Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Australian Shiraz $20 and Up

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Balgownie Estate Shiraz Bendigo (2008)
Comments: Earthy and a bit sour on the nose with salty plum notes, low nutty oak, some beefy elements and fine black fruit accented with a nuance of juniper. This is a bit dense and almost chewy, though there’s nice acidity here. The tannins are ripe and fairly full, adding to the volume in the mouth. Not a fruit bomb by any stretch of the imagination, this shows ripe plum and black berry fruit paired with modest levels of toasty, nutty oak. Rich and a bit forceful in the mouth, this remains poised and just a little tight right through the moderately long, lightly mineral-laced dried berry finish. Lovely focus. I can see this improving a bit in the bottle. 91 pts
Average price: $19.99 from 1 store
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2 Yering Station Shiraz Blend Yarra Valley Shiraz Viognier (2008)
Comments: Truffle on the nose and spicy, with fine cedar and cigar leaf accents to the plummy, slightly pruney and fairly peppery fruit. This is opulent and fills the mouth with plummy fruit, topped by aromatic notes of cedar, mulberry and apricot with hints of green olive. The texture is lovely and ripe, but not fat or obvious. The fruit turns progressively more aromatic in the mouth. The finish is bright with nice red fruit, fine supporting acids and some slightly austere, refreshing tannins. A bit raw on the palate but in a lovely, fresh way. 90 pts
Previously available for $14.99
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3 Leeuwin Estate Shiraz Margaret River Siblings (2007)
Comments: Lovely on the nose with earth, vanilla, dried meat and cracked peppercorn notes all framing the core of liquory reds fruits. Cool on entry, this is rich and ripe but clear on the palate, delivering a mouthful of cherry fruit with spiced edges. There’s some oak here, but it plays a supporting role, adding a base of fine tannins along with the layer of spice notes. The finish reveals more oak tannins, but at the same time, there is really appealing fresh red fruit. Still youthful but drinking very well. 89 pts
Previously available for $25.85
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4 Wild Duck Creek Shiraz Heathcote Springflat (2008)
Comments: Lots of oak on the nose. Rich chocolate scents are joined by spicy herbal tones, vanilla, leather, blackberry and some plummy notes. Comes off as a touch sweet on entry, but is followed by lovely, spicy herbal nuances and some cedary/toasty oak. The tannins are firm but remain beneath the fruit here, which is rich yet quite fresh, turning much more berried on the back end. On the finish, this falls a bit short, butwith attractive red cherry/currant fruit. Really well balanced, holds its alcohol effortlessly. 89 pts
Previously available for $46.98
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5 Wirra Wirra Shiraz Mclaren Vale Woodhenge (2007)
Comments: Lots of tobacco on the nose with smoke, chocolate and nutty oak nuances. There’s a nice mint note and some vanilla tones all over rather dry black fruit. Very smooth on the palate with a wonderful freshening vein of acid cutting through the mid-palate. This has rather intense, slightly gamy, meaty accents to the core of blackberry fruit. Bright and fresh, this is well structured with a long savory, fruity finish. Very modern and rather oak driven, but the purity at its core makes this wine attractive. 88 pts
Previously available for $22.62
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6 Wirra Wirra Shiraz Mclaren Vale (2007)
Comments: A bit sweet and chocolaty on the nose, there is a nice core of berry fruit here along with leather, very fresh ginger and nutmeg spice. Medium-bodied and a bit chunky on entry, this feels closed in the mouth though it does exhibit fine balance between the ripe tannins and somewhat soft acidity. The finish is short and clean, again there seems to be an inherent freshness here that is quite attractive. A moderately long, spicy finish brings out some plum skin fruit. This is ordinary today, but has great potential to improve in the cellar. 87 pts
Average price: $57.48 from 2 stores
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7 Xavier Flouret Shiraz Pemberton Waroo (2009)
Comments: Showing early notes of reduction on the nose. Takes some time to blow off, but once it does there are attractive notes of plummy fruit, prune and vanilla. Light hints of peppercorn and game might be the remnants of reduction. In the mouth, this is rather lovely, light and fresh, with friendly red and blue fruits. Showing admirable purity. This will probably disappoint many Shiraz drinkers who are looking for more power and complexity, but it does show a more elegant and fresh side of the variety. 87 pts
Previously available for $18.99
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