Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Shiraz Versus Syrah

Two wines recently purchased on Ebay...both tasted over 2-3 days to compare styles.
Bellarmine Shiraz 2007
Pemberton, Western Australia
I generally shy away from Australian wines available in Europe...just as I am lucky to have Spätburgunder here in is fellow Blogger Ed better served in his homeland...but this was on Ebay for € 23,-- and seemed worth a try.
Bellarmine Wines produces a range of individual wines made from grapes grown on its picturesque estate in the cool climate region of Pemberton, Western Australia. The vineyard was planted in 2000 and is owned by German doctor, Dr Willi Schumacher and his wife Gudrun Schumacher.
A lot going on here...instant reminder of the old days in France...mixing Champagne with 'Liqueur de Mûres'...ripe mulberry aroma...and plums...with some leathery notes....dark I said...a lot going on.
The tannins are fine and easy...the palate is smooth and velvety and there is a refreshing acidity...this could double for a Côte-Rôtie in style. Very drinkable now...held up over 2 days...and should age nicely. The 14.5% is no way a problem.
Points 17.25

Jean-René Germanier und Gilles Besse
Cayas Syrah Reserva 2007
Valais, Switzerland
At first I thought this would 'beat' the Aussie...there was a creamy texture on first tasting...but this did not develope. A lot less alcohol here...13%...and it is a reserved style....spices and leather developed...and blackcurrant. Soft peppery feel.. This is nicely balanced...a soft introduction to the grape...and a whiff of vanilla appeared again...if only it had been stable.
Not sure this will improve much. An OK wine...and again...a decent price of € 24,--
Points 16.5


Edward said...


What an intrepid palate. Though I've seen the Bellarmine and it hails from my home state, I'm yet to try the shiraz. Pemberton btw, is geographically cool and moist, but when ever I visit the town, I feel uncomfortable. You get the sense it is still a God fearing place, it's pretty, but extremely quiet.

Barry said...

From my experience with 'some' Australian wines...this one was more 'European' regarding weight and and moist is what I would have thought...

Edward said...

Pemberton's main claim to fame, was that in the 1980's they got over run by a sect of free love hippies, lead by the Bhagwan Shree Rashneesh.

I think the most convicing cool climate shiraz is coming out of Victoria and parts of Canberra.