The mofo guide to | Barossa shiraz

By Vinomofo
11 months ago
4 min read

Barossa shiraz, does it need an introduction? We know it, we love it - we know our mofos can’t get enough of it either. 

But if you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s our quick guide so you can get to know it better.

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What’s great about Barossa shiraz

It’s one of Australia’s most famous wine exports - what can we say about Barossa shiraz that’s not already been said a thousand times before? One of our oldest regions (seriously, there’s vines still producing fruit there that were planted back in the 1840s), it’s an historic centre of Australian winemaking, and shiraz practically rules the roost. Responsible for almost 60% of what’s crushed in the region, shiraz and Barossa are almost inseparable, and for many a mofo is their first (and continuing) introduction to everything that’s good and great about Australian wine.

What to expect with a Barossa shiraz

When it comes to taste, Barossa shiraz typically doesn't hold back - you’ll often find it’s full of dark fruits - think blackberries, plums, and black cherries - dancing on your tongue like a raucous party. But that's not all - brace yourself for a wild ride of flavours: rich chocolate, seductive licorice, a sprinkle of black pepper, and a touch of vanilla courtesy of oak ageing. Backed up by smooth, well integrated tannin, it’s frequently a heavyweight champion in every sense of the word.

But that’s not to say it’s one-size fits all, and there’s plenty of variation to be found in the Barossa. From the rugged terrain of the Barossa Valley floor to the elevated Eden Valley, you'll find different terroirs and microclimates that lend their unique touch to the fruit, and that winemakers look to express that in the glass, too. The wines from the valley floor are generally bold and bursting with ripe fruit flavours, unapologetically intense. But venture up to the Eden Valley, and you'll discover a different side of Barossa shiraz; wines that show a different face, with floral aromatics, fresher acidity, and a bit more svelte of body. It's a yin and yang situation, and both sides have something special to offer.

And look - here we’re just talking about the still wines, but you’ll also find sparkling shiraz and fine, tawny-style premium fortified shiraz coming out of Barossa too. In fact, up until the 1960s most of the shiraz produced in Barossa was fortified. So not just a one-trick pony.

What temperature should I serve Barossa shiraz at?

Barossa shiraz is typically a full-bodied mofo, so best enjoyed around room temperature (15-19°C). If seen a few years in the bottle, consider decanting it too before pouring - let it stretch its legs and open up after all that time spent hibernating.

What foods pair with Barossa shiraz?

When it comes to food, Barossa shiraz demands bold flavours and hearty dishes - think of it as the perfect partner for your meaty fantasies. Grilled or roasted meats like lamb or beef? It's a match made in heaven. But don't stop there - bring on the game meats, the stews, and the dishes with rich, savoury sauces. This wine can handle it all. Pair a Barossa shiraz with a pepper-crusted steak or a plate of barbecued ribs and elevate your experience to a whole new level. And if you're feeling adventurous, don't shy away from pairing it with some strong, big cheeses like aged cheddar or a pungent blue cheese either.

When should I be drinking Barossa shiraz?

So when is this glorious mofo good to go? Anytime, depending on your preferences. When it's young, it's rebellious - full of energy, vibrant fruit flavours, and bold tannins that demand your attention. If that's your style, pop the cork within 3-5 years of the vintage and let the party begin. But Barossa shiraz is a wine that knows how to age gracefully too, and if you've got the patience, the rewards will be worth it. 

With time, Barossa shiraz is capable of transforming into a more sophisticated beast, revealing layers of complexity, softer tannins, and a symphony of more developed flavours. Some of the top-notch examples of Barossa shiraz can age like… well, the fine wines that they are, improving over a decade or more. But check what the winemaker recommends, and let your taste buds be the guide.

Wine's an adventure, and Barossa shiraz is your ticket to ride. Explore different vintages, embrace the diversity of the Barossa Valley, and find your own version of shiraz nirvana here. 

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