We love Grenache Shiraz blends at Graham HQ. It’s a formula that satisfies often and typically at affordable prices, this quintet of Shiraz/Grenache-based blends can be evidence. They’re not superstars, but they’re not meant to either – just good solid drinks.
d’Arenberg D’Arry’s Original Shiraz Grenache 2017
Does exactly what it’s meant to and more. Makes you think that the slavish love of Shiraz as a mono-variety in the Vale is wrong. More blends. Vibrant red Grenache fruit is the star here, with layers of darker Shiraz, no noticeable oak, and grainy d’Arenberg tannins. Vibrant, well balanced and unadulterated, it’s a model of fruit with substantialness. Yes. Best drinking: now, but hey, it will live for a decade if you leave it. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.5%, $20. Would I buy it? Worth a bottle.
Pontifex Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2017
Barossa. Modern Barossa. Modern Barossa with oak. And luscious, chocolate milkshake oak which appears to be the Pontifex trademark. More oaky Barossa red than varietal and would be easy to pick this as straight Shiraz. But the texture is seriously attractive – it’s an effortlessly smooth flow of cocoa bean and dark fruit. Come hither style and unapologetically so, even if it’s a bit ‘made’. Best drinking: you could wait for 2-3, and the oak will likely be better integrated. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.5%, $35. Would I buy it? A glass or two.
Varney Wines Entrada G.M.T 2018
Good packaging, smart wines. Varney gets the Australian Wine Review Tick™. A McLaren blend of Grenache from Blewitt Springs & Seaview. Mourvedre from White’s Valley and Touriga from Oliver’s Taranga (which is Seaview also). Includes some whole bunches. 60/30/10 mix of varieties 250 cases. ‘Vibrant early picked style’ says the back label and I’m not arguing. juicy, finely tannic, puckering tannins but jubey fruit. Like a plum skin. Exuberant and moreish, it’s not profound but such a drinkable, and seriously well balanced young red. Tangy too. Yes to this. Best drinking: don’t delay. You don’t need too. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.1%, $25. Would I buy it? Let’s share a bottle.
Tellurian Heathcote GSM 2018
The Tellurian vineyard must be almost certified organic now. Heathcote a good place for organic viticulture IMO. A blend of 46% Grenache 36% Shiraz and the rest Mourvedre. This style, again, seems a natural fit for Heathcote. Strike another win for blends! Juicy jubey red berries flirt with heavier ripeness but brought back by generous, jubey red fruit Grenache. It’s open, generous, forthright. Even finish too. The slight warmth is there, but not a deal-breaker. Plenty to like at every turn otherwise. Best drinking: now to a decade. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14.5%, $28. Would I buy it? Worth a glass.
Wirra Wirra’s Original Blend 2018
Another Original. Unlike the Highlander, there can be more than one. More Skywalker. This is 70% Grenache and 30% Shiraz. Luscious, purple berry fruited Grenache blend in a round and easy mode. Sandy tannins, a little warmth, maximum blue and raspberry generosity. Super likeable and genuinely varietal, it’s another easy wine you won’t regret buying. Best drinking: now to at least 8 years. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14.5%, $25. Would I buy it? We’re sharing thanks.
St Hallett Blockhead Shiraz Grenache 2018
Tasting this reminds me that I was never sent a sample of the new Old Block. Always like that wine for a proper Barossa Shiraz fix. This is real Barossa stuff too – all bright fruit, plumpness and easy flavours. Slightly confected, sure, but very easy to like. You almost want a bit more definition (and it’s a bit tart). But at the price, it’s solid pub wine list fare (I miss pubs). Best drinking: it will look better with another few years in bottle. 17/20, 90/100. 14%, $26.99. Would I buy it? A glass for starters.
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