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Shiraz, France

Shiraz is a red grape variety. It is the most widely planted variety in Australia and helped put it on the wine map. It is an adaptable grape that has distinctly regional characteristics from elegant, peppery cool climate styles to sweet and chocolatey (McLaren Vale), muscular, and ripe-fruited (Barossa), to savoury and rich (Hunter Valley). Shiraz was one of the first vine varieties to arrive in Australia in 1832 and is grown in most regions. However, its home is in the Barossa Valley where old vines date back to the 1860s.

The classic, truly Australian blend is Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is also blended with Grenache and Mourvedre (GSM) in warmer climates. In recent years it is increasingly being blended with Viognier to create the Shiraz/Viognier blend.

Shiraz's home is in the Northern Rhône's, Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, in France. It is now also grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others.
Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More-so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
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  1. Le Versant 'Vin De Pays D'Oc' Syrah 2020
    Exclusive to United Cellars - our most popular Syrah! A sumptuous and youthful Syrah from sun-drenched vineyards in the south of France. Aromatic nose with aromas of small mashed red fruits mixed with spicy and smokey hints. Rich and silky ... Learn More
    pts
    Mark Faber
  2. Le Versant 'Vin De Pays D'Oc' Syrah 2019
    Exclusive to United Cellars - our most popular Syrah! A sumptuous and youthful Syrah from sun-drenched vineyards in the south of France. Aromatic nose with aromas of small mashed red fruits mixed with spicy and smokey hints. Rich and silky ... Learn More
  3. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Ampodium 2019
    Rene’s son Pierre took the helm since the 2015 vintage & is keeping to his father’s style, 90-100% whole bunch ferment and less than 15% new oak ageing, whilst adding additional precision and intensity to the wines. The Cuvée Ampodium ... Learn More
    pts
    Alistair Cooper MW
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
    pts
    Josh Raynolds
    pts
    Wine Spectator
  4. Domaine René Rostaing La Viallere 'Cuvee Reservee' Côte-Rôtie 2016
    Domaine Rostaing, often called René Rostaing after its founder, is a leading wine estate in the Côte-Rôtie region of the Northern Rhône, and particularly known for its Syrah-based wines. The first Rostaing wine was produced in 1971 when ... Learn More
  5. Chapoutier Cote-Rotie 'Neve' Rouge 2017
    This wine comes from a hillside with a lovely south-southeast exposure in a lieu-dit known as Neve in the commune of Ampuis. The soil here is composed of schist and mica-schist, with some seams of ground soil in the mid-section ... Learn More
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
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    James Suckling
    pts
    Richard Hemming
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    Decanter
  6. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie La Landonne 2016
    Legal academic, property dealer and vigneron, René Rostaing crafts some of the finest Côte Rôties on the market today. He has owned 2 hectares in the Côte Blonde and La Landone since the 1970s but fortune has blessed ... Learn More
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
  7. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Cote Blonde 2016
    96 points Jeb Dunnuck Outer quote mark Lastly, the 2016 Côte Rôtie Côte Blonde is more seamless and elegant, with a more perfumed, pretty style in its red and black raspberry fruits, crushed flowers, game, violets, and crushed rocks. ... Learn More
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    Decanter
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    Robert Parker
  8. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie La Landonne 2019
    Rene’s son Pierre took the helm since the 2015 vintage and is keeping to his father’s style, 90-100% whole bunch ferment and less than 15% new oak ageing, whilst adding additional precision and intensity to the wines. The Cuvée ... Learn More
    pts
    Alistair Cooper MW
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
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