Three styles of shiraz

The range of different styles of shiraz Australia produces is arguably the biggest in the world.
The range of different styles of shiraz Australia produces is arguably the biggest in the world.  Photo: iStock

Australia has the world's second largest planting of shiraz, after France, and the range of different styles of shiraz we produce is arguably the biggest in the world.  

About 20 per cent of all Australian wine is shiraz or shiraz-based but, before you yawn, be aware that it's far from boring or same-ish. It's as varied as the range of regions that produce it – from Tasmania to Queensland, from Perth's Swan Valley to NSW's Hunter Valley.

The key is to vary your diet. Variety is the spice of life, and here are three wines of contrasting personalities.

Paringa Estate The Paringa Shiraz 2018, Mornington Peninsula, $80

Score: 96

The peninsula's most powerful shiraz, from a top vintage, is a ripper. Spice and smoky charcuterie aromas lead into a very intense palate, which is elegant as well as concentrated. A precision wine that's great to drink now and will have a long future. 14 per cent alcohol; screw-cap.

Ageing? Best in one to 18 years.

Stockists include: The Wigs Cellar, Melbourne (Vic) & Strand Cellars, Croydon (NSW)

Comyns & Co. Reserve Shiraz 2018, Hunter Valley, $60

Score: 95

This is a sumptuous shiraz from a top Hunter vintage: with its profound purple-red colour and rich and ripe tarry bouquet, it's full-bodied and rich, fleshy and sumptuously flavoursome with a long, long aftertaste. A most impressive young shiraz that will richly reward cellaring. 13.8 per cent alcohol; screw-cap.

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Ageing? Drink now to 15 years.

Stockists include: comynsandco.com.au

Ulithorne Avitus Shiraz 2017, McLaren Vale, $85

Score: 95

Ripeness, concentration and soft tannins are the hallmarks of the region, and this is a prime example. Essency dark-plum and blackberry aromas, a voluptuous palate that's rich, supple and generously proportioned. Lashings of fine, powdery tannins run throughout its length. Luxurious stuff. 14.5 per cent alcohol; screw-cap.

Ageing? Best in one to 15 years.

Stockists include: ulithorne.com.au