Dan Graham takes the Sigurd name from his Norwegian great-grandfather, who shared a similarly mischievous outlook. Sigurd Wines was born in 2012 with just two tonnes of Grenache from Blewitt Springs, which Dan fermented on a friend’s veranda. This follows a career that has taken him to Central Otago, Alentejo, Bordeaux, Hermitage, Barolo and around New South Wales and Barossa, including a stint at Jacob’s Creek. As Dan puts it, “when all is said and done, I just make wines that I want to drink.”
Dan's Syrah comes from Williamstown, a block he's been leasing and farming organically since 2014. There's a clue in the choice of name: if an Australian winemaker writes "Syrah" on the bottle as opposed to "Shiraz", you can be pretty confident you're going to get something with a nod to the Old World and this definitely has that, transporting you in many ways to the dark, earthy reds of the Northern Rhône. He uses about 20% whole bunch on the fermentation then presses to a mixture of used French oak barrels and new French oak from Cognac forests with a light toasting. The wine spends 14 months in barrel before bottling unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulfites.
It is dark and spicy with black olive to the fore, then surging through the mid-palate are bright, lifted, black fruit flavours. Gorgeous wine! One for fans of Crozes-Hermitage.