Mr Riggs Piebald Syrah 2012
First, let’s play a little dictionary, shall we? ‘Piebald’ is a term used to describe a black and white animal (most often a horse). Syrah is just a fancy pants term more winemakers are using to differentiate their more elegant, cool climate Shiraz from the more widely known juicy and big flavoured Shiraz Australia is world famous for. The Shiraz grapes for this wine come from the (cooler climate) Adelaide Hills.
But the trick here is two-fold. First, Ben Riggs says the black and white reference is in line with his very black and white view of winemaking. And second, the almost black shiraz grapes are blended with a wee smidge of white grapes – there’s 5% Viognier in the mix. Why do that? The addition of Viognier (a white grape) enhances the sweet, ripe fruit flavours and offers up some lovely soft apricot to the mix. It also enables the deep, dark, almost purple colour of the wine to develop and hold, as well as the earthy, savoury tannins too.
It’s a lovely wine to drink. Luscious black plums, a delicate sprinkling of black pepper, and an earthiness that lifts it – making it romantic and edgy, rather than simple and predictable.
Would be a great choice throughout the summer barbecue season, but equally at home in cooler weather beside a fragrant tagine.