Shiraz is Australia’s hero variety: from big velvety classics to cool climate syrah, we’ve become world-beaters.

This week The Australian Wine Club offers Stockhead readers six Australian shiraz: each from a high-quality producer, each having already spent time in the cellar, and each representing outstanding value. (Some of the wines are half price in the special dozen.)

“There’s no country in the world that has the breadth of shiraz styles that Australia offers – and the quality is higher than it’s ever been,” says Rob Mack, founder and winemaker at Aphelion in McLaren Vale.

Rob, who was named Australia’s Young Gun of Wine in 2018 only four years after launching Aphelion, is focused on producing super approachable shiraz that pushes the fruit to the forefront with less noticeable oak coming through.

“Being a younger winery, we are not chained down to an historic style,’’ he says.

The grapes in the Aphelion Tendance 2018, featured in our line-up today, are picked slightly earlier than many McLaren Vale shiraz to place an accent on bright fruit flavours.

The fruit is sourced from two vineyards, which vary in height by only 20 metres but produce distinctly different tasting grapes.

Rob says the lower vineyard produces darker, richer flavours and this fruit is picked about a week after the higher vineyard.

Grapes from the higher vineyard provide fresh red fruit aromatics and herbal flavours.

Blended together after being fermented separately, the different parcels combine to create a wine with deep, generous flavours but with an elegance and lightness.

Like many Australian wine lovers, I still appreciate a big plush shiraz on a winter’s night but I have come to love wines like this: power-packed with flavour but just slightly lighter in both palate weight and alcohol.

So the choice is yours: stick to your traditional favourite or roam across the shiraz galaxy – all for less than $20 a bottle if you choose the mixed dozen option.

Lovely, ta. Picture: Getty Images


Aphelion Tendance McLaren Vale Shiraz 2018

Full of finesse and flavour. Fresh mulberry, dark cherry and violet aromas rise from the glass and flow through to the palate, where blue fruits dance with olive, coffee and wood spice flavours. Medium-bodied, balanced, with power to burn. New French oak used to mature 20 per cent of the wine, with the remainder aged in neutral French oak. Only 240 dozen produced. Unfined, unfiltered, vegan, low sulphur. 94 points from Team Halliday. 14.2% alc; RRP $38 a bottle

SPECIAL $38 a btl in any dozen; $19.58 in mixed Shiraz dozen deal

Loom Wines Single Vineyard Shiraz 2017

Classic plush McLaren Vale shiraz. Ripe plums, blueberries and chocolate swirl through the palate, with black pepper, dried herbs and creamy oak creating a complete picture. Fine grain tannins and lingering acid on the finish. The mouthfeel is pure velvet. Great value in any dozen. 14% alc; RRP $50 a bottle

SPECIAL $34.99 a btl in any dozen; $19.58 in mixed Shiraz dozen deal

Peter Lehmann The Antiquus Barossa Shiraz 2017

This is lavish and complex; you’ll find flavours of dark plums and bramble fruits and hints of coffee, tobacco leaf and game. Fine, structured tannins and great length. Another reason it’s worth waiting a few years before drinking many big Aussie reds. Gold at Germany’s Mundus Vini Wine Competition 2021 14.5% alc; RRP $44 a bottle

SPECIAL $24.99 a btl in any dozen; $19.58 a btl in mixed Shiraz dozen deal

Kensington Wines King Valley Shiraz 2018

Bigger, richer style, with concentrated flavours of blackberries, black cherries and mulberries, rounded out with savoury notes of dried herbs, olives and black pepper and a tiny hint of menthol. The fruit was sourced from vines with an average age of 30 years, grown on a north-facing slope in Victoria’s King Valley. Perfect with butterfly roasted lamb. 91 points from Team Halliday. 14.5% alc; RRP $58 a bottle

SPECIAL $44.99 a btl in any dozen; $19.58 in mixed shiraz dozen deal

Tahbilk Shiraz 2017

A typical cool climate syrah from the Purbrick family at Nagambie Lakes, custodians of Victoria’s oldest family-owned winery and pioneers when it comes to sustainable viticulture and winemaking. Black currants, plums and vanilla aromas, leading to a savoury, medium-bodied palate. Lower alcohol than typical shiraz. 93 points from Halliday’s tasting team. 13.8% alc; RRP $23.95 a bottle

SPECIAL $20.36 a btl in any dozen; $19.58 a btl in mixed shiraz dozen deal

Alkoomi White Label Frankland River Shiraz 2018

From a red five-star Halliday winery in the Frankland River subregion of Great Southern comes a shiraz described by James Halliday as “a bargain for the cellar hunters”. Fragrant nose of plums and white pepper. Blue fruit flavours on the palate, melding with mocha, pepper and spice. Medium to full body weight in the cool climate mould. 93 points and a red star for value from James Halliday. 14.5 per cent alcohol. RRP $21.

SPECIAL $21 a btl in any dozen; $19.58 in mixed Shiraz dozen deal

SHIRAZ DOZEN DEAL Two bottles of each wine for $19.58 a btl

Order online or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm AEST. Deals available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.