RKS Wines: Great Western Australian Wines: More Elegant than Barossa

Generally speaking the red wines of Western Australia are perceived as lighter and even elegant as opposed to the full throttle Barossa red wines and the centre of these light-footed reds is in the Margaret River District. I agree with the generalspeak here! Now what about the wines of Great Western which is a registered subregion (GIC) of Central Victoria’s Grampians wine region?

We try a Best’s Great Western 2018 Bin number 1 Shiraz. Best’s has been making wine since 1860. The winery calls this a “cool climate aromatic made in a style that is perfumed, peppery yet well balanced with no overt dominance of alcohol yet well balanced”. It is notable the winery says this is ideal to drink with a roast rack of lamb and that is a fair statement.

Critic James Suckling put this wine which he rated a 95 in his top 100 wines of 2021. Suckling and I are usually quite close in our rating. He usually scores 2-3 points higher than I do. So bottom line I think we are assured a drinkable wine.

On the nose there is some heft to the wine. Notes of red and dark plums, creamy blackberry, cassis, root beer, bacon and a whisper of Saigon cinnamon. On the palate the tannins are soft and there is blackberry, pomegranate, dark chocolate and cranberries. The wine is not packing a Barossa punch. This Syrah is not exactly Rhône or Western Australian but it is not Barossa. It will drift nicely into 2028. We rarely get wines in Ontario from Great Western so I will anxiously await arrival on the shelves of more.

(Best’s Great Western 2018 Bin No 1 Shiraz, Great Western, Best’s Wines, Victoria, Australia, $21.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 222323, 750 mL, 14%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 92/100).

Wine Drinker Profile: This wine will suit one who enjoys a lighter style of Shiraz as opposed to many Australian Shiraz’s that take no prisoner. Good to sip but will suit food such as New Zealand Spring Lamb or Black Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Corn https://www.purelykaylie.com/vegan-sweet-potato-black-bean-chili/.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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