Shaw and Smith Shiraz 2019

Nearly Perfect Aussie Red: 2019 Shaw and Smith Shiraz

98 points from Decanter and less than $50? Yes, your read that correctly, the 2019 Shaw and Smith Shiraz flirts with perfection, and it offers up some of the best "price-to-points" ratio of any wine in the world.

Just to put things in perspective, this is a wine that Decanter scored higher than the current release of Penfolds Grange, which would run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 to $800 a bottle! Austrailian reds are making a huge comeback, and it is wines like this one that are leading the charge. 

Shaw and Smith Shiraz

2019 Shaw and Smith Shiraz 

98 points Decanter, 95 points James Suckling 

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

There's a lot say about this wine, but I will try to be succinct....try being the keyword there. I tasted this last week with my sales rep with no knowledge of the big score, and I ordered 14 six-packs, the max the distributor would allow. This is cool climate, balanced, and evocative Shiraz that flipped my lid. For the record, I would score this one in the 95-96 point range.

Before I go further, here's that Decanter review: "Beware the siren with the ruby-red lips. In a smoky room, here she strides – confident, cool, arresting. Slender, stalky cherry and a smear of blackcurrant bite, spiked with crushed peppercorns. No sunny smiles here, this is deadly serious. Leaner, finer and taut, it marks a big stride ahead from previous vintages. This vision of cool-climate Shiraz marks a new age of measured sophistication." A bit much, but you get the point.

Founded by cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith in 1989, Shaw and Smith is dedicated to the varieties suited to the cooler climate region of the Adelaide Hills. They first produced this wine in 2002 and wine lovers, writers, and critics immediately took notice. This is a unique Aussie Shiraz in the sense that it's not a "big red monster" like so many of them are. It is detailed, layered, savory, and complex.

I am not going to say this is like a great Northern Rhone Syrah like many others are, but I will say it reminds me of a top-flight Santa Barbara or Sonoma Coast Syrah. Sourced from 3 sites in maritime-influenced Adelaide Hills region, this is fermented with some whole clusters in stainless steel and aged in French oak for 14 months prior to bottling.

The finished wine shows a wonderful balance of fruit and more savory, earthy elements. On the nose, I picked up lovely scents of brambly red berries, plum, smoky herb, and peppery spice. The palate was equally engaging and fantastic, offering up spice and herb-accented notes of red and dark berries along with a "sprinkling" of flinty minerality. All in all, this is just a ton of wine for the money, and it's so great to see Australian wines back in the limelight.

What am I going to eat with this? Lamb and lots of it! This would also be a great wine to "sit with," and sip slowly to witness the unfolding of all of the wonderful aromas and flavors. There are just 84 precious bottles of this wine to be know what to do next!

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville