Asian Masters round-up

In our Shiraz Masters, we examined the different expressions made from this popular variety emanating from the New World in particular.

Taylors/Wakefield Wines, an Australian producer in Clare Valley, shone in the under HK$200 category. Two of its entries were awarded Gold medals in this price band. Hugo Poon said the Jaraman Shiraz had “very pretty notes of sweet violet and blueberry with nutmeg and vanilla”, and called it, “rich, generous and well balanced”. Ken Man, buyer and fine wine specialist at Ginsberg+Chan, on the other hand, preferred the producer’s Estate Shiraz, which he said had, “dark fruit with rose petals and black pepper. The wine shows good layers of flavours.” In the less-than HK$300 price bracket, Australian Vintage, a leading producer from Adelaide Hills in South Australia, submitted Tempus Two Pewter Shiraz across the vintages from 2015 to 2017. The 2016 proved the standout, Lá Bò Lá’s Vincent Chue, saying the wine had “nice balance with fruit and oak, smooth and elegant, good to drink now”.

Barossa Valley Wine Company, another winery under the Australian Vintage umbrella, attained a Gold medal for its Farms Shiraz 2017. Zachary Yu, head sommelier of Cincin, said: “Oak character is present in the wine but it answers well with the body. It has fine tannins, and the potential is high.”

As the prices rose, we saw an obvious improvement in wine quality. Our judges had their eyes on the Side-wood Mappinga Shiraz, which costs HK$880, and won a Gold medal. The judges were attracted to the, “great intensity and nice balance despite the high alcohol content” said Yu-Kong Chow.

We saw two Masters in entries with price tags above HK$1,000. Taylors/Wakefield’s ‘The Pioneer’ Shiraz struck the panel with its “well-made and expressive character with a luxury touch”, according to Yu. Casa Viña Syrah Family Collection from Casas del Bosque also received positive responses, Ken Man liking its “powerful structure that shows a lot of ripening and juicy flavours”. Touching on the Syrah blends, the flight displayed a great variety of wines of intriguing compositions and from interesting regions. Alpha Estate from Greece has wines under HK$200 in two expressions, a 60% Syrah, 20% Merlot, 20% Xinomavro blend, and a 50% Syrah, 50% Xinomavro one. The former earned a Silver medal, while the latter was awarded a Bronze. Terry Wong, retail manager & sommelier at Ginsberg+Chan liked both of them. “The blend with the higher Syrah composition shows rich black fruit notes with a hint of olive,” he said.

Australian wine producer De Bortoli Wines likewise offered up some compelling blends, such as Deen Vat 8 Shiraz 2017, a finely tuned blend of 99.8% Syrah, 0.1% Ruby Cabernet and 0.1% Petit Verdot. Man thought the wine had “good ripe fruit character, and the finish is well balanced, but I wonder what do that 0.1% Ruby Cabernet and 0.1% Petit Verdot contribute to the wine?”

Poon concluded: “All in all, the blends are very successful. Most of them illustrate good integration with other grapes and with such a good price.”

Syrah Masters – Asia 2019

Company Product Country Medal
100% Syrah under HK$100
Australian Vintage Tempus Two Varietal Shiraz 2018 Australia Bronze
100% Syrah under HK$200
Wakefield/Taylors Wine Jaraman Shiraz Australia Gold
Wakefield/Taylors Wine Taylors/Wakefield Estate Shiraz Australia Gold
Australian Vintage BVWC Gravel Track Shiraz 2016 Australia Silver
Vina Montgras Mont Gras Antu Syrah Chile Silver
Matetic Wine Group Camelids Syrah Chile Bronze
Vina Tabali Marty Limited Edition Chile Bronze
Vina Tabali Witral Limited Edition Chile Bronze
Alpha Estate Alpha Estate Syrah Single Vineyard Turtles Greece Bronze
Australian Vintage Tempus Two Copper Shiraz HV 2018 Australia Bronze
Australian Vintage Nepenthe Altitude Shiraz 2017 Australia Bronze
Australian Vintage Nepenthe Pinnacle Gate block Shiraz 2017 Australia Bronze
Australian Vintage McGuigan Shortlist Shiraz 2017 Australia Bronze
100% Syrah under HK$300
Domaines Bournet-Lapostolle Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Syrah 2015 Chile Silver
Allegiance Wines Allegiance Wines The Artisan Australia Silver
Australian Vintage Tempus Two Pewter Shiraz 2016 Australia Silver
Montes Outer Limits Chile Silver
Australian Vintage Tempus Two Pewter Shiraz 2017 Australia Bronze
Sidewood Sidewood Shiraz Australia Bronze
100% Syrah HK$300-HK$400
Wakefield/Taylors Wine St Andrews Shiraz Australia Silver
Wakefield/Taylors Wine St Andrews Shiraz Australia Silver
100% Syrah HK$400-HK$500
Barossa Valley Wine Company Farms Shiraz 2017 Australia Gold
Australian Vintage McGuigan Personal Reserve Vanessa Vale Shiraz 2017 Australia Silver
Casas del Bosque Syrah Gran Reserva Chile Bronze
Australian Vintage Nepenthe Apex Shiraz 2016 Australia Bronze
100% Syrah HK$600-HK$700
Vignoble Jean-Luc Jamet Terrasses, AOC Côte-Rôtie France Silver
100% Syrah HK$800-HK$900
Sidewood Sidewood Mappinga Shiraz Australia Gold
100% Syrah over HK$1,000
Wakefield/Taylors Wine The Pioneer Shiraz Australia Master
Wakefield/Taylors Wine The Pioneer Shiraz Australia Gold
100% Syrah over HK$1,500
Casas del Bosque Syrah Pequeñas Producciones Chile Master
100% Syrah over HK$2,000
Treasury Wine Estate 2017 Saltram S8 Shiraz Australia Silver
Syrah Blends
90% Syrah 10% Cab Sav HK$300-HK$400
Viña Tabali Marty Sirka Chile Silver
60% Syrah, 20% Merlot, 20% Xinomavro under HK$200
Alpha Estate SA Alpha Estate S.M.X Greece Silver
50% Syrah, 50% Xinomavro under HK$200
Alpha Estate SA Alpha Estate Axia Greece Bronze
99.8% Syrah, 0.1% Ruby Cabernet, 0.1% Petit Verdot under HK$200
De Bortoli Wines Deen Vat 8 Shriaz 2017 Australia Bronze
93% Syrah, 4% Durif, 3% Tempranillo Under HK$200
De Bortoli Wines Woodfired Heathcote Shiraz Australia Bronze
De Bortoli Wines DB Winemakers Selection Shiraz 2018 Australia Bronze
90% Syrah, 7% Cab Sav, 3% Viognier Under HK$200
Montes Montes Alpha Chile Silver

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