“While pinot noir and shiraz are not quite polar opposites, the thought of blending the two varieties together may seem shocking to many. However, in the 40s and 50s, one of Australia’s legendary winemakers made arguably some of our greatest and most enduring wines pairing just those two grapes. Today, there is a renewed interest in the blend, and makers from the staunchly traditional to the restlessly creative are getting on board. Enough in fact that a Deep Dive was called for.
With six of the finest palates in attendance, we gathered every example we could find in Australia and set our expert panel the tasks of finding the wines that compelled the most. All wines were tasted blind, and each panelist named their top six wines. Below are the top wines from the tasting.”
Our panel: Sarah Crowe, Winemaker/General Manager Yarra Yering; Mirko Pastorelli, Sommelier; Natasha Johns DipWSET, Owner/Director Primavera Selections; Tom Kline, Victorian State Sales Manager Bibendum Wine Co.; Ellie Ash, Head Sommelier The Recreation; Jeremy Shiell, Sommelier Winespeake. All wines were tasted blind.
This was Ash’s top wine of the tasting. “I was drawn to this wine initially because it stood out stylistically from the other wines before it,” she wrote, “with some apparent oak-smoke, char and bitter dark chocolate. Plush, vibrant fruits unfolded on the palate. This wine had some more serious, savoury and mineral elements with taut, structured tannins. Flinty and mineral, with fresh plum and dried lilac, it showed a bigger style in a line-up of lots of perfumed, smashable wines. This was a style I certainly think deserves recognition.”
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