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Reviving the Riches of Australian Shiraz

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Fiona Beckett from the Guardian Newspaper has an article on Australian Shiraz. In the 1990s, her favourite red wine was Australian shiraz, admired for its voluptuous, ripe and smooth qualities. However, tastes evolved and these wines became known as too sweet and jammy. However, recently, at a wine tasting, Fiona was impressed with the quality and reasonable pricing of mid-priced Shiraz noting their superiority over Malbecs in the same price range.

The abundance of Shiraz in Australia, a result of an oversupplied market since China imposed import duties in 2020, has benefited the markets such as the UK, Australia’s top export destination. Despite an average price of over £6, sales of wines priced at £9 and above have grown significantly.

Shiraz remains Australia’s best-selling grape, produced three times more than Cabernet Sauvignon. Fiona questions why Shiraz isn’t more popular in the UK, despite its quality, as demonstrated by the excellent 2021 vintage. These wines, though high in alcohol, have balanced sweetness and are versatile for various dishes, making them suitable for many occasions.

Fiona recommends five Australian Shiraz from the 2021 vintage:

Asda Extra Special Great Western Shiraz 2021 – Available at Asda for £9.75.
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet 2021 – Sold at Asda for £10.50, Tesco for £11.
Robert Oatley Semaphore McLaren Vale Shiraz 2021 – Can be purchased at Co-op for £10.50.
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2021 – Offered at Majestic, priced at £14.99, or £10.99 if you buy six.
Sam Plunkett 1919 Plantings Shiraz 2021 – Available at Naked Wines, priced at £19.99, or £15.99 for Naked Wines’ ‘Angels’.