February 15, 2024

Celebrate International Syrah day: Our real hidden gem

If you’re looking to celebrate International Syrah Day, or just love great shiraz/syrah, then these expressions from six of our Beechworth Vignerons are for you. First published on Halliday Wine Companion, they spoke with six of our vignerons about why you should be drinking more Beechworth syrah!

February 16 is International Syrah Day, and so to celebrate we’re have six Vigneron’s wishing to share their current release shiraz with you, for you to indulge. Six expressions of syrah/shiraz from Northeast Victoria, Beechworth is more commonly known for it’s premium chardonnay, but our shiraz is the real hidden gem! Originating from the Rhône Valley of France, shiraz or syrah is Australia’s most widely planted (and drunk) grape – it’s also our most exported grape variety!

Syrah from Europe will generally have more earthy and herbaceous notes, along with more acidity, while examples from Australia, the United States and South America are packed with spice and the fruit is the hero. When it comes to our Beechworth syrah and shiraz, it’s a grape of great integrity, and produces consistently rich, complex and exceptional wines, often overlooked by wine enthusiasts, who look to buy more of our chardonnay. Beechworth examples are cool-climate in personality, with notes of herbs and spice, blueberries and rich fruits. Often described as elegant, restrained and with velvety tannin’s, once in your glass, you will see for yourself: Exceptional quality, value and elegance. See below, six current release wines perfect to enjoy on February 16, or any day of the year for that matter…

2021 Baarmutha Shiraz | RRP $50
The 2021 Baarmutha Shiraz is a classic example of the cool climate versatility of Australia’s champion grape type. Very deep in colour, it has a nose of blackcurrant and white pepper. There’s a burst of plum fruit on the palate, which is supported by 20 per cent new French oak, and the balanced acid provides an elegant and full tannin structure. A great food shiraz that will cellar for many years.

2019 Castagna Genesis Syrah | RRP $89
In the mouth it is fine and precise with more than a passing nod to the Northern Rhône. Fresh and lively with beautiful aromatics of violets, salumi, blueberries, crushed clove, mace and Chinese five spice. The tannins, as always, are fine and elegant. A wine that drinks well now but will age beautifully.

2019 Fighting Gully Road Syrah | RRP $70
One third of the fruit was placed in the fermenter as whole bunches. Two percent of pressed viognier skins were added, then the remaining grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed. The wine was aged in new and seasoned thick-staved 600L demi-muids from the forest of Fontainebleau for 18 months prior to bottling.

2021 Juliard Wines Shiraz | RRP $38
Our shiraz was fermented on skins for three weeks with 30 per cent whole bunch fermentation. It has been matured for 18 months in a combination of large-format old oak and new barriques. On the nose subtle white pepper and spiced plum, an elegant palate that is well balanced and has lovely, refined tannins which will reward you with great length.

2019 Savaterre Shiraz | RRP $75
Savaterre shiraz is more in the syrah mode. Tasting blind, you would assume it was a Northern Rhône. It’s a beautiful wine with sophistication, complexity, tension and power. Very lifted and complex. A complete wine and 100 per cent shiraz. You must decant this wine well ahead of time to see it in its entirety. A highly perfumed wine with distinct red fruit preserve and floral character. Smooth, seamless, and almost pinot-like in its vibrant and weightless character. Discreet fine tannins and acid frame this wine. Best enjoyed in four to 15 years.

2021 Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown Thorley Syrah | RRP $58
A deep but clear maroon-purple appearance. The nose flips between olive brine and cold clay, and more ascendant violet purple floral characters. With time in glass, a ripple of pleasing greeny stalkishness emerges as does white pepper and macerated blue-purple fruits. The palate is all blackberry compote, unsweetened and vital, and the tannins are quite rolling and layered, silty and emery at the same time. Cool pepperiness builds to length.