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Razor's Edge Shiraz-Grenache 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 2007, the 2005 vintage of the McLaren Vale Shiraz was released and a new wine, a 2006 Unwooded Chardonnay, was introduced. Both were very well received and demand soared after rave reviews from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines. Before the end of 2007, two new wines were introduced by Razor’s Edge: a McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon and a McLaren Vale Shiraz Grenache.
The South Australian wine industry is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. The state of South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the state to be able to successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties, from cool climate Rieslings in the Clare Valley, to big and full-bodied Shiraz in the Barossa. Like with most agriculture in Australia, irrigation is a vital component to the success of the South Australian wine industry. Some of Australia's most well known wines are produced here.
Vines are grown at all types of altitudes in South Australia from the low valley regions of the Barossa up to the 1,970ft vineyards in the Eden Valley. The soil type is also varied across the region from the well known terra rosa of Coonawarra, the limestone-marl based soils of the Adelaide, to the sandy, clay loam based soils of the Barossa.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style. Whites, often made from Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc tend to be opulent and full of tropical, stone and citrus fruit.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.
In the Glass
The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.
Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.