Finding the best Shiraz wine is simple when you use this guide to the top wines. This guide will primarily focus on Australian wines and French wine producers. Both countries make excellent varietal wines from the same grape.
How Does Shiraz Wine Taste?
The shiraz grape variety generally has black fruit flavors (e.g., black cherry and plums) and black fruit aromas (i.e., cherry jam). In addition to fruit, some Shiraz wines also have black peppercorns, black pepper, white pepper, or even dark chocolate. The specific flavors vary depending on the wine region. For example, a cooler climate like the Columbia Valley is different from warm climates like the Napa Valley in California. Warm summers affect the style of wine by leading to a more fruity wine. For an in-depth introduction, check out this post on Shiraz wine taste so that you know what to expect in your glass.
Are Australian Shiraz The Best?
You’ll notice that Australian shiraz wines feature prominently on this list. Certainly, the Australian wine industry makes many excellent bottles of Shiraz, often recognized in international competitions. However, there is a bit more to the story.
Producers in Australian wine regions usually call their grapes Shiraz. The same grape is called Syrah in Europe. Since Travel By Glass traditionally focuses on French wine like the best Gamay wine, this guide is new. Another time, I may post the best Syrah wine, which is famously produced in France’s Rhône Valley. For simplicity, the best Shiraz wine and the best Syrah wine will be covered in this Syrah and Shiraz wine guide.
Best Shiraz Wine Under $100
There are plenty of affordable wines in the budget wine category. Start your Shiraz wine-tasting journey with these approachable wine options. With a price range of up to $100, let’s look at the tasting notes for each bottle.
1) Robert Oatley Shiraz (McLaren Valley, Australia), average price: $26
This McLaren Vale wine earned high scores from wine critics in 2012, 2013, and 2017. You’ll enjoy earthy notes and cranberry and blueberry in the glass. The McLaren Valley produces some of the best-known Shiraz in Australia partly because the region’s wines have dark chocolate undertones.
2) Domaine Gilles Robin Crozes-Hermitage Le Papillon (Rhone, France), average price: $27
In contrast to the Australian Shiraz wines profiled here, this French Syrah wine has just 10% alcohol content. Produced in the northern Rhone Valley, this wine has earned good scores from critics in the past. The dry wine is noted for its herbal notes and raspberry notes. For dining, this wine pairs well with lamb dishes because it is a rich wine.
3) Lagier Meredith Syrah (Napa Valley, California), average price: $45
This American Syrah wine brings an exciting combination of red fruit and olive notes (i.e., green olives or black olives). This bottle of wine comes from an 84-acre wine-making property in Napa. This wine is an excellent contrast with popular Australian wine regions like the Barossa Valley.
4) Sons of Eden ‘Remus’ Shiraz (Eden Valley, Australia), Average Price: $26
This old vine Shiraz is noted for its white peppercorns and red cherry quality. The aromatic herbs also make this 14.5% alcohol content wine distinct. You may also notice a hint of oak in the wine because it is aged in French oak for 18 months.
5) Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz (Coonawarra, Australia), Average Price: $20x
This screw cap Australian shiraz is grown in the Coonawarra area. With 13.4% alcohol content, this wine combines dark fruit (e.g., blackcurrant) and red fruit (e.g., cranberries and redcurrants) qualities. The Black Label version has earned 90+ point scores from multiple people. The wine is aged in a combination of new and old French oak for 13 months. The acidity levels are lively, which balances the fruit elements.
6) The Language of Yes ‘En Passerillage’ Syrah, $39
This Santa Maria Valley Syrah wine has earned 90+ scores from professional wine critics. With 13.9% alcohol content, this dry wine combines Syrah (87%) and Viognier (13%). The Language of Yes website points out that this wine is unfiltered, so it is wise to pour it into a decanter before enjoying it.
7) Amor Fati Syrah, $49
As a reader of Ryan Holiday’s books, this Syrah wine from the Santa Maria Valley immediately caught my eye. This American Syrah wine has earned a 95 score in Wine Enthusiast magazine. The wine has a 14.6% alcohol content. The tasting profile is a combination of dark fruit flavors and peppercorns.
8) Tyrrell’s Wines Vat 9 Shiraz, $73
This rich wine has aging potential produced in Australia’s Hunter Valley wine region. The tasting profile includes blueberry and cranberry and notes of oak. The wine has earned an average score of 93 from wine reviewers. It may not be available in every wine retailer, so check online stores like Wine.com to track down this wine.
9) Kilikanoon Covenant Shiraz, $40
Want to experience a cool climate Shiraz? Pick up this bottle from Australia’s Clare Valley. Kilikanoon Covenant Shiraz has plum fruit and notes of herbs. This cool wine style is made in a dry wine style with 14.5% alcohol content.
10) Zaca Mesa 2017 Mesa Reserve Syrah, $54
This California Syrah wine is produced in the Santa Ynez Valley. The wine offers a combination of black fruit characteristics like blackberry and plum. Beyond the primary fruit flavors, the wine has several layers of spices, starting with baking spices. If you want to host a wine tasting at home, compare this American Syrah to one of the Australian bottles profiled here.
Best Shiraz Wine Over $100
These impressive wines tend to attract the most attention from professional wine critics. Explore these wines as you continue to develop the art of wine appreciation. With an average price of over $100, you might not have these delicious wines regularly, but they are well worth it for a good occasion.
11) Penfolds Grange, $400+
Penfolds Grange is one of the best Shiraz wine brands in the world. This legendary wine is produced in the Barossa Valley and has an impressive flavor profile. Expect to enjoy notes of leather, sweet spices, and black fruit. The wine’s taste profile is also developed by 100% American oak, bringing vanilla to the bottle. This Barossa Shiraz is a must-have for every best Shiraz wine list!
12) Clarendon Hills Astralis Shiraz, $225
This Australian Shiraz is outstanding, with an average wine critic score of 95. This exceptional wine is made from nearly a century-old ancient wines produced in the McLaren Valley. The tasting notes include brambly fruit, black olive, and herbs. While this is one of the most expensive wines made in the McLaren Valley, it is worth it for an occasion.
13) Standish ‘Lamella’ Shiraz, $166
This top-quality Barossa Valley Shiraz may be difficult to find in the USA, but it is worth the effort. With an average professional wine critic score of 96, few bottles of wine can compete with this bottle. The flavor profile includes black fruits (i.e., notes of blackberry) and Mediterranean herbs (i.e., sage). The wine opens with fruit notes and has a long finish bringing together vanilla, licorice, and spice.
14) Greenock Creek Vineyards & Cellars Creek Block Shiraz, $144
This classic Australian Shiraz also comes from the Barossa Valley. Black fruit flavors like blackberry, plum, and blackcurrant are the fruit flavors you’ll notice as you start drinking this wine. The wine has many spice notes, such as pepper, cinnamon, and mint. To fully appreciate this wine’s potential, pour a glass and enjoy it. Then, an hour later, try another glass and see how the wine evolves.
15) Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz, $214
Mollydooker is recognized as one of the best wines made in Australia’s McLaren wines. The wine flavor profile brings together oak notes, black fruit, and dark chocolate. This full-bodied wine also has a high alcohol content for a Shiraz – 15.5% alcohol content. This rich wine bottle pairs well with red meats like beef.
Best Shiraz Wine In Summary
Finding the best Shiraz wines is simple when you keep a few rules of thumb in mind. Australian wine producers make some of the very best bottles on the market. Shiraz wine beginners (or those on a wine appreciation budget) should start their Shiraz journey with wine options under $100. This dark-skinned grape variety offers a rich experience, including black fruit flavors, savory spices, and oak notes.