Here in the UK, most people would probably associate the Shiraz grape with Australia. Germans and Austrians, however, like to call it Syrah, and if they were into wine they might know that Austria produces a few nice ones too - and this Syrah is one of them.
The colour is a shiny ruby-red that almost borders on dark chocolate or very reduced balsamic vinegar. I am quite definitive about the latter as I served the wine with slow roast lamb, potato mash and balsamic glazed baby carrots. But back to Count Hardegg's Syrah. Both nose and mouth brought some nice ground pepper thunder to the table - and lots of dark berries, embedded in an almost chocolaty smooth structure and garnished with roast bread and some notes of vanilla and roast oak.
This wine would definitely go well with chocolate or a creamy chestnut soup. What impressed us most is that the Syrah managed to be both firm and fruity, but without ever feeling heavy. Again it seems to me that this grape, if well handled, can combine some of the best features of Pinot Noir and Cabernet - based on the somewhat limited sample of Syrah I have tried so far.
Seems like Graf Hardegg will be a producer to watch. And all the fans of organic wine will be pleased to hear that the winery is apparently in the process of switching to natural winemaking methods.