Shiraz is Australia’s most widely-planted grape variety and it thrives in almost every Australian wine region. As a celebration of this staple grape we’ve selected six flagship-level Shiraz wines, three of them Langton’s Classified, one from each of six major wine regions.
All wines in this offer are Shiraz flagships for their producers and several would also be nominated as regional flagships. All vintages been assessed by major critics at 95 points or better, meaning that every Shiraz in this offer is Gold Medal standard.
Yarra Yering ‘Dry Red Wine No.2’, Yarra Valley 2015
Hentley Farm ‘The Beauty’, Barossa Valley 2015
Katnook Estate ‘Prodigy’, Coonawarra 2012
Dandelion ‘Red Queen’, Eden Valley 2015
d’Arenberg ‘The Dead Arm’, McLaren Vale 2015
Seppelt ‘St Peters’, Grampians 2016
"Deep, bright red/purple hue and a fresh, intense spicy and gently floral aroma overlain by a little charry oak. There is delicious red and dark fruit flavour, raspberry and blueberry as well, and the tannins are fine and supple, powdery and subtle and superbly balanced with the other components (small amounts of Viognier, Marsanne and Mataro). A gorgeous wine of great charm and wonderful harmony. Drink to 2047." 96 points, Real Review, August 2017
"Yarra Yering originally kept things simple, with two reds. One built on the foundation of Bordeaux grape varieties while the other, the No. 2, on the more aromatic supports of those from the Rhone. Dr. Bailey Carrodus, Yarra Yering's charming and highly idiosyncratic founder, prided himself and his wines on their longevity and savoury, European aura. And rightly so. The tradition lives on, manifest in this medium-bodied, graceful expression of 95% Shiraz, complemented by dashes of Viognier, Mataro and Marsanne. A bright vermilion robe invites one into a kaleidoscope of violet, baking spice, black cherry and blue fruits of every description. Anise, iodine and vanillin oak sashay effortlessly with diaphanous grape tannins and a flow of natural acidity." 96 points, Wine Companion, Jan 2017
"Plenty of complexity, depth, detail and interest with spice-dusted ripe dark plum and blackberry fruits, graphite and pepper. The palate is clearly defined. Tannins are crisp and clear cut. Taut red plum fruits just break free. Best from 2023."
95 points, jamessuckling.com, Jan 2018
"This significant wine in Australia’s prestige echelon is produced from Shiraz (95%), Mataro (2%), and co-fermented with Viognier (2%) and Marsanne (0.5%)... From the brilliant Yarra Yering estate, established in 1973… There’s a beautiful lift of floral character in the perfume though it’s competing with a pleasing but musty, rustic spicy/old oak character that’s set amongst the forest berry fruits. The bouquet is old fashioned, right down to a tobacco/pencil shaving element, but the palate speaks a bit more fluidly of now with soft, sweet-sour, bright fruit, medium-bodied feel, well-integrated, warm-spicy oak and a subtle tug of tannins. Indeed the palate is a grand attraction. It’s got layers, a very fine feel, succulence through its very long length. Watch this mature compellingly. Drink to 2035." 93+ points, Wine Front, November 2016
"Includes 3% Viognier, destemmed only, co-fermented, nine days on skins, matured in French oak (35% new) for 16 months. Vivid crimson-purple; fruit, oak and tannins are in perfect alignment, all expressive, the juicy blackberry and satsuma plum fruit has clearly gained freshness from the Viognier, and allows textural complexity free play. A lovely Barossa Valley Shiraz." 96 points, Wine Companion, Jan 2017
"Co-fermented with Viognier skins, the 2015 Shiraz The Beauty spent 16 months in about one-third new oak barrels. Scents of cola, blueberries and baking spices emerge on the nose, while the palate delivers silky cherry and raspberry fruit. It's full-bodied and supple, with a crisp finish and touches of mocha." 92 points, Wine Advocate, September 2018
"Crushed and destemmed, cultured yeast, 5-10 days on skins, matured for 25 months in 43% French (21% new) and 57% American barriques (27% new). Has retained very good hue; Prodigy marches to the tune of its own drum, and practice has long since made perfect. Despite all the winemaking, and in particular the time spent in oak, it has retained balance, emerging at the end of the process as elegant; the fruit is of high quality ex the vineyard, and no less ex the bottle, the tannins supple, the wine fresh. The high quality cork has been perfectly inserted." 96 points, Wine Companion. Feb 2017
"The stunning 2015 Red Queen of the Eden Valley Shiraz combines awesome complexity with ample weight, power and concentration. From Shiraz vines planted in 1912, this wine includes a hefty 40% whole bunches, was naturally fermented and aged two and a half years in 50% new French oak. The resulting wine is medium to full-bodied, with ripe but firm tannins that frame intense blueberry and boysenberry fruit. Hints of oaky spice and cracked pepper plus floral and herbal notes all come together on the finish, making for a dizzying array of flavors that seem to almost grow in intensity over time." 97 points, Wine Advocate, March 2018
"Loaded with oak but the fruit is so bright and floral -- so pretty -- that it's entirely up for the challenge. Sweet, smoky, savoury and perfumed at once, this blue-red-black-berried wine comes shot with woodsy spice and primed with fine-grained tannin. It's best suited to the mid-long term cellar (to 2035) but then, it does drink well now." 95 points, Wine Front, March 2018
"A lush, super-ripe, almost slightly syrupy wine, with excellent concentration. A powerful Shiraz with marvellously supple texture and a lavish sweet-fruit core. Drink to 2037." 95 points, Real Review, May 2018
"This is a particularly good Dead Arm, its alcohol miraculously the same as the '14, but however that may be, it has an elegance to its mouthfeel and lingering finish. Drink to 2045." 96 points, Wine Companion, Feb 2018.
