2016 Best’s Shiraz Bin No. 1 Great Western, Victoria


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They’ve been shoveling dirt on the Aussie Shiraz category for nearly a decade now but the fact of the matter is, just because the wines aren’t selling as well in the United States as they used to, it doesn’t mean the best properties in Australia aren’t still making great wine!  The classics are, indeed, still the classics.  And it was very exciting the other day to revisit one of Australia’s most classic wines and discover that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Best’s has been making wines for a very long time- since 1867 in fact, when Henry Best purchased 73 acres in the Victoria township of Great Western and planted the Shiraz vines that would become the trademark for this very unique growing region.  Best’s Great Western wines have, over their many, many decades, earned the reputation as being among the most elegant and long-lived in Australia. 

The rare and exciting Bin O, in fact, is often spoken of as Victoria’s answer to Grange, albeit at a mere fraction of the Grange’s price.  It’s the Best’s Bin 1, however, that really carries the flag for this venerable winery. It plays all of the same notes as its big brother, just in a minor key- and at an extraordinary price.  In truth, there are few better values for those looking for a deep, characterful red than this medium- to full-bodied Shiraz with its lifted aromas of Danson plum, black raspberry, star anise and mint chocolate.  Rich on the palate but juicy and lively too, it’s a wonderful rendition of a more cool-climate, complex style of Aussie Shiraz- one that emphasizes finesse over the raw power one associates with the warmer areas of South Australia.  Rich and assertive enough for your best spicy-sweet ribs or a peppery steak, it’s also lithe enough to play well with less intense items liked grilled chicken breasts, pork chops or dishes with wild mushrooms, it’s drinking great right now.  And yes, if you want to keep some for some years, that wouldn’t be a bad thing either.  It’s go a decade at least.  We think this might be one of the best deals we’ve seen in a while from Down Under…….  

By the way, Best’s also makes one of the best examples of Sparkling Shiraz, we’ve ever tried and their 2015 vintage is arriving shortly.  If you’ve never had a sparkling Shiraz before, you gotta try this stuff and, even if you fancy yourself a connoisseur of these black bubbles, you have to try Best’s!  Let us know if you’d like to add one or two to your case of Shiraz.