A Polished Australian Shiraz at a Knockdown Price

Wine editor MARY DOWEY selects an AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ on special offer as her bottle of the week …


Longview Yakka Shiraz, Adelaide Hills 2015

Shiraz is Australia’s star red grape variety, planted in just about every vineyard region and capable of creating brilliant wines in many different styles. If, like me, you find some of them way too big and beefy but don’t fancy a wimpish alternative, pay attention. Yakka occupies the middle ground with panache. And it’s on special offer for another couple of weeks, provided every tasty bottle isn’t snapped up in the meantime.

From the cool Adelaide Hills, this is Shiraz with a fresh edge. With aromas of cherries, blueberries, coffee and cinnamon, it’s layered with rich, peppery flavours that hold their appeal – never coming across as too heavy, sweet or oaky as can sometimes happen with more sturdily built Aussie reds. After a period of 15 months in a combination of new and used French oak barrels, the wine is pleasingly harmonious. Full marks to Longview, a winery set up in 2001 and run by brothers Mark and Peter Saturno, for getting the balance just right.

I enjoyed Yakka with a venison steak and the flavours of the two married as happily as you could ever wish (speaking of which, this partnership might be just what’s needed for a Valentine’s night at home). Like most examples of Shiraz, it will shine with all meats as well as the most densely flavoured vegetable dishes you can dream up – a mushroom ragout, say, or an aubergine gratin.

In case you’re wondering, Yakka is the Aboriginal name for Xanthorrhoea, a flowering plant that grows around the winery. The other point to mention is that this red charmer costs AU $30 (almost €20) when it’s at home, making the standard O’Briens price good value and the current special offer price a steal. Pounce on it while you can.

Alcohol: 14%

On special offer at O’Briens outlets and online – normally €18.95, reduced to €14.95 until February 25 or while stocks last.


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