February 2005                              


Wines of the month - Paul DeRose

If you’re feeling winter’s ills, Syrah helps fight the winter chill. Although not a new grape, Syrah, or Shiraz as the Aussies have coined it, makes rich, hearty, deeply colored wines that are both mouth coating and food friendly. Originally from France’s Rhone valley, this grape has gained popularity in the US in the last ten years, due to the more forwardly fruity Aussie version of the grape and its catchy name. In the past few years some producers in other regions, such as California, Washington state and South Africa have dropped the French name in favor of that of the popular Aussie icon. Shiraz tends to have concentrated black fruit (blackberry, cassis and black cherry) and gamy flavors with cedary accents from oak aging. Its full throttle, hearty flavor makes it a great midwinter wine that goes well with heavier foods fitting of the season.

Listed below are some of my favorites from Australia and elsewhere in order of preference. Feel free to direct any questions or comments to me at deroseline@comcast.net.

• Leasingham Classic Clare Shiraz ($40)*
• D’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz/Viognier ($34)*
• Chateau Reynella McLaren Vale Shiraz ($26)*
• Penfolds St Henri Shiraz ($30)
• Leasingham Bin 61 Clare Valley Shiraz ($21)*
• Rosemount Show Reserve Shiraz ($20)*
• Guigal, Crozes Hermitage ($16)*
• Cooperative de Tain, Crozes-Hermitage, Les Nobles Rives ($11)*
• Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah ($10)*
• Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz/Cabernet ($10)*
• Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz/Mourvedre ($10)*
• Rosemount Shiraz ($10)*

* indicates available in Montgomery County