Top end, shiraz from four regions

Having covered shiraz under $20, then $20 to $29, and last week $30 to $39, it’s now the final week of shiraz, with wines $40 and above. There are six wines from four regions and four vintages.

Allegiance Wines ‘The Artisan’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015: Rich Barossa style but not overblown. It has the classic chocolate nose for which the valley is noted. It’s at the high end of an appropriate price sector at $60 and faces plenty of competition from more established brands. 94 points.

Allegiance Wines ‘The Artisan’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015: I found this slightly disjointed on tasting but it settled down the next day. Sound wine and enjoyable to drink now. Lots of competition at $40. 93 points.

Haselgrove ‘Catkin’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: The nose gets instant attention. It’s so good one almost forgets to taste, but rather just linger, enjoying the smell of black fruits, hints of earth and other wonderful aromas. It sits at the front of the palate, almost sulky, brooding or just plain shy, before moving very slowly across the palate, releasing pleasure along the way. This is already a beauty, and there is still time to go. I expect greater development. It’s an easy 95. Not sure what is down the track but assume more points. Well worth $40.

Thorn-Clarke ‘William Randell’ Barossa Shiraz 2014: This is still in the adolescent stage, with raw oak pushing fruit to the side, but there is class there and it will emerge. A tough 93 points now. Time will tell whether the $60 price tag is justified.

Angullong ‘Crossing Reserve’ Orange Region Shiraz 2013: It’s a story I’ve heard many times: a vineyard produces good fruit, and as it ages it’s noted that one part produces even better fruit; hence the release of this reserve wine from Angullong. It’s cool climate, very charming and sophisticated, gliding across the palate but making its presence known by sheer charisma. Reserve carries no official meaning so is often misused, but this is fully deserving of the name. 94 points, maybe more to come, and worth $48.

Paulett ‘Andreas’ Polish Hill River Shiraz 2012: There is a polish to all Paulett wines. It’s a gloss, a shine, something that says quality from first sniff to final sip. This is a dark, brooding wine that brims with underlying life, which surfaces along the journey. It’s quite a beauty under the veil. 94 points, with more to come, and worth $50.

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