Best Australian Shiraz – blind tasting results

Shiraz best

Highest scoring Shiraz in our blind tasting

Blind tasting results of best Australian Shiraz

Our latest blind tasting event had the Vintage Wine Tasters judging six wonderful Australian Shiraz wines. Vintage Wine Taster Jim was the host and he spent several weeks narrowing down his selections to six best Australian Shiraz wines. Shiraz and Syrah are one in the same grape. The Australians have coined Shiraz and, although it is the same as the Syrah grape, the Australian winemakers produce a bigger style of wine.  The Shiraz wine is generally more fruit forward than that of the restrained style Syrah from the Rhone wine region of France.  These are the six wines we tasted and they are ranked by how the wine finished in our Shiraz wine blind tasting.

  1. 2012 Elderton Estate Shiraz Barossa Valley – KL Wines $17
  2. 2011 Langmeil Borossa Valley Floor Shiraz – Weimax Wines – $27
  3. 2012 Jim Barry “Lodge Hill” Shiraz Clare Valley – KL Wines $16
  4. 2012 Morambro Creek Shiraz Padthaway – KL Wines $20
  5. 2013 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz – Trader Joe’s $9
  6. 2012 Paxtoin Estate “MV” Shiraz McLaren Vale  – KL  Wines $16

Except for the Langmeil Shiraz, all the wines we judged were under the $20 range. We were impressed with the big aroma characteristics of these wines and the well balanced flavors in the mouth. We did not find any of these wines to be over top in ripeness. The wines were all excellent and ones that are enjoyable drinking now. Consider a hefty meal with a Shiraz.  A grilled ribeye immediately comes to mind.

Next tasting, the Vintage Wine Tasters will focus on White Bordeaux wines made wtih Sauvignon Blanc blended with a touch of Semillion. Stay tuned!

Shiraz blind tasting

Shiraz blind tasting


  1. I just found your website and love it. I will be subscribing. I have a question for you and this is the only place I found I could leave. I live up in Marin and noticed at both Safeway’s San Rafael Northgate store and San Anselmo store do not carry any Zinfandel anymore. Have you gotten any word of this? I was just in the San Anselmo store today and checked and nothing. I was thinking maybe the per bottle price point was too low and people bought to much so they stopped carrying it. Maybe this was an Albertson’s carry over. Anyway, if you have info about this please write a post.

    • Anita,
      Thanks for your comment and enjoying our Website. The Burlingame Safeway where I shop has a very good selection of Zinfandel wines. Zinfandel is very popular these days so it should make good business sense to keep a well stocked wine section of Zinfandel.

  2. Thanks Joe. It really is a mystery. If I can talk to a wine manager at one of the stores I will find out why they absent from the stores here.

  3. James Goodman says

    Having recently returned to the US after living in New Zealand for eleven years (no, NZ is not part of Australia, but it is a free trade zone), I developed a taste for NZ pinot noir and white wines, and Australian reds, especially shiraz. Sad to say, without exception, the wines I loved the most in both countries are generally not available in the US. Penfolds, for example, makes some of the best wines in the world across all price ranges (Aussies will tell you their Grange IS the best in the world). Sadly, Aussies and Kiwis have a somewhat different taste for wine than Americans, and almost none of the wonderful, inexpensive shiraz is imported to the US. (A few years ago, an American article entitled something like “The ten best Australian wines” was met with much ridicule in Australia, since eight of the ten were wines neither Kiwis nor Aussies would touch, specifically targeted at the American market.)

    It is possible to find in the US a small number of red wines Aussies and Kiwis enjoy, though the selection is extremely limited (white wines are much more common in the US — never mind that nearly all the white wines in supermarkets under the sign “Australia” actually come from NZ). Of the six wines identified, only two — the Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz and the Jim Barry “Lodge Hill” Shiraz — are widely available in New Zealand. Koonunga Hill is worth just what you pay for it, though the Lodge Hill is very good most years (though from my notes, the 2012 only won a bronze medal in a major NZ wine competition — perhaps it has improved with age). Jim Barry makes some wonderful wines, but I wouldn’t include Lodge Hill in that category.

    My main point is that the brands I liked the most are, almost without exception, unavailable in the US. For example, Taylors ( sells a wide range of excellent wines for under USD10. And you probably have never heard of them. Likewise, Wolf Blass ( offers a huge range of shiraz at all price points. And Penfolds offers a dozen great wines, all but one better than Koonunga Hill.

    I’ve asked repeatedly at wine shops if they could import some of the wines I’ve mentioned above. As far as I can tell, the only place that carries much wine from either country is K & L, and theirs is very limited.

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