Layer Cake Shiraz Review, Tasting Notes & Food Pairings - Layer Cake Red Wine from South AustraliaLayer Cake Shiraz Review from South Australia

Vintage: 2013, 2014

Our Score

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A lot of people automatically assume that the Layer Cake Shiraz is one of those big brand, cheaply produced Australian red wine products. Quite the contrary. Great care is given to the production of this particular vin, and the Layer Cake Shiraz offers a New World flavor that is a real expression of what the Shiraz (also known as Syrah) grape variety should exemplify. This is a dependable bottle of red wine.

This Layer Cake red wine is 100% Shiraz with about 15% alcohol (ABV). It’s aged in both New French Oak and for a shorter period in older French Oak. The advantage of using New French oak during the aging process is that it adds to the ultimate flavor of the wine, which can include vanilla, coco and smoky-esque type nuances.

Growing & Craftting the Layer Cake Shiraz in South Australia

It’s sourced from two well known wine producing areas in South Australia. The first is the McLaren Vale and the second is the famed Barossa Valley. Shiraz is grown and sourced from each of these locations for a reason — because the climate and soil composition in this areas is conducive to producing great tasting Shiraz. But why?

The McLaren Vale offers a rich and varied soil composition, combined with a special micro-climate that greatly aids in producing consistently flavored, large and slightly less concentrated fruit. This is because the vines can enjoy a somewhat regulated temperate given the Vale’s proximity to the sea and the nearby mountain range inhibiting climate interference on the other side. The soil is richer, which means the vines can grow fruit with relative ease, resulting in larger grapes.

Layer Cake Shiraz Review - Barossa Valley Vineyard - Layer Cake Red Wine

The Barossa Valley in Southeastern Australia is one of the best regions in the world for growing premium quality Shiraz (Syrah).

The Barossa Valley on the other hand is located Northeast of the McLaren Vale and further inland. It’s here that the climate is hotter, dryer and harsher and one of the most well known in the world for producing premium Shiraz. The soil itself also makes it difficult for the vines to grow, given a thin surface layer of red clay type soil with a calcareous layer beneath that makes it difficult for the vines to extract nutrients. That may make it sound like the vines wouldn’t produce good fruit, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Since the vines end up having to work harder, the resulting grapes are harvest tend to be smaller but much more concentrated with thick skins. This is where the majority of the complexity comes from in the Layer Cake Shiraz.

The Layer Cake Shiraz is an Ideal Red Wine for Aging

Also worth noting is how age-worthy this Shiraz is. Shiraz in general typically ages well thanks to the thick skins of the grape lending to a rich and dense tannin structure. The Layer Cake Shiraz in particular ages exceedingly well given the way it was crafted. Smaller berries with thicker than your average skins yield an even higher tannic content, which is conducive to long term aging. The Layer Cake Shiraz can be aged as far as 2030, and it likely won’t even reach its best expression until 2020 or so when aged in consistently cool storage conditions (though it is perfectly drinkable now).

How to Serve the Layer Cake Shiraz

We recommend chilling this wine to about 62 degrees Farenheit, or about 15 minutes in your typical refridgerator. It’s also recommend that you decant it for about 15 minutes to best bring out the complexity of the wine, though it’s not required. An easy way to go about decanting this wine is to just use a self-aerating wine glass, which will naturally open the wine as you sip and swirl. These self-aerating “VinO2” wine glasses from Taste of Purple is what we use. Coupon code WINEDERLUST will give you 10% off at checkout.

Layer Cake Shiraz Review | How to Serve the Layer Cake Shiraz | Layer Cake Red Wine Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge

Jayson Woodbridge, producer of Layer Cake Wines, discussing his grandfather’s thoughts on wine making.

Layer Cake Shiraz Tasting Notes

In the glass, this wine exemplifies what a true Shiraz should look like. You’ll see a rich black cherry and ruby purple hue with no translucency and a medium viscosity.

The nose is somewhat aromatic, with hints of juicy blackberry, plum, black cherry and cacao.

The opening palate is full-bodied and lush, maintaining a beautiful mouth feel. Rich, velvety tannins sit on top blackberry, black cherry, fig and subtle candied vanilla tones. The mid-palate opens up a bit to reveal soft acidity and freshly ground black pepper. Approaching the finish, blackberries, pomegranate and blueberry cobbler pie culminate over soft black pepper and a medium-long finish.

Layer Cake Shiraz Food Pairings

This wine makes for an ideal food pairing option or solo drinker. If you do decide to pair it with food, consider pairing it with meats that are somewhat bold in flavor. Shiraz in general tends to pack a bigger flavor punch on the open, so consider rich and savory foods that also have hints of sweetness. A great option here is pork, and it can be done in a number of ways. A personal favorite is Roasted Pork Shoulder, or Lechon Asado — which is a Spanish style of roast pork.

Spice-rubbed Butterfly Leg of Lamb or Spicy-Sweet Beef Kabobs are sure to satisfy anyone eating alongside the Layer Cake.

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