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Best Shiraz for Your Next Dinner Party

  1. L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Shiraz
  2. Robert Oatley Shiraz
  3. Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes '11
  4. Lagier Meredith Syrah '11
  5. Buyer's Guide

One of the most popular grapes in the world, Shiraz, which is also spelled Syrah (and is always pronounced "sir-rah"), is a full-bodied grape that's used to make fruit-forward wines that typically have bold, jammy flavors. In Australia, where Shiraz is one of the most popular varietals, the warmer climate leads to wines with big fruit flavors, subtle notes of spice and earthy flavors, and plenty of tannins to stand up to decades in the wine cellar. In Rhone, France, and other cooler wine-growing regions, Shiraz tends to have softer flavors and slightly less body, though these wines still have enough tannins that they age very well.

A good Shiraz should always have enough body to support the variety of flavors in these dark-purple grapes. Light-bodied Shiraz with simple red fruit flavors shows a flaw in the wine and unfortunately, many inexpensive Shiraz wines fall flat because of poor growing conditions or overly watery grapes. When looking for the best shiraz in 2022, you'll want to choose a wine with a complex flavor profile that packs a huge punch of fresh fruit, whether it's fresh blackberry in a cool-climate wine or dark fruit jam in a warm-climate wine. The tannin should be big and bold in a young wine, though markedly softer in a wine that's been given time to age. Read on to find some of our favorite wines this year.

Detailing the Best Shiraz of 2022

best shiraz

L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Shiraz - Best Shiraz Overall

L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Syrah is one of the best Shiraz to come out of North American wineries. The grapes are grown in the cool climate of Washington State and the resulting wine has lots of berry flavor, plenty of soft yet structured tannins, and an acidic bite that Shiraz from warmer climates can lack. On the nose, it has notes of black raspberry and oak. The palate is full and luscious, with an intensely fruity flavor that finishes just a touch sweetness. In the glass, this wine is a dark ruby color, which suits it perfectly.

best grape flavored shiraz

Robert Oatley Shiraz - Runner Up

Made by one of Australia's most well-known winemakers, Robert Oatley Shiraz is one of our Best Picks. This wine was grown in the McLaren Vale, a region known for producing some of the country's best wines. This wine has notes of blueberry, spice, and plum, all flavors which work together to create a well-rounded wine representative of the softer Shiraz grown in cooler climates. Though it's medium-bodied and has incredibly soft tannins, this wine still has plenty of structure and is ready to drink now.

best Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes '11

Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes '11 - Honorable Mention

From Rhone, the historic home of the Shiraz grape, Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes '11 is one of our favorite wines. The vines are over 30 years old so they've had time to develop taproots that reach deep into the decomposed granite hillside, pulling lots of earthy minerality from the soil. This wine is fermented in stainless steel, which helps keep the flavors pure, and then aged for 18 to 20 months in old barrels, lending the wine a great deal of complexity and even more earthy flavors from the wood in the barrels. Since it's a cool-weather Shiraz, this is not overly heavy in body. It has aromas of graphite, blackberry, and flowers, and flavors of plum, blackberry, and even a little licorice. It's ready to drink now and will continue to be at its peak for the next 10 years.

best Lagier Meredith Syrah '11

Lagier Meredith Syrah '11 - Consider

An award winning wine that consistently scores in the mid to high 90s with critics including Wine Spectator and The Rhone Report, Lagier Meredith Syrah '11 is a superb Shiraz. Though 2011 was a difficult year for California winemakers, the few grapes that did survive the season were the highest quality, leading to incredible wines, even though there turned out to be less of them. The color of this wine is almost on the purple side, which perfectly suits the flavors of dark fruit that predominate on the palate. The nose is slightly perfumed, with a smokey undertone, a little bit of white pepper and lots of ripe plum. The tannins are very soft and smooth, though they don't fall flat in the least. This wine will continue to mature for the next 7 to 10 years.

Buyer's Guide

Some believe Shiraz dates back as far as 14th century Persia; others think its home is in Australia. We believe this wine has made a home in our hearts and we intend to keep it there. With a fluctuating combination of a dark-red grape called Syrah (Shiraz), tannins, cabernet, blackberry, mint, black pepper, and chocolate, this exotic wine has an incredible flavor palate that can only be learned from a generous sip. Because of its growing popularity, this infamous wine brand is a billion-dollar industry, estimated to be worth over $11.7 billion by the end of 2022.

Although the flavor of each brand depends on the climate in which it was grown, they all promise a taste that is to be revered. Some of its key players are France, Australia, South Africa, and even America. Other notable mentions include Italy, Israel, and Chile, amongst others.

