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Shiraz

The wine in my glass is a deep, dark ruby and you can smell the warmth of the fruit. There are aromas of peppercorns, spices, flowers and game blood (anyone who has plucked and drawn a pheasant will know it) as well as the usual red berry fruits. It tastes like a halfway house between traditional northern Rhone syrah and classic southern Australian Shiraz with the elegance of the former and the power of the latter. This is a wine with a fabulous story and the closest Ill ever get to a Scottish red wine

The wine, Glenguin Estate Stonybroke Shiraz 2005, is made by a Scotsman(albeit one who now speaks a broad Sydney accent) and is the sort ofwine that is ideally drunk with Highland venison on Calcutta Cup day.

Robin Tedder is the winemaker at Glenguin Estate but his father wasDeputy Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in World War Two underEisenhower. On retiring he was awarded a Baronet and chose the titleBaron of Glenguin after the old name of the Glengoyne whisky distillerywhere his grandfather had worked. Robin himself now has that title, and until hereditary peers lost their seats, was entitled to sit in theHouse of Lords. Not that he did. He always preferred making wine to laws.

For the last twenty years, Robin has based himself in the Hunter Valley,80 miles north of Sydney. One of just 350 or so Masters of Wine in theworld, he is passionate about Shiraz and especially Hunter Shiraz.

It is hot in the Hunter, too hot really, but the grapes are saved by ahumid climate and cloudy summer days which stop them burning under afierce sun. The wines are not the sweet, chocolate and raspberry fruitbombs of elsewhere in Australia but altogether more savoury, spicy and earthy. They age like a dream too; a recently tasted bottle from 1959was very much alive with a thwack of old leather on the finish.

Savoury, spicy, bloody even, Hunter Valley Shiraz is my favourite styleof New World red wine and it is a pleasure to think that in some small way it is Scottish.

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