Tag Archives: Adelaide Hills

Wirra Wirra Spring Releases

Springtime in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia is always a glorious time. Blossoms burst from the trees, magpies swooping, and vines begin their journey to vintage. The higher altitude of the Hills usually means mild days, and somewhat cool and frosty evenings. One day can be glorious sunshine, followed by torrential rain.

Wirra Wirra Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills

So with spring comes the new 2016 releases from many wineries. Wirra Wirra wines, based in McLaren Vale (which is just next door) have just released their Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Both of which are sourced from the Adelaide Hills wine region, and specifically the coolest sub-region of Lenswood.

Wirra Wirra 2016 Riesling

Wirra Wirra Riesling

Around South Australia there are many well known Riesling regions. Clare Valley has its intense citrus characters, Eden Valley in Barossa displays a little more slatey ‘minerality’ (whatever that means). But further along the Mt Lofty Ranges in Adelaide Hills, the Rieslings often have quite distinct perfumed floral characters.

With the 2016 Wirra Wirra Lost Watch Riesling it is this floral, old fashioned rose aroma, that leaps from the glass. This is rounded out with gorgeous turkish delight confectionery, not that its overt. Fresh red apples add more complexity.

On the palate there’s lots of lively acidity, and a bit of green apple crunch. Hint of citrus, but more of the lemon verbena herbal characters. The Wirra Wirra Lost Watch Riesling, is very typical of Adelaide Hills, and perfect for sping time enjoyment.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $24
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Source: Provided by producer

Wirra Wirra 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

Wirra Wirra Sauvignon Blanc

One of the main varietals in Adelaide Hills is Sauvignon Blanc. Despite the sauvalanche of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc we see here, the Adelaide Hills and Tasmania provide some vigorous competition.

The Wirra Wirra Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc, shows vibrant citrus, lime zest and a little tropical zing. The palate has lots of acidity and quite intense flavours which last. Citrus and grapefruit flavours dominate, with a little dollop of grassiness.

And not a hint of ‘cats pee on a gooseberry bush’, like our kiwi friends.

Alcohol: 13%
Price: $24
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Source: Provided by producer

Wirra Wirra 2013 12th Man Chardonnay: Tasting Note

Straddling the middle ground of Australian Chardonnays can be a difficult balance. The Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay is not as lean as some, nor as broad and flabby as others. Basically the Elle MacPherson of Australian Chardonnays – that is “well fit”. Showing elegance and grace, with curves in all the right places.

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay

The Chardonnay fruit for this comes from the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills Lenswood subregion. Lots of ripe stone fruit aromas, and some fresh citrus juice characters. A baked custard and biscuit aroma adding to the depth. Noticeable oak is balanced with the intensity of the fruit.

On the palate, its manages that middle ground very well.  Neither big and over blown, nor light and lacking.  More stone fruit, white peach, and vibrant orange/lemon freshness. Some roasted nut complexity. Subtle vanilla oak adds to the finish.

Alarmingly drinkable now, but will probably reward patience with a few years in the cellar.

Serve with Blue Swimmer crab linguine.

Also see the Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz and Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz.

RRP $31.5
Alc 12.5%
Region: Adelaide Hills
Sample: Provided by producer

A Refined and Elegant Wine: Shaw & Smith 2012 M3 Chardonnay

The Shaw & Smith 2012 M3 Chardonnay is all restraint and waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world over the next 5 to 10 years. It’s restrained aromas at present, with roast peanuts, subtle creamy lees.

Shaw & Smith 2012 M3 Chardonnay

On the palate the Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay is fresh and lively.  Definitely fruit driven with ripe stonefruit, pineapple and green apple. Lots of citrus and grapefruit, rounded out with smooth almond meal.  Subtle spicy oak, with whisper of creaminess complement the whole package.

The Shaw & Smith M3 continues to be refined and an elegant Chardonnay.

RRP $44
Alc 13%
Region: Adelaide Hills
Source: Provided by producer

Shaw & Smith 2012 Pinot Noir: Tasting Note

Medium intensity on the nose, with ripe strawberries, sweet spice/white pepper, Shaw & Smith 2012 Pinot Noirand an attractive whiff of Pinot funky earthiness.  A fresh and lively style, with firm tannins and but still a silky mouthfeel. On the palate there’s more forest floor, salami and cured meats, complemented by plenty of ripe cherry fruit.

Next year the Shaw & Smith Pinot Noir will include fruit from a newly acquired vineyard in Lenswood (Adelaide Hills). It will be interesting to see the contrast with this addition.

RRP $45
Alc 12.5%
Region: Adelaide Hills
Source: Provided by producer

Shaw & Smith 2010 Shiraz: Tasting Note

Im a big fan of cool(er) climate Shiraz.  Despite the fact in South Australia we are surrounded by mainly warm climate regions, it is with relief I taste more and more of the cool climate wines.  I would put them in a separate category to the warm climate Shiraz.  They are more medium bodied than full bodied, ripe red-fruit rather than jammy dark fruit.  Complementing food rather than being a meal in itself.Shaw & Smith 2010 Shiraz

The Shaw & Smith Shiraz from 2010 provides great intensity on the nose, with warm spices and white pepper/green peppercorns. Ripe plums, red fruits and some subtle roasted meats round things out.

On the palate it’s good intensity, and that soft and velvety mouthfeel.  It does have darker fruit and more black pepper, with some warming alcohol.  A nice savouriness adds complexity. A luscious long finish with hints of menthol/eucalypt.  This is a fuller bodied style than I expected.  A silky and elegant wine which is a pleasure to drink, either now or for another 10 years.

RRP $40
Alc 14%
Region: Adelaide Hills
Source: Provided by producer

Shaw & Smith 2013 Sauvignon Blanc – Tasting Note

The Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc is always put on a pedestal, even within Australia’s key Sauvignon Blanc growing region of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.  Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc is a consistent performer which fights the good battle against the marauding Kiwi Sauv Blancs.

Shaw & Smith

Shaw & Smith Cellar Door

Shaw Smith 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

In the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, luckily there is a distinct lack of ‘cats pee on a gooseberry bush’ here.  Instead lots of ripe citrus and fresh tropical fruit.  Crisp acidity to slack any thirst – especially at about 3:30pm on a warm day.  But also packed full of fruit – citrus and tropical pineapple and passionfruit.  Backed up by a hint of grassy herbaceousness (but no gooseberry bush, or cats pee for that matter).

RRP $25
Alc 12.5%
Region: Adelaide Hills
Source: Provided by producer