Shiraz – a whistle-stop tour round three countries

Château Pech-Redon ‘Les Cades’ Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape 2008, France (£7.99 The Real Wine Company)
30% Cinsault, 30% Carignan, 20% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre
Sappy, white pepper, forest fruits like brambles and blackcurrants, lovely garrigue herbs, fresh and vibrant, some liquorice, super red, ripe yet refreshing, perfect sausage wine. S-

Château d’Or et de Gueules ‘Les Cimels’ Costières de Nimes 2006, Rhône, France (£8.99 The Real Wine Company)
Syrah (40%), Carignan (40%) and Grenache (20%)
Mature and meaty red, some brown sugar and raisin, more old-fashioned and mellow than the Pech-Redon, unoaked, classic winter warmer for cassoulet and other hearty dishes. B+

La Châsse du Pape Shiraz/Grenache Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2007, Rhône, France (£6.98 Asda – down to £4 17 Nov- 7 Dec)
Ripe, friendly, gentle plummy style, some stalky/spicy notes, a touch of toasty oak, maybe a touch thin, but very friendly style. B(-)

Quinta do Noval Labrador 2007, Vinho Regional Duriense, Portugal (100% Syrah named in honour of the winemaker’s dog)
Reduced blackcurrant, then an almost metallic, herby edge emerges. Spicy, toasty oak edges, brooding style, ginger biscuits and brown sugar, bags of fruit, maybe a little short – these are very young vines after all – but very interesting debut. S-

Circumstance Shiraz 2007, Stellenbosch, South Africa (£15.20 The Vineyard, Amps Fine Wines, D Byrne)
Big plush, savoury style, has some of the SA baked edge, along with some chocolate wafer-y oak, but there’s also a gentler plum, orange peel and berry edge, again, feels like a young vine cuvée, with the wine starting well, but the finish, while clean and dry, maybe lacks a little polish. B(+)

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