Off the beaten track there’s a shiraz trio worth sharing

THE Geelong wine region in Victoria doesn’t get a great deal of exposure but if you need a divergence from the start (or end) of a Great Ocean Rd drive, you could do worse than to call into Austins and Co winery, north-east of Geelong in the Moorabool Valley. Winemaker Scott Ireland crafts these three shiraz from the estate set up by Richard Austin in 1982. There’s also quality pinot noir, chardonnay and don’t forget their good value 6Ft6 easy drinking range. Wines available from major wine retailers.


2013: Concentrated black strap liquorice with solid chunks of blackberry and black cherry paste. Subtle French oak imparts nutty nuances over the obviously quality deep sweet, black fruit. White pepper and clove-like spice linger well after the fine, pleasant tannins depart. Medium to full bodied and enjoyable to drink. Rating: 8.5/10 RRP: $35 Alc: 14%

Custom Collection Crue Syrah

2014: A “joven” or “young” style, (no oak aging) that transformed over three days. Day 1: Almost undrinkable with dense meaty, protein rich smells. Took a lot to find crushed grape aromas underneath. Day 2: Some coffee notes and a green stemmy lilt before black fruit and asphalt amalgam. Syrupy and gravelly, black cherry flavours wash over before youthful tannins assault. Day 3: Finally the caterpillar has become a butterfly. Blackcurrant, dark raspberry, integrated tannins and delicious jubey notes. Rating: 9/10 RRP: $35 Alc: 14%

Custom Collection Spencer Shiraz

2013: Opens with a similar meaty smell as the Crue, but blows away far quicker. Smoky, woody smells along with that trademark thick black fruit. There’s a perfumed whisper of fresh resin hops and craisins. Feels full bodied and then angry and nervy in the mouth. Tart black plums and exotic medjool dates mesh with Turkish coffee bitterness before tightening to fine blueberry/boysenberry. Rating: 8.5/10 RRP: $50 Alc: 14%

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