Although I’m a fan of wide variety of red wines and always on the lookout for something new, I often revert back to a good Aussie Shiraz. The Barossa is a go-to region for the big blockbuster reds I love. Ripe fruit flavours, lush velvet finish typical of this region’s Shiraz tend to tick my boxes. From our tastings around the country, it’s pretty clear that I am not alone. Our “Huge Reds” and “Full and Fruity” tables (where you are bound to find a Shiraz or three) tend to resemble bees around a honey pot, with our stocks running fairly dry by the end of the evening. As we continue our Aussie wine week, it only seems right that we focus our attention on a region where bold is the norm. The Barossa Valley is arguably the most famous wine making region in the whole of Australia and famed for its production of full bodied Shiraz – this area is bound to be on the hit list of any die hard “Huge Red” fans!
Let’s start with a bit of background. The Barossa Valley is located around 45 miles north east of Adelaide in the South of Australia. Winemaking dates back to the 1800s and following an influx of German immigrants in the 1900s, the region now has a distinctively Germanic feel to it. Over the years, wine production has grown to such an extent that there are now over 750 wine growers competing to make the best wines within a stretch of 30km of vineyards. Shiraz is by far and away the king of the region, although Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mataro, Riesling and Semillon play their part too, albeit in far lesser quantities.
So what makes the Barossa so suited to Shiraz? The warm, continental climate for sure but also the rolling landscape and limestone soils. It’s the combination of these factors that lend themselves so well to the full bodied, fruity and spicy flavours so typical of the wines from the region. Having said that good wine still relies heavily on the skills of the winemaker, but the quality of the fruit throughout the region makes that job slightly easier.
It’s no real surprise that Barossa has a strong foodie influence too. The wines coming out of this region are massive, with a high alcohol content and lots of heavy tannins to match. As a result, they are going to need something equally big to stand up to them. BBQ meats are the obvious choice, especially German style sausages to draw upon the region’s heritage. For me, however, a cheese platter wins hands down anytime.
The Beneficio Cellar Reserve Barossa Valley Shiraz 2009 on offer today is a wonderful example of a top notch Barossa Shiraz. Bursting with jammy fruit and with a long, silky finish, this is fantastic wine to impress your mates with – I have a couple of bottles in my wine rack ready to do just that! But we also have plenty more to tempt you with. The Albacore Fleurieu Barossa Shiraz 2009 is one of my all time favourite wines in our range and you only need to check out the customer reviews of our Shiraz Plays Shiraz Barossa Valley Shiraz 2009 to see how good it is.