James Halliday once told me Australia could grow “shiraz on a telegraph pole in Pitt Street and still produce great grapes”.

He was joking of course – but only partly.

Australia certainly has shown the world that brilliant shiraz can be grown in different regions.

Indeed, among the highest-rated shiraz in the latest Halliday Wine Companion are wines not just from traditional strongholds such as the Barossa and Hunter but also parts of Victoria and Western Australia.

“We produce different styles of shiraz across different regions but they keep their varietal integrity,” says Halliday, The Australian Wine Club president.

This week, the wine club is showcasing four quality shiraz wines grown in Western Australia’s Margaret River and Great Southern during two of the very best shiraz vintages, 2018 and 2020.

While WA, particularly Margaret River, has made its name on the back of world-class cabernet sauvignon, its reputation as a consistent producer of outstanding, finely layered shiraz continues to grow.

If the Barossa is known for intense, rich, fruit-driven styles, the shiraz of coastal regions in WA tends to balance savoury and spicy notes along with characteristic plum flavours. These elegant medium-bodied styles, as well as cooler-climate syrah, are increasing in popularity.

Margaret River winemaker Rory Parks, pictured left, who crafted the 2020 Moss Brothers Fidium Margaret River Shiraz, says the region’s maritime climate plays a major role in the style of shiraz being produced. “We do see more savoury nuances, with characters like white pepper and floral notes, like violets,” he says.

“These are the types of characters you’d see in shiraz in the northern Rhone (France’s leading shiraz-growing region).”

Margaret River tends to experience warm days and cool nights, with breezes sweeping in from the Indian Ocean in the late afternoon. “The vines get a chance to rest, which allows the grapes to hold their acidity and freshness as they ripen,” Parks says.

This is not to say that shiraz from Margaret River and Great Southern aren’t full of juicy fruit flavours. You’ll find plenty of silky fruit in the wines below – the hallmark of all good Australian shiraz, no matter where it is grown.

margaret river shiraz


Moss Brothers Fidium Margaret River Shiraz 2020

Vibrant redcurrant and cherry aromas lift from the glass, leading to a palate of juicy sweet red fruits, sweet vanilla, baking spice and a hint of mocha. The Fidium, Moss Brothers’ flagship, was matured for 18 months in French oak (30 per cent new). Boasts a velvety, plush mouthfeel, with fine tannins, balanced acidity and good length. A generous wine and brilliant value. 14.5 per cent alc; RRP $55 a bottle

SPECIALS $44.99 a bottle in any dozen; $19.99 a bottle in WA shiraz dozen.

Howard Park Leston Margaret River Shiraz 2018

From a five-star winery and founding member of Australia’s First Families of Wine. The Burch family has developed a portfolio of vineyards across Margaret River and Great Southern during the past 30 years. This shiraz hails from the Leston vineyard at Wilyabrup in the heart of Margaret River. Aromas of plum and burnt toffee along with touches of raspberry, choc-mint and black pepper. Concentrated flavours of plums, aniseed, coffee and tobacco. “The tannins have a cooling, minerally flow that shape the palate, making for really quite elegant drinking,” wrote Halliday reviewer Erin Larkin, who handed out 93 points. 14.5 per cent alc; RRP $40 a bottle.

SPECIALS $35.99 a bottle in any dozen; $19.99 a bottle in WA shiraz dozen.

Howard Park Flint Rock Great Southern Shiraz 2018

Fruit ripeness, power and finesse come together in Howard Park’s Great Southern offering. Pepper and aniseed mingle with brambly dark fruits on the nose. Plums, blackberries and mulberries combine with pepper, bay leaf, tobacco and leather on the palate. Fresh acidity balanced with soft tannins, carrying the fruit and pepper to a lingering finish. 92 Halliday points. 14 per cent alc; RRP $29 a bottle.

SPECIALS $22.99 a bottle in any dozen; $19.99 a bottle in WA shiraz dozen.

Forest Hill Highbury Fields Great Southern Shiraz 2020

Dark fruit aromas and flavours pour forth: plums and blackberries, with vanilla, licorice, aniseed and spice. Medium-bodied but dense with firm tannins. Maritime freshness and juicy fruit flavours sum up what makes WA shiraz well worth getting to know. Decant, and throw a rack of lamb on the barbecue. 14 per cent alc; RRP $25 a bottle

SPECIALS $18.99 a bottle in any dozen; $19.99 a bottle in WA shiraz dozen.

WA SHIRAZ DOZEN Three bottles of each wine above for $19.99 a bottle. SAVE $207 a dozen

Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.