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Syrah Masters – Asia 2020 results

Our final Masters of the month saw dbAsia examine a range of Syrah (or Shiraz) from around the world, and it showed that Australia continues to be a reliable source for this powerhouse variety.

The big winner was Australian Vintage, which bagged two Masters for its McGuigan Personal Reserve Oldman Shiraz 2019 and BVWC Farms Shiraz 2018. These two impressed the panel. Anty Fung thought the former “exudes a great typicity in an elegant style, accompanied with spiced red fruit notes and refined tannins.

The acidity at the finish further elevates the wine.” Meanwhile, Marjolaine Roblette Geres reckoned that the latter expression “showed a much more masculine profile, with depth, good length and long ageing potential”.

Tempus Two Uno Series, another stellar winery from the same company, was awarded a Gold. Coming with a price tag above HK$800, the Shiraz nonetheless expressed a typical New World style, redolent of red and black cherries but with great balance and elaborate style. De Bortoli, another Australian producer, shone in the under-HK$100 category.

Its Woodfired Shiraz proved surprisingly excellent value. Fung said: “The wine is really well knitted together, refined and complex. The winery has done a good job for this quality at such a price point.”

Going beyond Australia, the blind-tasting competition also saw some strong performers from other continents. Alpha Estate from Greece received a Silver for its S.M.X.. Comprising 60% Syrah, 20% Merlot and 20% indigenous variety Xinomavro, the blend displayed a mesmerising fresh and powerful aroma packed with cherries and spices, as Geres noted. Chilean Syrah also showed its quality in the competition.

Taking home two Silvers, Viña Casas del Bosque’s Syrah Gran Reserva and Casas del Bosque Casa Viva Gran Reserva Syrah were also the favourites of the panel. Fung liked the former for its juicy layers of blackcurrant, liqueur de cassis and blue fruit, and its well-balanced structure; while Geres, meanwhile, praised the latter highly, saying that it was a “perfect wine”, as she found its smooth and dynamic texture appealing, especially as a good food wine.

After the blind tasting was brought to an end and the labels were revealed, the judges were astonished by the overall quality of the entries, especially the fact that all of them were made in New World regions, or emerging countries such as Greece.

The Judges: Left to right – Jessica Ochoco, senior sales executive at Altaya Wines, Alice Liang, managing editor of the drinks business Asia, Florian Beaubouchez, sales director at Ponti Wine Cellars, Romain Loriot, founder and managing director at ThinkWine

The results in full of the competition are printed below…

100% Syrah

Winery Wine name Region Country Vintage Oaked
De Bortoli Wines
Wakefield/Taylors Wines
De Bortoli Woodfired Shiraz
Taylors Special Release Shiraz Heathcote
South Australia Australia
De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli DB Winemaker Selection Shiraz SE Australia Australia 2019 Bronze

Oaked 100% Syrah

Winery Wine name Region Country Vintage Oaked
Wakefield/Taylors Wines Taylors Reserve Parcel Shiraz Clare Valley South Australia Australia 2018 Silver
Wakefield/Taylors Wines Taylors Wakefield Heritage Shiraz Clare Valley Australia 2018 Silver
Australian Vintage Nepenthe Pinnacle Gate Block Shiraz Adelaide Hills Australia 2017 Silver
Alpha Estate Alpha Estate Syrah Single Vineyard Turtles Macedonia Greece 2017 Silver
De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli Rutherglen Estate Shiraz Rutherglen Australia 2018 Silver
De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli Rutherglen Estate Renaissance Shiraz Rutherglen Australia 2018 Bronze
De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli Deen Vat 8 Shiraz Heathcote & Hilltops Australia 2019 Bronze
Wakefield/Taylors Wines Taylors Wakefield The Hotelier Shiraz Wrattonbully Australia 2018 Bronze
Australian Vintage Tempus Two Copper Shiraz HV Hunter Valley Australia 2018 Bronze
Australian Vintage McGuigan Shortlist Shiraz Barossa Valley Australia 2018 Bronze
Australian Vintage BVWC Gravel Track Shiraz Barossa Valley Australia 2017 Bronze
Australian Vintage BVWC Stockyard Shiraz Barossa Valley Australia 2018 Bronze
Viña Casas del Bosque Syrah Gran Reserva Casablanca Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Australian Vintage McGuigan Personal Reserve Oldman Shiraz Hunter Valley Australia 2019 Master
Australian Vintage BVWC Farms Shiraz Barossa Valley Australia 2018 Master
Viña Casas del Bosque Casas del Bosque ‘Casa Viva’ Gran Reserva Syrah Casablanca – Valparaiso Chile 2017 Silver
Australian Vintage Tempus Two Uno Series Barossa Valley Australia 2019 Gold

Oaked blend (minimum 50% Syrah)

Winery Wine name Region Country Vintage Oaked
De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli Rutherglen Estate RED Shiraz Durif Rutherglen Australia 2018 Bronze
Alpha Estate Alpha Estate Axia Macedonia Greece 2017 Bronze
Alpha Estate Alpha Estate S.M.X. 2017 Macedonia Greece 2017 Silver


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