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Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Time: 6 PM


Price: Members: $68
            Guests:     $88

          (includes appetizers)


Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto,

         41 Willcocks Street
         Toronto, Ontario
         M5S 1C7  - 


Mailed Reservations
          - Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2011
Online Payments
         - Sunday, Oct. 14, 2011


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Australian Shiraz - A Tour Down Under

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Guest Speaker: Malcolm Cocks - AWS


Notes on the Wines

How the Wines Were Ranked



This month we invite you on a tour of Australia as we taste some sensational Shiraz from coast to coast.  Shiraz is made for Down Under - its hot climate is perfect for bringing out the best traits in this popular grape varietal. Australian Shiraz is seductively delicious, with startlingly rich, ripe aromas that deliver right through to the full zesty finish.   Shiraz’s dramatic commercial success has led many Syrah producers around the world to now label their wine "Shiraz". The success and recognition of Australian Shiraz started long ago. A Shiraz from Victoria competing in the 1878 Paris Exhibition was likened to Château Margaux and "its taste completed its trinity of perfection." And the vintage of 1971 won first prize in Syrah/Shiraz at the Wine Olympics in Paris.


"In almost every climate, Shiraz makes quality wine. It rarely needs or receives the same volume of new oak as Cabernet, it can be delicious and fruity when young, but can mellow with up to 20 or 30 years in the cellar into magnificent wine showing earthy, velvety, almost sweet fruit characters. The aromas and flavours of Shiraz vary with wine style and region, but are usually blackberry, plums, and pepper in varying degrees dependent on growing conditions. In addition, even more regionally based, we can find liquorice [sic], tar even, and bitter chocolate and mocha. Climate affects these with the warmer climates providing the plums and chocolate (Barossa) and the cooler climates giving more of the pepper (Victoria)." A Taste of Australian Wine, 'Shiraz' , By Gavin Trott.


For our tasting this month, we indulge in the best Shiraz’s from across Australia to assess the regional variations. From Western Australia: Leeuwin (Margaret River), which is celebrated for producing some of Western Australia’s very best Shiraz’s. Alkoomi (Frankland River), one of the most remote wine regions in Australia and one of the largest vineyards in the region. Alkoomi makes wines that range from solidly good to superb in quality. From Southern Australia: Kilikanoon (Mclaren Vale), which has only been producing wines since 1997, however it has quickly built a reputation of very rich, full style wines. Rockford (Barossa), one of the classic Barossa wineries with a real sense of history. The Basket Press Shiraz is the flagship of the vineyard, made from the fruit of 30-year old vines and is a Barossa classic that benefits from bottle age. Mitchell (Clare Valley), a mid-sized winery, their Shiraz is often a standout of the region. Henschke (Eden Valley), one of Australia’s most celebrated producers. Their Mount Ederlstone vineyard is comprised of old-vines is known for making reds with rich fruit, a softness of structure, and a subtle influence of American oak. From Victoria: Best’s (Grampians) was founded in 1866 and is renowned for its Bin 0 Shiraz, which shows striking liqueur-like cherry and plum fruit with some leathery undertones. From New South Wales: Brokenwood (Hunter Valley), founded in 1970, has been the source of one of Australia’s most iconic wines: the elegant, age-worthy Graveyard Shiraz, which is known for its restraint, concentration and complexity.


We hope you can come out to join us on October 16th for this spectacular tour of Australia!



The Wines

2007 Alkoomi Jarrah Shiraz     $39.95
“The 2007 Jarrah Shiraz gives a deep garnet-purple color with earthy aromas of damp loam, truffles and forest floor that give way to black currant, cigar boxes and cinnamon stick. The palate has a modest, easy-drinking medium body while the medium to high acidity and a medium to firm level of very fine tannins provide just enough support. Drink this now to 2018+.” 91pts. Lisa Perrotti-Brown,, Oct. 2010.
2008 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz $44.95
“The 2008 Art Series Shiraz is intensely scented of black pepper and black cherries with nuances of ripe blueberries, baking spices, dusty earth and licorice. Medium bodied with a medium level of rounded tannins, it has medium high acid and plenty of ripe, varietally expressive fruit flavors, finishing long and peppery. Drink this one now to 2016+.” 91pts. Lisa Perrotti-Brown,, Aug. 2011.


