Tag Archives: McLaren Vale

This is not a tasting note for Wirra Wirra’s Mrs Wigley Rose

Sometimes cork-dorks get caught up analysing the aromas, pondering the phenolic grip, or comparing the residual sugar of the latest releases. Whereas only a small proportion of the audience cares.  Blogs are full of images of hard working vintage hands, lush and green vineyards and bottle shots of labels.

Real life wine tasting

Real life wine tasting

All are essential to gaining an appreciation of what goes into making the wine.  Wine companies are only too willing to tell amusing anecdotes about how the wine was named, but not many people remember.  Really its about what’s in YOUR glass now.

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Rose

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Rose

I’ll tell you a wine industry secret – wine is a drink! I know that is a surprise, but its just a drink.  A bloody delicious, ever changing, contemplative beverage.  Made for enjoyment – hopefully.  A lot can influence your perception of wine; time of day, food accompanying it, location and company its consumed in.  When completing a sensory analysis of wines all these ‘enjoyable’ parts are removed from the equation.  Even the external lighting and aromas are controlled. Which may all be interesting from a scientific point of view, but we dont live in sterile scientific world.

So when I sit outside basking in the warm summers sun, next to the cool waters of the pool I may well be breaking all the technical rules as I drink the Wirra Wirra’s Mrs Wigley Rose.  But I dont care. Wine is about enjoyment.  Hedonistic it may well be, but whateva.  I could breakdown the aroma profile of the Grenache fruit, or describe the flavour characteristics.  But hell no, Im drinking this one. Its fresh and refreshing – or that could be the pool.

This wine is made for drinking and enjoying, and sharing with friends right now. Oh and it has TA of 6.8 g/L.

RRP $20
Alc 13.5%
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

2012 Wirra Wirra Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon: Tasting Note

Given the substantial proportion of Shiraz planted in McLaren Vale (approximately 51% of 2013 vintage), I’m pleasantly surprised when I rediscover Cabernet in the region.  McLaren Vale is a great region for showing off the vast array of subregional variation – a combination of different climates, altitudes, and about 19 different soil types.  Consequently, picking out the cooler spots in McLaren Vale can yield some sensational parcels of Cabernet.

2012 Wirra Wirra Angelus

Wirra Wirra Angelus

Earlier I looked at the perennial favourite Wirra Wirra Church Block, which has a good dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon in there.  While at the other end of the portfolio price list, the Wirra Wirra 2012 Angelus again shows that McLaren Vale can do Cabernet Sauvignon very well.  The perfume was quite apparent in the room without overwhelming. And I use the term perfume in particular, as the Angelus was distinctly floral (old fashioned rose), complemented by dark ripe fruit, warm spices, and hints of chocolate/choc-mint.

On the palate the  2012 Wirra Wirra Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon was super fine, with slowing building adhesive tannins.  Precisely balanced, mid to full body, with no noticeable alcohol heat. While not a massive wine, but with persistence of flavour that lingers with great poise.  Showing the usual suspects of dark fruit, blueberries, ripe black cherry. Suggestions of herbaceousness, and a subtle herbal sage character.  With 15 months in French oak and only 20% new, the oak character is definitely in the background. Probably explaining the silky smooth mouthfeel.

Food match: roast lamb studded with rosemary and roasted garlic.

RRP $70
Alc 14.0%
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

2013 Dodgy Brothers Shiraz: Tasting Note

The 2013 Dodgy Brothers Shiraz definitely tells you it is Shiraz on the nose.  Good intensity, sweet ripe dark fruit, rare meat, and some raspberry liquorice component.  Suggestions of lavender, and red currant jelly keeps it interesting.

Dodgy Brothers of McLaren Vale

Dodgy Brothers of McLaren Vale

On the palate the Dodgy Brother Shiraz is soft and supple, ripe plums and crack black pepper – all the usual suspects in McLaren Vale Shiraz.  While the colour looks dense and solid purple, and being full bodied, the tannins are still supple and opulent.  I could see it complementing a wide range of foods (especially BBQ) or also just drinking it by itself.

As it says on the label; “cellar for up to 10 years – or drink tomorrow.”

Also check out the Dodgy Brothers 2013 GSM.

RRP $28
Alc 14.5%
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

2013 Dodgy Brothers GSM – Eminently slurpable

Dodgy by name, but I assume not dodgy by nature, and definitely not dodgy wine.  But this is some good drinking wine, jam pack full of enjoyment and pleasure.  With its upside down labels, it would stand out on the wineshop shelf.  Dodgy Brothers is a partnership between a grower (Peter Sommerville), a viticulturist (Peter Bolte) and a Canadian winemaker (Wes Pearson). Based in McLaren Vale, and with limited volumes, it’s best to check out their website for availability.

The 2013 Dodgy Brother Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre, (70%, 18% & 12% respectively), immediately grabbed my attention.  Not because it was big and intense, or because it had one specific character which stood out, but basically because I wanted another glass.  And isnt that what wine is supposed to be about – pure enjoyment.

Dodgy Brothers GSM

Dodgy Brothers GSM

The nose of the Dodgy Brothers GSM had vibrant red fruit confectionary, good intensity, lots of floral violet earthy characters.  Hints of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper.  On the palate, there was both dark fruit (plums, dark berries) complemented by red fruit (ripe cherries, wild strawberries).  Soft velvety tannins, and fresh acid.  It is at once voluminous but not lacking, nor too intense. Eminently slurpable, and keeps you coming back for more.

Not all that dodgy really.

Also have a look at the Dodgy Brothers 2013 Shiraz.

RRP $28
Alc 14.5%
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

The Vale Cru Keeping It Real with their Annual Tasting

Wine lovers are invited to sample more than 50 premium wines from 15 different producers at The Victory Hotel in Sellicks Beach on Sunday, October 19 2014.

The wines, including many ‘alternative’ varieties, are all made by members of Vale Cru – a collective of McLaren Vale winemakers who produce limited quantities of handcrafted wines, many made with minimal intervention and focussed on varietal integrity.Vale Cru Annual Tasting

The event will also feature live music from Courtney Robb, guest speakers, cocktail food and will be attended by special guest James Halliday.

Current Vale Cru chairman Andrew Wood, who is also winemaker and owner of Waywood Wines, said the annual event has become a tradition among the group’s loyal following but it’s also a unique opportunity to introduce new brands to consumers.

Among the producers participating will be;

  • Samuel’s Gorge
  • Ulithorne
  • Ministry of Clouds
  • Bekkers
  • Vigna Bottin
  • Rusty Mutt
  • Brash Higgins
  • Waywood Wines
  • Lazy Ballerina

Pre-purchased tickets $40, includes entry, souvenir wineglass and poster, cocktail food and entertainment (tickets $50 on the day). VIP day trip packages also available – see Vale Cru for details. Be quick as it usually sells out fast.

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