have captured the red wine world’s imagination. Shiraz has always been a historical focus for Henschke and will continue to be into the future. 

Jim Barry Wines


Alternative varieties are not a new phenomenon In Australia, however, due to nurseries like the Chalmers, there is now greater availability to new varieties and different clones. Producers are also thinking more about what varieties they plant and making sure they re suited to where they will be planted. In the past, many producers planted cool climate varieties in warm regions, which loose acidity in the heat and become flabby and not enjoyable to drink.

Varieties from Portugal, Southern Italy and Greece are being planted in warmer regions as varieties from these areas are more suited to warmer climates such as Clare Valley, Barossa and Mclaren Vale. in the early days of alternative varieties, it was cooler climate varieties such as Sangiovese and Nebbiolo being planted but now we are seeing warmer climate varieties becoming available.

Sam Barry, from Jim Barry, talks about his favourite emerging varietals.

RieslingFreak by John Hughes


Rieslingfreak is all about the expression of Riesling. We at Rieslingfreak immerse ourselves in Riesling, showing different expressions of Riesling through regions and styles. What I love about Riesling most, is the diversity of the grape. At Rieslingfreak we are deeply passionate about the variety and craft a range of Rieslings. Each of our Rieslings are numbered. The number representing both region and style. We source our Riesling from some of Australia’s top producing Riesling regions, including Clare Valley, Eden Valley and Polish Hill River.

Yarra Valley Pinot by Rob Dolan


Rob Dolan describes the exclusive six pack of Pinot Noir wines he put together consisting of the regions best Pinot Noir's from renowned local winemakers.

Celebrated Australian winemaking icon Rob Dolan chats about his love for Pinot and the Yarra Valley

 

"The Barossa Shiraz Wine style is very distinctive. Thee is always a richness and fruit sweetness that conveys the South Australian climate, bathed in sunshine."

Taste some of Isabel's finest...

"The Barossa Shiraz wine style is very distinctive. There is always a richness and fruit sweetness that conveys the South Australian climate, bathed in sunshine. "

 

Steven Longishname

WHISKY SOMMELIER

SUNTORY

HIBIKI HARMONY

Review and Tasting Notes

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"Very smooth, easy to drink sipping whisky. Harmony sits right next to my 12 yr old scotches and is equally pleasurable to drink in front of a roaring fire! love it!".

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HIBIKI® WHISKY

THE PARAGON OF JAPANESE WHISKY

Appearance / Color
Iridescent amber.

Nose / Aroma / Smell
Floral Hibiscus, honey and wood.

Flavor / Taste / Palate
Custard, honey with strong notes autumn fruits.

Flavor / Taste / Palate
Custard, honey with strong notes autumn fruits.