Cuisine Wine

Australian Shiraz Tasting results

07 June 2023 (Cuisine magazine Issue 218)

A great shiraz is a great shiraz however you say it, finds MARY- THERESE BLAIR.

Despite being a New Zealand resident for almost 15 years I am constantly told I haven’t lost my accent, to which I (half) jokingly reply, “Why would I?”. I don’t know how other nationalities fare, but having an Irish accent outside of Ireland is akin to a superpower. Turns out it’s not always helpful, as during this tasting our judges looked blankly as I described one wine as a “maunch panda”. Asking me to clarify as this was a descriptor that our judges had never previously heard, I slowly repeated “porch…pounder”. But even this had to be further clarified: it is an Americanism that describes well-priced wines traditionally drunk with gusto on the porch or with friends while barbecuing vast quantities of red meat. A collective “Ahhhh” of recognition came from the judges followed by unanimous agreement that this selection does indeed include quite a few examples of great-quality, excellently priced shiraz. That’s good news in any accent.

top Australian Shiraz

Deen De Bortoli Shiraz Vat 8 2018 (New South Wales, Australia)

There are few in the world of wine who won’t recognise the name De Bortoli, which started as the dream of an immigrant and, thanks to hard work and sacrifice, became reality. Today the company is a behemoth of the Australian wine industry. Producing countless wine varietals under several brands ranging in price from under $15 to over $200, the De Bortoli Family Winemakers brand is iconic.

The Deen sub-brand is a tribute to Deen De Bortoli. Born in Australia in 1936, Deen was a visionary and his foresight, determination and passion for technology are credited with taking De Bortoli to the next level. Despite his parents’ protests, Deen left school at fifteen and set to work in the winery. Though still a boy, he had vision beyond his years. Once he had learned the business, Deen took his love of technology and set about modernising and expanding the business. Sadly, Deen passed away in 2003 having devoted most of his life to the advancement of the De Bortoli business and the creation of the legacy that today is De Bortoli Family Winemakers. This fantastic shiraz is deeply coloured with just a hint of fade on the rim. The aromas of dark and brooding fruits stream from the glass and one sip confirms the rich, complex wine within with flavours of dark plums and sweet chocolate. The big tannins present are juicy and well polished with spicy herbal notes that come through the lengthy and lucious palate. Superb. (A)

| $18
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Star ratings for this tasting

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  • Outstanding 2
  • Excellent 4
  • Very Good 7
  • Good 9
  • No Award 0
  • Total Entries 22