Shiraz constitutes almost a quarter of all wine grape production in Australia and enjoys star status – domestically and internationally – for its finesse, complexity and potential to increase in value with cellaring age. Ripe fruit, a fleshy mid-palate, high acidity and soft tannins can convey both plush and power in a sip. Depending on the climate, the nose and palate can include blackberry, chocolate, mint, eucalyptus, smoked meat, black pepper, liquorice and cloves. In our taste test, shiraz was the strongest performing bracket. Moechtar noted that “there were no cooler-climate shirazes among the winners, indicating consumers still prefer full-bodied ripe reds”.