After writing this blog post that involved a spider and some Dutch courage brought about by a bottle of Massoni Pinot Noir, Massoni discovered us and sent us 2 bottles of their Shiraz to try, the 2006 Glenkara Vineyard Shiraz and the 2008 Shiraz.
The Massoni Glenkara Vineyard is located in the Pyrenees. Now the Pyrenees are named so because they look nothing like the Pyrenees that split Spain and France. I suppose someone had to come up with a European name for them and maybe the dude who said “Ahh, let’s call the place Pyrenees because I like Austria” was the only contestant and won by default. Who knows, but it is kinda hilly!
The Pyrenees is one of Australia’s 72 wine regions and is about 2 hours north-west of Melbourne. It’s a cool-ish climate region that is often quite dry during vintage meaning that grapes can struggle but they also produce sensational wine in most years due to that little bit of stress that gives them a kick along. Although there’s some good whites coming out of the Pyrenees they are more so known for the spicy berry driven reds, especially Cabernet and Shiraz. The hilly nature of the region also means that there is actually quite a bit of diversity in the wines due to all the little micro-climates in the area.
The region didn’t really come together until the 1970s with the Massoni Glenkara vineyard being established in the mid 1980s. Other wineries in the region include Blue Pyrenees, Dalwhinnie, Dogrock, Karra Karra, Melross, Redbank, Summerfield and Taltarni, just to name a few.
We went away recently with friends and thought it the best time to crack these two bottles open. First up was the 2006 Massoni Glenkara Shiraz. This was a very dark and rich colour in the glass. On the sniff there were blackberries and spice rising up into my nose. On the sip it was all full-bodied sensation. Loads of blackcurrant and cherries with a lot of spice that ran long in the mouth with a bit of nougat in there. Yum!
It was a gorgeous Autumn evening being nice and crisp, just cool enough to crank up the outdoor fire. Perfect for the 2008 Massoni Shiraz. On opening this one there was a scent of plums and in the glass it was also very dark in colour, but on the sip, it was a different wine to the 2006. This one was a lot softer and seemed less intense although there was a strong background of blackberry where as the 2006 mainly only displayed that when sniffing it. Along with the berries was a nice carry of vanilla that lasted quite long on the tongue. A thoroughly enjoyed wine that was half the table’s favourite.
These two wines retail for around $25 and show just how much the wines of the Pyrenees can vary, especially between vintages. A great thing about Massoni is that they release a lot of the wines with age. This is testament to the quality of the wine coming out of the region and really does allow you to experience how well the wines can develop. So if you want to try a different style of Aussie Shiraz to the typical wines of South Australia then find yourself a wine from the Pyrenees and give it a crack!