Shiraz – January’s Wine of the Month!


Make that Shiraz AND Basket Press Shiraz!

It’s time to for the next installment of our ‘Wine of the Month.’ And since it’s a New Year, we thought we’d start it off with a bang and feature two wines!

So, for the month of January, we’re celebrating all things Shiraz! January is the month the Aussie’s celebrate Australia Day, a holiday we take advantage of here, too, given our Australian roots. So, in honor of Australia Day, we’re celebrating one of the varietals that the country is best known for.

The Shiraz grape is native to the Rhone region of France, where it is referred to as Syrah. Same grape, just a different name! It first migrated to Australia in 1832 with the father of Australian wine, James Busby, and has now become the most widely planted wine grape in the country.

Shiraz is a late-budding, late-ripening grape with dark skins, known for producing full-bodied wines with dark fruit notes, like blackberry and plum. Perhaps its most distinct characteristic is a tendency to black pepper spice notes on the finish.

Here at Stone House, we certainly have a fair amount of Shiraz in our portfolio, with it appearing in many of our blends. But this month we are shining a light on our two single variety bottlings.

First, our Basket Press Shiraz is an elegant, old-vine wine made from vines planted in the 1920’s in the Barossa Valley of South Australia. Older vines don’t produce as many grapes as they did when they were younger, but the fruit they do grow tends to get very ripe, as the vine can spend more energy ripening the fewer number of grapes. These riper grapes lead to big wines with rich flavors, and our Basket Press is no different. The big spices and strong tannins are perfectly balanced with the bright fruit notes and acidity. This wine pairs well with braised short ribs, roast beef, and daube of lamb.

Second, our Select Shiraz is the perfect complement to the Basket Press. This softer style is able to be enjoyed every day and at a younger age. It exhibits a nose of violets, plum, and black currant, while on the palate ripe dark cherry, woven between sweet spice and soft tannins. It is the perfect accompaniment to aged tenderloin and flavorful cheeses.

We’ll be featuring both wines all month, in the Tasting Room and at our Events, so we hope you’ll stop by and join us for a taste of Australian Shiraz!