Barossa Valley Shiraz
Australia is known for its Shiraz (Syrah), and some of the best Shiraz comes from The Barossa Valley, which is located in South Australia about 40 miles Northeast of the city of Adelaide. Vines were first planted her in 1847, and by the 1880s the area had a reputation as one of the most well known wine producing regions in Australia. The vines are planted mainly on flat lands, but at elevations of 800 to 1,800 feet in some spots. And although it is a hot and dry climate, the vines are cooled by the ocean breezes. A lot of the Shiraz produced here is world famous, with many of the grapes grown on vines that have been around since the mid 1800s. Other grapes grown here are whites such as Riesling, chardonnay, and Semillon, as well as reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Mourvedre. I was lucky enough to try out a Barrosa Valley Shiraz this weekend, a 2009 Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz. This was a fantastic wine, and possibly the best Shiraz I have ever tried. It presented itself in a deep, dark purple, and had a nose of ripe blackberry with hints of spice. It had great silky smooth finish, with mellow tannins and a delicious taste of spicy black fruit. The alcohol at 14.8% sounds high, but is hardly noticeable as the wine is extremely well balanced. This vintage was ranked no. 35 of the top 100 wines of 2011 by Wine Spectator, and also received a rating of 94. It was a great glass of wine, and I would highly recommend it!
Other news out of Australia deals with Tasmania. The island has been ranked just behind China as the best place in the world to invest in the wine industry. Reasons for the ranking were the island’s cool climate, abundance of water, and lack of pests among others. Tasmania has a history of wine growing that dates back to the early 1800s, but has really not not seen much growth until relatively recently. The cool climate makes it ideal for grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which are currently the most popular varieties grown. Other grapes include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer. Some officials claim that Tasmania has great potential, even going as far to saying it could become the Champagne of the southern hemisphere. It shall be interesting to see what happens.
And finally, if you are looking for a wine to enjoy the warm weather with, this Rhone Valley rose might be the perfect drink for quenching you thirst.