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Tim's Ravings

Posted by Tim Stevens on

The Australian Shiraz Revolution

We are in the midst of a revolution, my friends, and its long overdue. My strong advice is to get on board or miss out on something pretty special.

Australian regional shiraz has been a thing for a few decades among Australian winelovers and has been knocking at the global door of timeless wine styles in more recent times.

The style was pioneered by Max Schubert in the middle of last century, when he looked at Australia’s unique climate and soils, and the classic French grapevine variety Syrah for a century. He ingeniously married the two components, sourcing Shiraz fruit from high quality vineyards in warmer areas, then he delayed harvesting the fruit a week or two later than the norm. Both of these factors gave a richer, more generous wine and, while it took a while to overcome the resistance of traditionalists, the style caught-on.

The next step in the evolution of the style was to regionalise it. Winemakers in the 1980’s and 1990’s set about answering the question, “Which sites and regional climates would best make this style and make the wines even more interesting?”

And while we will continue to ask that question into the future, we have come up with some answers and Mudgee, fortuitously as a warmer region with old soils, has made it to the successful list.

While all of this was happening, winemakers were quietly hitting the world stage to convince wine drinkers of the style and now it has become a classic style alongside Bordeaux, Burgundy and Tuscany. In a nutshell, the style is one of brashness and generosity of fruit all underpinned by a robust and balanced structure of fine tannins.

So now we reap the rewards of this revolution as drinkers in America, Asia and even Europe are now actively seeking out regional models. Mudgee shiraz is among the most interesting variants with its unsurpassed tannins and fine structures.

It’s an exciting time for me to make and Huntington Estate Shiraz and I would urge you to grab our new release Shiraz's in this newsletter which I truly believe to be the best we have ever produced.

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