"A great and formidable wine. It is packed with deeply concentrated dark-plum and blackberry aromas and flavours. There is a streak of red, spicy, smoky and meaty complexity, as well as a genius fusion of power and elegance. Best from 2022."
94 points, jamessuckling.com, August 2018
"...substantial… It has the might, it has the power, it’s never had the pleasure of nuance but then the style and indeed target market isn’t going to miss it. This is a red wine of brute, brooding power. It’s a horse-hearted wine, blackberry and saltbush, clove and gunmetal flavours coursing through its veins. It tastes sweet, stewed and exaggerated but it feels neat, balanced and intentional. The back half of the wine is all tight sheets of tannin, studded with saltbush and related iodine. Oak? Cedary, but sunk deep into the wine. It’s as hard a wine to fault as it is to love; it lacks charm but is both immaculate and concentrated. Drink to 2030+" 93+ points, Wine Front, June 2018
"Deep red/purple colour; blood plum aromas with a veneer of charred oak. It's a big wine with lots of oak in the aroma and flavour, all finishing off with robust tannins. This needs more time for the grip to soften and the oaky flavours to further mellow into the wine. It will be very good in time. Later: very powerful, concentrated, majestic wine with strong ironstone/mineral and pepper/spice aromas and flavours. Great structure and power. A stunning wine which will blossom with time in the cellar. Drink 2021-2046." 96 points, Real Review, May 2018
"At this stage still quite closed. Nothing leaps out of the glass, and what you find with exploration is given up reluctantly. Deep and brooding, there are aromas of charcuterie, red and black fruits, and a suggestion of the countryside -- freshly mown hay and dust. The palate is dense but it feels medium-bodied, with ripe but slightly tart-edged fruit buried in a surreptitiously enveloping cloak of tannin that builds and builds. This wine will take you on an intriguing journey if you have the time to follow it. Drink to 2046." 96 points, Steven Creber, Feb 2018
South Australia is the driest state on the world’s driest continent. Covering almost 1 million (984 377km) square kilomteres, it represents 12.8% of the Australian land mass. Sweeping plains are intersected by a spine of relatively low lying ranges, the Mount Lofty/Flinders Ranges which extend through the heart of the State. Over 50% of the state is elevated at under 150 metres. The Great Artesian basin covers almost one-third of the State. The major river is the River Murray which lethargically makes its way into the Southern Ocean. This water mass has a moderating effect on climate, particularly in the southern regions of South Australia where most vines are planted.
Summers are generally hot and dry with relatively mild nights. Winters are cool. Rainfall occurs mostly during late autumn/winter (May, June, July, August). Drought and salinity are major concerns.
The principle wine regions in South Australia are; the Adelaide Hills, Barossa (comprising the Barossa and Eden Valleys), Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Coonawarra and the Riverland. Vineyard expansion has also extended to Wrattonbully, Mount Benson, Bordertown, Robe, Southern Fleurieu and the Flinders Ranges.
It is a tradition for many wine companies to make multi-district blends from South Australian fruit – the idea of house style taking precedence over regional definition. Penfolds pioneered this concept. The vagaries of vintage variation can be evened out by fruit selection, ensuring quality at a high level. However there is debate that this concept comes at the expense of the ‘soul’ of the wine. Penfolds Grange is probably the most famous multi-district blend and is an excellent counter-argument.Andrew Caillard MW, Langton's