Tag Archives: shiraz

Penny’s Hill – Fabulous Ladies Wine Society wine night

Let me introduce you to a magnificent winery – Penny’s Hill. I was introduced to Penny’s Hill at the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society event, in Melbourne at Lumè restaurant.  Read about my last Fabulous Ladies Wine Society event here.
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Me with a few fabulous ladies @fabulousladieswinesociety

About Penny’s Hill

Penny’s Hill is based in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

The winery first began when Tony Parkinson, who was running a successful advertising agency, moved out of the city and down to McLaren Vale, where he bought 80 acres of land. It was on this land where the first vine was planted in 1991. Fast forward to today, and the winery now operates across two vineyards, and also sources grapes from a range of others.

The name Penny’s Hill was decided upon after deliberating over a long list of potential names. The name ended up being, quite simply, the name of the hill where the vines are located.

One of the really striking aspects of Penny’s Hill is the big red dot on the bottle, which is part of the winery’s branding. Ever seen those big red dots stuck on artwork in galleries to tell people it’s sold? That’s where the big red dot came from! It’s the perfect branding for this award-winning wine – each bottle a work of art, and easily recognisable from a mile away in a wine shop.

Award winning wines

Did you notice that? not just ‘award winning wine’, but ‘award winning wines’.

This is a world-class winery, having won three world awards! Go Penny’s Hill!

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  • 2015 Malpas Road Merlot – Winner, Best Australian Red in Show
    Mundus Vini, Germany, 2017
  • 2014 Footprint Shiraz – Winner, Best Australian Red in Show
    Mundus Vini, Germany, 2016
  • 2014 Edwards Road Cabernet – The World’s Best Cabernet
    Concours International des Cabernets, France, 2016

The Fabulous Ladies Wine Society night

On the night of the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society event, the Fabulous Lady herself from Penny’s Hill, Alexia Roberts ‘Lexie’ took us through a selection of wines. Lexi’s background in wine is impressive, having worked at Wirra Wirra, Maxwell Wines, and now Penny’s Hill –  she’s no stranger to good wine.

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Lexi @fabulousladieswinesociety

 

Served up with a stellar selection of wines from Penny’s Hill, matched with delicious dishes on the night, here are my three favourites.

The favourites:

The grapes that made up this wine came from the original vineyard planted, which are grown on an elevated area hit with a cool sea breeze. The wine contains 35% new French oak, and was an absolute delight to drink. Structural and delicate, with fine tannins, it’s no wonder this wine earned itself the ‘Worlds Best Cabernet’.

This wine was another one that originated from the original vineyard, this time from the valley floor, where the soil is clay.
When it comes to picking, Merlot is one of those tricky grapes that can become quite ‘jammy’ if it’s not picked at the right time. With the small window of opportunity for picking, Penny’s Hill applied a minimal intervention method to making this Merlot. Read about what minimal intervention wines are all about here!

The results – a soft well-rounded Merlot, with strong berry notes. It’s one of those wines that pairs well with food, particularly lamb.

This wine comes from a much higher elevated vineyard in McLaren Vale, and grows in a much cooler climate. The vineyard’s soil is sandy, embedded with rock. With bright red fruits, there’s a spicy and savoury feel to the wine. With 40% new oak, it’s intense and structural, with long length. This little beauty can be cellared up to 10 years.
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Celebrating those award winning wines!

So there you have it winos! If you’re ever in a wine shop, be sure to look out for the big red dot! Or alternatively, go direct to the winery for stocking up on wines that have earned their place on the world wine stage, just like I did.

Until next time winos,

Cheers!

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On the Twenty-third day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a Tahbilk Old Vines Cabernet Shiraz

Time to look back at last Christmas in the Christmas advent wine calendar.

I’d purchased this wine during the year in 2015 in preparation for a special occasion, which turned out to be Christmas of 2015.

 

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It was the Tahbilk old vines Cabernet Shiraz 2012. This is the second Tahbilk wine in the advent wine calendar – number 8 was the grand tawny.

The old vines Cabernet Shiraz comes from Tahbilk’s oldest vines in the vineyard dating back to the 1860’s.
These old vines are what gives the wine it’s roundness and flavour.

Earning 96 points from James Halliday, here’s what the great man had to say about the wine:
“As one might expect, the colour, the bouquet and the palate all attest to the youth of the wine, yet it has all the hallmarks of the old vines: blackcurrant, blackberry and cherry fruit are the drivers of the bouquet and palate alike, French and American oak totally integrated: the most remarkable aspect is the fine, supple tannins making it a classic two-way proposition.”

It’s a great wine to have at the Christmas table. I wonder what this year will bring?! Stay tuned!!

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I wonder what wine will feature at the Christmas table this year?!

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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On the Nineteenth day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me an Angry Ant gin

This is a slightly different take on today’s advent wine – It’s an Angry Ant gin from Bass & Flinders distillery, located in Red Hill on the Mornington peninsula in Victoria Australia.

Don’t worry, it’s still in keeping with wine. The gin uses Shiraz grapes in its base. It also contains many botanical’s from outback WA, including Mulla Mulla and Purple Vetch flowers, native lemongrass, native sandalwood nuts, and the currant bush.

The most interesting and cool part about the Angry Ant gin is that it also includes ant pheromones!! These pheromones are what really determines the flavours of the gin. Essentially, the ant pheromones are influenced by diet, which the botanical’s are selected to match, and complement these unique pheromones.
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While the Shiraz forms the base of this gin, there’s so many floral flavours that make this drink so interesting, and fun to consume.

Have on its own, or mix it up with a good tonic water and you’ll have your taste buds singing in no time!