Shiraz is a multi-purpose wine. You can pair it with your dinner, present it as a remarkable gift, or just enjoy a glass on its own. As we’ve all heard, “a glass a day, keeps the doctor away,” or something of that sort.

This article will provide you with a list of features to consider when buying your next wine.

Alright, here it goes:

Things to Consider When Searching for the Best Shiraz Wine

Prestige

In purchasing a bottle of Shiraz wine, the brand is not nearly as important as its reputation. For some other industries, brand might be a contending factor, but for this industry, the infamous success rate garnered over time will determine the level of reverence it will receive. Some wine cellar brands like Penfolds Grange and Chris Ringland Hoffmann are award-winning brands and have become a standard for determining the level of refinement a wine should have. Usually, prestige is gained over time, as some of these brands have more than a 50-year history. So, depending on your preferences, a prestigious wine is a great fit for dinner parties, a nice gift, or a well-earned glass of wine at the end of the week.

Luckily for you, there are loads of brands that offer incredible wine without the price of a prestigious brand. And, if you're just starting out with wine, especially Shiraz, you don't have to go straight for the most well-known brands.

Cost

There are several price ranges for wine. The cost of Shiraz wine ranges from $10 to over $400. Depending on the taste, rarity, prestige, location, and a million other factors, the price will differ. Brands that have high prestige and are rare are often reserved for auction or can be imported for a high price. Although a little pricy, they make up for it with its superior taste— whether uncorked now or in 50 years, it promises a refined taste. On the other end of the spectrum, you can find many delicious wines for around $10 to $30 that won't break the bank. Be sure to consider your budget and flavor preferences when purchasing wine, as the two can be closely related. A more expensive wine will likely taste better than the cheapest available.

Taste

The taste of Shiraz wine is relative to its flavor ingredients, time of consumption, and growing climate. These tastes fluctuate to give out a blend of rich, bold, and refined. There are more notable wine brands in the wine industry like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay, but the Shiraz brand has proven to be a notable contender. The taste of most Shiraz ranges from simply fruity to a blend of peppery, acidic, spicy, and even dense.

If you’re wondering about the health benefits of Shiraz wine, then you should know that tannins, known for high acidity, may help in regulating sugar levels and provide support to the immune system.

Alcohol Level

Unlike some wines, the Shiraz varietal is known for its moderate alcohol level. Most wines have an average of 14%, others fall behind at 12% or ahead at 16%. Shiraz does not have too strong of an alcohol flavor, making it a suitable choice for many. It also has more alcohol content than some lighter white wines, such as the 5% that comes with Moscato.

Always be safe when drinking wine. The NIAAA puts the approved drinking standard at 5 ounces with the implication that the average glass of wine has an alcohol content level of 12%. Although most Australian Shiraz wines stay on the high side of 14% to 16%, the difference is not that large.

Climate

Changes in climate conditions can affect the taste and quality of Shiraz wines. Depending on whether the grapes were grown in hot weather or cold weather, the taste can range from ripe, spicy, and thick to sour and delicate. Generally, Shiraz wines are produced in hot climates so they can retain their ripe, full-bodied, and bold taste. However, some brands of Shiraz can be produced in cold climates, making them light-bodied and tart. The climate of the wine country plays a defining role in this category. French brands are known for their dark, thick and savory taste, but Australian brands are known for their dual personality— some light and fruity, others thick and deep, rich and refined.

Rarity

As a given, rare brands are more expensive, aged, and may be produced in limited editions. Other sources of rarity are arbitrage. Some wine fanatics go as far as stocking particular brands in their cellars for profit, passion, posterity, power... the list goes on. Whatever the reason, choosing to go for a rare varietal can prove to be an excellent choice as they likely have superior taste and quality.

Best Shiraz FAQs

Q: When is the best time to drink Shiraz wine?

A: There really isn’t a best time to drink wine. Shiraz wine should be consumed slightly chilled so the flavor can be easily deciphered, but this doesn’t mean you can’t take it at other times. Some brands taste better with age. You can keep Shiraz wines for years and they’ll still retain their style and quality.

Q: What are some good affordable brands?

A: There are several affordable brands in the market. Most Australian brands provide good cheap options. Wines like Sons of Eden ‘Ramus’ shiraz and Winn Coonawarra Estate Black Shiraz are some of the affordable brands out there. With $25 dollars, you can earn yourself a good bottle of wine.

Q: How can you tell a good bottle?

A: The fuller, the lusher, the spicier it is, the better. But, this depends on the drinker. Some prefer a smoother, less spicy version of Shiraz, others don’t. Regardless, these brands of wines are known for their bold, rich, fruity, and refined tastes.

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