The Barossa Shiraz Wine Club was sort of like the biggest Christmas present under the tree for us. We slowly opened a few others first, such as the Coonawarra Cab Sav and the Margaret River Chardonnay... prolonging the excitement of the most anticipated Wine Club ever. Finally it was time to get together and blind-taste everyone's favourite representation of Australia's most famous variety... the mighty Barossa Shiraz!
Barossa is the 'spiritual home' of Shiraz according to many reports, a variety which is known as Syrah in other parts of the world. The Barossa interpretation is famously full-bodied, powerful and renowned for intense flavours including berries, chocolate, coffee and black pepper. The Barossa region has some of the oldest vines in the world and a formalised Vine Charter to preserve and promote the vines of this very special wine region.
Mr WP along with most other members of the Wine Club on this occasion were South Australians, with a long-term love affair with Barossa Shiraz. Mrs WP and one other Wine Club member were from Margaret River and the Bellarine, not locals but winos with a serious crush on this infamous variety.
We attend various formal 'industry' tastings but relish Wine Club with our friends as a place where we can taste and chat about the wines and then merrily eat a delicious meal prepared by the hosts. As per Wine Club rules, everyone brought a bottle and the complex and entertaining kitchen ritual of labelling, pouring and serving the wines was conducted in order to make sure nobody knew which wine belonged to who. Various lengthly email discussions had taken place during the weeks preceding regarding price ranges, specific sub-regions etc. and it was agreed that bottles $30-$50 retail would be included with no sub-region rules.
A seriously fun, and seriously serious tasting took place prior to the BBQ lunch and everyone scored the wines in order of preference. The votes were tallied and after some heckling (this is a fun club and yes, we are all mates) a winner was finally announced...
This is a spectacular Barossa Old Vine Shiraz and winner of the inaugural Wine Please Barossa Shiraz blind tasting. The Filsell has been named "The World's Greatest Shiraz" by Winestate Magazine. It is smooth, fruity and dark - drinking superbly now and for the next 10 years. We all agreed that this is a special occasion wine without the price tag, meaning we can enjoy it more often and afford to put a few bottles in the cellar to age.
There was further (and much louder) heckling when it was discovered that the McLaren Vale Shiraz that some distracted members had brought in had come second. Although one person had announced during the blind tasting that the wine tasted nothing like a Barossa Shiraz - well spotted!
The BBQ was also delicious and it was a superb way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends.
The Grant Burge Filsell is in store and will star along with the Stella Bella Chardonnay and the Majella Cab Sav in our winners 6 pack which you can purchase by joining our E-List on the homepage here.
Mr & Mrs WP