2008 Best's Bin No. 0 Shiraz    $56.95
“Bright crimson; a fragrant bouquet, with notes of spice and pepper to tis black fruit core, then a beautifully textured and structured palate, fruit, oak and tannins in perfect harmony. Drink [until] 2030.” 96pts. James Halliday,, Aug. 11, 2011.
2007 Kilikanoon Parable Shiraz           $39.95
“Deep garnet colored, the 2007 Parable Shiraz gives fragrant, floral notes of dried roses and violets over oolong tea, dried cherry and warm blackberries plus whiffs of licorice and menthol. With a nice juxtaposition between voluptuous, ripe fruit and a solid structure of high acid and firm grainy tannins, it gives a long layered finish. Temptingly forward with ripe, primary flavors that are just starting to evolve, this wine should fan out even more with 2-4 years more in bottle and drink to 2020+.” 94+ pts. Lisa Perrotti-Brown,, Dec. 2010.
2002 Mitchell McNicol Shiraz   $52.21
“Vibrant colour; for an aged release it has a fresh and unevolved bouquet, showing blackberry confiture, a touch of mint and baked spices; the palate is fleshy and approachable, with an abundance of warm dark fruit, plentiful fine-grained tannins and a long and savoury finish.” 94 pts. James Halliday,, Mar. 5, 2010.


2001 Rockfort Basket Press Shiraz       $79
“The stunning 2001 Shiraz Basket Press was fashioned by Robert O'Callaghan and his assistant winemaker, the renowned Chris Ringland. Initially, this dark ruby/purple-colored effort is not overwhelmingly impressive, but with aeration, the nose opens to reveal scents of loamy earth, blackberries, currants, pepper, and underbrush. The complex aromatics are matched by a savory, fleshy, structured, full-bodied palate possessing loads of earthy black fruits as well as subtle oak. It is a beautifully intense, old vine Shiraz meant for long-term cellaring. Accessible now, it promises to last for 15 or more years.” 94 pts. Robert Parker Jr.,, Oct. 2004.
2005 Henschke Mount Edelstone         $99.95
“The 2005 Mount Edelstone is a 100% Shiraz cuvee sourced from a vineyard planted in 1912. Yields are a meager 0.3 to 0.5 tons of fruit per acre. In combination with a near ideal growing season, this has resulted in a great edition of Mount Edelstone, one of South Australia’s iconic wines. Purple-colored, the nose gives up notes of mocha, chocolate, smoked meat, pepper, leather, blueberry, and blackberry. Elegant, already complex, layered, and thoroughly satisfying, this superb Shiraz has enough baby fat to be enjoyed now but will amply reward 5-7 years of cellaring. It will drink beautifully through 2025.” 97pts. Jay Miller,, Feb. 09.
2007 Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz    $120.20
“The 2007 Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz is holding firmly to its youthful deep garnet-purple color. Very pretty, cool-climate fruit nose: violets, dark cherry, cumin, vanilla, anise, cassis and a bit of tar. Medium bodied with a tightly knit, elegantly fruited palate. Medium-high level of fine tannins and medium to high acid. Concentrated. Very long finish. 13.5% alcohol. 1000 cases produced. Drink 2013-2025.” 93pts. Lisa Perrotti-Brown,, Apr. 2010.

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How The Wines Were Ranked

Please check back after the tasting for the results.


Name of Wine (in order poured) Group Ranking Guest Ranking
A -
2007 Alkoomi Jarrah Shiraz $39.95
B -
2008 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz $44.95
C -
2007 Kilikanoon Parable Shiraz $39.95
D -
2008 Best's Bin No. 0 Shiraz $56.95
E -
2002 Mitchell McNicol Shiraz $52.21
F -
2001 Rockfort Basket Press Shiraz $79
G -
2005 Henschke Mount Edelstone $99.95
H -
2007 Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz $120.20