The Barossa: Shiraz as our Hero
At the very least, Shiraz in Australia is two different wine expressions: a low-yielded, dry-grown, heavily winery-worked style, with ripeness, tannin and oak in equal abundance; and a finer, medium-bodied style, picked at lower ripeness, with less exposure to small, new oak, and accordingly more fragrant and floral in composition. Traditionally, these stylistic opposites were distinguished by state and regions, with South Australia’s Barossa and McLaren Vale championing the former, and Victoria’s Grampians, Beechworth and Yarra Valley, the latter.
Today, and increasingly, both styles can be found in the Barossa, with the stylistic parameters just as likely to be defined by the winemaker’s own philosophy and wine-drinking preference than any climate-driven issue. Whichever style you prefer – and there is obviously a good case for both, and most permutations in between - Shiraz has consistently been recognized as the region’s – if not the country’s – signature expression.