Three Australian Shirazes + a Margaret River blend


McHenry Hohnen Cabernet/Merlot 2008, Margaret River (£9.99 Majestic)
Surprisingly forward, rounded wine, showing just the right amount of leafy mint and eucalyptus character alongside juicy plummy fruit, hints of leather and tobacco and smooth ripe tannins. B+

Averys Pioneer Barossa Shiraz 2007 – made by Yalumba (£8.99 Averys)
A lovely bear-hug of a wine, ripe and confident, but never jammy, with meaty leathery plum, liquorice and chocolate flavour tinged with cloves. S-

Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz 2005, Grampians (£29.99 Harper Wells, Harrods)
Rich, exotic style with exuberant blueberry and blackcurrant flesh, notes of pepper, clove and oriental spices, and an earthy ferrous note to the finish. My only reservation is I’d like to have seen it picked slightly earlier – it’s 15% alcohol, and there’s just a touch of jamminess as the wine open up. S

Botham Merrill Willis 25th Anniversary Shiraz 2005, McLaren Vale (£14.99 Christopher Piper – £2.50 from each bottle goes Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research)
Less fragrant and more stolid than the Langi, has a warm chocolate and orange liqueur edge to its dark fruitcake flavours, but it’s let down by a volatile, port-like character. B(-)

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