Friday, March 18, 2016
Que Syrah, ShirazSouthern Style
Bilancia Syrah 2004 (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand), 13.5%, €25.18 (was 31.50) Karwig Wines.
Before we even get to the contents, there are two things to note here. The grape is called Syrah and the closure is screw-cap. Don't think I’ve ever twisted a cap off a wine as old. In France, the grape is called Syrah. Elsewhere this ever popular grape is known as Shiraz unless the winemaker, as here, is aiming for the more restrained French style.
A small amount of Viognier (c. 2%) has been used here. The term for this, according to Grapes and Wines, is co-fermentation and says it “gives not just perfume but some extra silkiness of texture”. Syrah itself is, of course, a great blender, most famously in the Rhone where it mixes so well with Grenache and Mourvèdre (shorthand: GSM).
This Bilancia (balance) has a purple colour, aromas of ripe fruit, a little pepper. There is a gorgeous elegant mouthfeel, flavours (mainly plum) and spice; lives up to its name with perfect balance and harmony, good finish too. Highly Recommended.
The Leheny Gibson mentioned on the front label refers to two people, winemakers Lorraine Leheny and Warren Gibson who first released their wines in 1998.
Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz 2012 (Padthaway, Australia), 14.5%, €16.75 Karwig Wines
This juicy vibrant wine is Shiraz rather than Syrah. Purple is the colour and there in the aromas you'll find ripe red fruits and some spice too. Juicy and vibrant on the palate, fine tannins, oak well integrated, well balanced and easy drinking. Excellent on its own, great too, they suggest, “with food and friends”. Highly Recommended.
Jip Jip Rocks is one of three Bryson family vineyards in the area; the others are Morambro Creek and Mt Monster, who also produce Shiraz. By the way, Jip Jip is well known too for its sparkling shiraz. Quite a few Australian vineyards produce a sparkling shiraz.
David Bryson told me in Cork a few years back that this still Shiraz is their main seller. It is a 100% Shiraz, 100% Padthaway wine with “a lot of vineyard character..a bottle of serious fun…,approachable”.
The Jip Jip rocks have existed for 350 million years and the striking outcrop is sacred to Aboriginal beliefs.
Pielow’s Shiraz 2012, (Tulbagh, Western Cape, South Africa), 14.5%, €17.95 Karwig Wines
Colin and Teresa Pielow, formerly chef proprietors of two Irish restaurants (including one in Cobh), came to to South Africa a few years back and settled in the beautiful Tulbagh valley in the Cape Winelands. The property where they established and planted their own vineyard has produced this Pielow's Shiraz which is still in their ownership. They have returned to Ireland and opened Pielows Restaurant in Cabinteely where, of course, you may enjoy this fruit-driven Shiraz!
Pielow’s wines are available from:
Pielow's Restaurant, 2 Main Street, Cabinteely, Dublin 18, Ireland
Tel: 01 284 0914 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karwig Wines, Carrigaline, Co.Cork.
Tel: 021 437 4159 Email: email@example.com
Mitchell & Son, Glasthule, 54 Glasthule Road, Glasthule Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 230 2301 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Avoca Food Market, (stocked by Mitchell & Son), Kilmacanogue. Co. Wicklow
Tel: 01 274 6900 Web: avoca.com