By Gerardo Lombardi and Patrizia Sparer – I tasted two wines from Rhône region in France, one made from Syrah (Hermitage), one mainly from Grenache (Côtes du Rhône) and compared them with a Shiraz and a Mourvedre both from Barossa Valley in Australia.

Which style is better?

I began with a comparison of the two Syrah/Shiraz wines as this is the most typical grape variety for both growing areas.

Two Hands Pictures Series – Gnarly Dudes – Barossa Valley Shiraz 2011
This australian Shiraz is a must try!
Dark purple in colour with ruby red rims.
Menthol, eucalyptus, crushed blueberries, burned sage and milk chocolate form a pretty complex and perfumed bouquet.
Smooth and silky appearance on the palate – grainy tannins pair well with the mineral backbone provided by the acidity.
Dark fruit, some charcoal and herbs push it to dense and juicy finish.
A hint of residual sugar makes it even more pleasant even if I’m not sure if it needs it.

Rating: 15/20 – Nice one and great New World Shiraz aka Syrah – Off to Hermitage!

Les Vins de Vienne – Crozes-Hermitage Les Palignons 2013
More menthol and more herbs then the australian one – some sour cherries, a good dash of smoke and caramell add to it.
More elegant on the palate – less concentrated  and with some hints of nectarine and moooore mint and rosemary.
Grainy-firm tannins tell you that this one can still age for a couple of years. A vibrant acidity makes it easy to drink, but in the same time also more complex.
Earl grey, wood and a hint of roasted bell pepper form a delicious finish!
What is better? I don’t know!
You want to taste the difference?

Rating: 15.5/20 – Very good wine!

Hewitson – Barossa Valley Baby Bush Mourvèdre 2012
Bang! Eucalyptus, eucalyptus and moooore eucalyptus in your face – in a blind tasting I would immediately say: NEW WORLD!
On the palate there are some sour cherries and less hints of eucalyptus. A lively acidity adds to it and pairs with some oaky, but well integrated tannins.
Again some cherries and smokey hints in the finish, but pretty defensive and not persistent.
All in all pleasant and it definitely gives you a good idea of how Mourvedre tastes like!
Interesting one!

Rating: 12/20 – Good wine!

Domaine Saint Préfert – Clos Beatus Côtes du Rhône 2014
Mainly made from Grenache aka Cannonau!
Vegetal notes pair with aromas of crushed black pepper, rose petals and a hint of cherry blossom.
Vivid and refreshing mouthfeel – maybe because it is from the pretty rainy 2014 vintage – BUT I like it a lot. Elegant and fruity with grainy tannins and a nearly sparkling acidity.
Some zesty-mineral flavours push it to an uncomplicated, but pleasant finish.
Good one – also when served chilled in the summer!
Great value especially if you want to know how Grenache from Rhone tastes like!

Rating: 12.5/20 – Good wine!

According to my personal opinion Rhône wines and Rhône-style Australian wines are very different in the way they are made. The French wines are quite traditional and need some time to evolve. The Syrah needed one day to achieve its perfect stage. It was very interesting to compare Syrah with Shiraz and – until now – this has been the best tasting. I absolutely recommend you to taste the differences by yourself!

Buy the wines at Vinexus.