Tag: The Great Australian Red Wine Competition

Feb 02 2011

Jacob’s Creek Johann Shiraz Cabernet: The 2010 Great Australian Red!

Posted on February 02, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Jacob’s Creek Johann Shiraz Cabernet 2005 was the winner of The Great Australian Red competition in 2010 and also took out the trophy for the Best Shiraz-Dominant blend.

The competition, which was launched in 2006 by UK wine writer Matthew Jukes and Australian wine writer Tyson Stelzer, is a unique wine show because it focuses exclusively on Australian blends of cabernet and shiraz. It has a very rigorous format – the scores of all 13 judges are counted against every wine in the show, and the judges include some of best winemakers in the country. Winemaker judges for the 2010 show were Brian Walsh (Yalumba; Chair of Judges), Jeffrey Grosset (Grosset Wines), Toby Barlow (St Hallett), Michael Fragos (Chapel Hill), Tash Mooney (Fox Gordon), Kym Teusner (Teusner Wines), Joch Bosworth (Battle of Bosworth) and Katie MacAulay (Lion Nathan).

From a commercial perspective, Jacob’s Creek put the shiraz cabernet blend on the map when it introduced the budget priced Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet to UK consumers in the mid 1980s. As a young Aussie expat living in London on a very limited budget in 1985, this great value (ie. cheap) and very drinkable Aussie blend was welcome news to my friends and I. We snapped it up along with thousands of others, making the brand the UK’s top seller.

The Jacob’s Creek Johann Shiraz Cabernet is, of course, at the other end of the spectrum to the budget blend. The most recent 2008 vintage retails for around $75 versus $11.50 for the Jacob’s Creek Classic Shiraz Cabernet. But by all accounts the extra dollars for the Johann are well worth it.

Named after Johann Gramp, the pioneer of Orlando Wines,  the Johann is Orlando’s flagship wine. It’s produced only from the highest quality shiraz and cabernet  vineyards in South Australia, with … Read the rest

Feb 02 2011

Cabernet Shiraz Blends: ‘The Great Australian Red’

Posted on February 02, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz has been called the most Australian of wine styles. Indeed, according to wine critics Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer, shiraz cabernet is ‘The Great Australian Red.’ They were so convinced of its importance to the Australian wine industry that in 2006 they launched the The Great Australian Red – a new wine competition exclusively limited to Australian examples of the blend.

So why is the style unique to Australia? Well, the French would probably regard it as taboo (and in any event French regulation forbids it) to blend the noble grape of Bordeaux, cabernet sauvignon, with the noble grape of the Rhone, shiraz. But French tradition didn’t prevent Max Schubert, creator of legendary Penfolds Grange, from making the Penfolds Bin 60A – a blend of Coonawarra cabernet and Barossa shiraz. The inaugural 1962 vintage went on to become Penfolds’ most successful show wine of all time. Together with its 2004 successor, the only other vintage of the wine ever made, the Bin 60A is considered the benchmark for the style, and many regard the 1962 as Australia’s greatest wine!

Blending the firm, classic tannin structure of cabernet sauvignon with the rich fruit and ripe tannins of shiraz certainly seems like a very good idea. The shiraz adds middle-palate velvety richness and savoury notes to the elegance and length of cabernet, creating a complex but balanced wine with great cellaring potential.

A trend towards single variety wines has meant that many winemakers have overlooked the benefits of multi-variety blending. Nevertheless, a number of wines stand out as iconic expressions of the style, and new winemakers are starting to embrace a blend that is not bounded by region or ‘old world’ preconceptions.

Over the course of this week, we’ll look at four of Australia’s leading … Read the rest