At last the many and varied delights of Shiraz and Grenache-based blends are becoming fully recognised. This carefully-selected mix of six wines, three from the Rhône Valley of south-eastern France and three from the Barossa Valley of South Australia, puts the issue beyond doubt. But it’s taken a generation for lovers of Australian Shiraz to get the picture, one: in wine, a whole can very often be more than the sum of its parts, and two: blending Shiraz, Grenache and their cousins is not new. It’s something the French have been doing for decades, if not centuries.
This is a celebration, not a competition. And these six varying expressions of a shared winemaking history and philosophy make celebration well worthwhile. The opportunity is to explore the way these amazingly compatible grape varieties express themselves in different combinations, in different countries, in the hands of different winemakers.
They’re all the same, but they’re all different. This is the wonderful world of wine.
Our Rhône and Barossa Red Blend Celebration (Langton’s AUS v FRA Grenache Blends Collection six-pack) includes one bottle each of...
FROM THE RHÔNE
Xavier Chateauneuf du Pape 2012
“...another rocking wine from this estate. Christmas spice, raspberry, crushed flowers and hints of mint all emerge from this elegant, yet ripe, textured and forward effort… 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre… aged in equal parts foudre and barrel… the winemaking is impeccable..."
Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate
Dom. Font de Michelle Chateauneuf du Pape 2014
Made from vines, on average, 45 years old in 2017; 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 10% other permitted varieties; matured for 16 months in a combination of large and small oak barrels, none of them new; a wine that can be aged for 10+ years.
Paul Jaboulet Aîné ‘Parallèle 45’ Côtes du Rhône 2015
Jaboulet aims to produce ‘France’s finest red Rhône value’; vines 40+ years old on average, mostly organically grown on clay/limestone soils; 50% declassified Côtes du Rhône Villages (including Cairanne and Plan Dieu); 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah; aged 20% in large, older barrels, 80% in stainless steel tanks.
FROM THE BAROSSA
John Duval ‘Plexus’ SGM 2016
“A 52/30/18% blend… very good... looking to the future rather than the past... should please everyone with its mix of cherry, plum and blackberry couched in savoury tannins...”
95 points, James Halliday
Sons of Eden ‘Kennedy’ GSM 2016
40/34/26% blend; bursting with ripe cherry, plum, sweet spice and red licorice aromas and flavours supported by soft, velvety tannins and a savoury finish; matured in used oak hogsheads and puncheons for 16 months.
Kalleske ‘Clarry’s’ GSM 2016
“This is an impressive wine....There's ample depth to the red, blue, purple and small black fruit flavours that are the sole drivers of the wine. Good each-way bet, too."
91 points, James Halliday