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Until next time winos,

Cheers

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On the Fifteenth day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a Koonara Ezra’s Gift Shiraz

Koonara Wines hails from Coonawarra in South Australia

‘Koonara, Coonawara’, say that 10 times fast!

A Shiraz is always a good wine to finish off a Thursday, on the eve of a Friyay! This Shiraz is no exception.

Whiles there’s two Shiraz varieties in the range, the Ezra’s Gift 2012 Shiraz is a step above the Angel’s Peak 2014 Shiraz.

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One sip of the Ezras’s Gift Shiraz and you’ll be pulling the glass away looking at it like you’ve just met your new best friend. It’ll give you those warm fuzzy feels.

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The oakiness of French Oak really comes through in the taste of the wine. It’s full bodied, and rich in a deep red colour. Smooth and well rounded, with hints of berries.

Grown using organic sprays and no pesticides, your body will thank you for not putting those nasties in your body.
This wine is best teamed with a red meat dish like a rib eye steak with peppercorn sauce.

Until next time winos

Cheers

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On the ninth day of Christmas, my wine rack gave to me a Robert Oatley GSM

Welcome Friyay!

Wine number 9 in the advent calendar, and this wine gives me the same happy feels as Friday happy feels – it’s the Robert Oatley 2015 GSM. I’ve featured this wine previously in my blog ‘three wise men, three brilliant wines for Christmas dinner’

Australia is renowned for mixing up the grape varieties, and blending them to make some new and interesting creations. This GSM is no exception. As the acronym suggests it’s a mixture of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre. Each of these grapes adds it’s character and personality to the wine.This wine blend is like having a party with a great bunch of friends!

Grenache adds the berry and sublte peppery flavours to the wine and the depth of colour. This is like the host of the party that puts on the food

Shiraz adds more of the peppery notes and also throws in some tannin. This friend is more like the one that brings dessert along to go with the food.

Mourvèdre mellows the wine out, and creates a smoothness. This friend is more like the one that creates the rockin dance list for the party.

So. Much. Fun!

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Hailing from Robert Oatley winery, the face behind the wines, Robert Oatley unfortunately passed away earlier this year. This man was a great influence on the Australian wine industry, and introduced many styles and varieties to the market – he’s even been crowed as the ‘father of Australian Chardonnay’.

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“Macerated red fruits and musk from Grenache, structure and longevity via Shiraz, Mouvèdre’s gamey notes and minerality.” http://www.robertoatley.com.au

I hope you enjoy this wine as much as I do, and I hope it gives you those Friday happy feels.

Until next time winos

 

Cheers

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On the fifth day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a Geppetto Shiraz

Monday after work, and wine is calling my name.

The best way to kick back after the first day of the working week, is with one of my favourite wines – a Shiraz.

The wine that’s accompanying me on the couch tonight is the 2016 Geppetto Shiraz from Crittenden Estate.

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Those couch feels when pouring a Geppetto Shiraz

Crittenden Estate has a range of labels alongside the Geppetto wine range – Crittenden Estate, Los Hermanos, and Pinocchio. Each of these wines were created to reflect the variety of wine, with a touch of quirkiness to it.

The Geppetto Shiraz is smooth, medium bodied wine, spiced with flavours such as pepper, and aniseed. Its smoothness makes for a good quaffing wine, which means it’s easy to drink, without breaking the bank account.

It will turn your Monday blues in to Monday woo’s as soon as you crack this one!tipthebottle1

“On the palate you’ll find mouth filling structure, juicy acidity and those most desirable of attributes: cherries, pepper and liquorice. This wine has it all in abundance.” http://www.crittendenwines.com

Until next time winos

Cheers

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25 days of wine – a Christmas calendar of wine. Day 1

Ahh the month of Christmas. When this time comes around, the countdown to when the big man in the big red suit arrives is on!!!

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Hellooooo Santa!

To help with this countdown, an advent calendar is a great way to tell you what day of December it is.
Typically these calendars are filled with chocolate – But why do chocolate when you can do wine?! Hello 25 bottles of wine!
To help you out, I’ll be posting my choice bottle of wines each day in the lead up to Christmas. Hopefully it will help make the Christmas season a very jolly and merry one for you!

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Credit: abroadcooking.com

To help kick it off, I suggest easing in to a nice bottle of Cosmo Wines’ 2014 Shiraz.

Winemaker Lindsay Corby makes the wine in Preston (Melbourne, Australia), using grapes from all over Victoria. This particular Shiraz comes from the Yarra Valley. A really nice, smooth, and satisfying Shiraz that will leave you feeling like you’re in Shiraz heaven. All the classic feels of a Shiraz, with berry notes, subtle oak, topped off with a dry finish. I hope you enjoy this first wine on the first day of December.tipthebottle.jpg

“New French oak gives spicy notes and fine tannins that complement the dark fruit cake aromas and flavours provided by the ripe fruit used to make this wine. Match with spicy and full flavoured meat dishes.” http://www.cosmowines.com.au

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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Hello Sparkling, Hello Shiraz, Hello Sparkling Shiraz

If you love sparkling wine and you love Shiraz, I can guarantee that you will love Sparkling Shiraz.

It’s a Shiraz with bubbles, served chilled!

With its sparkly appearance and festive feeling, it’s the perfect Christmassy red wine to drink in the hot Australian summer.

Over the past couple of years the world of Sparkling Shiraz in Australia has taken off.

With many wineries having both a sparkling wine and a Shiraz in their portfolio, more and more wineries are now including a Sparkling Shiraz into their mix of wines. Genius!!

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My first taste of the Sparkling Shiraz, was to be honest, not a great experience. I expected the Sparkling Shiraz to be true to the Shiraz style, but with bubbles. It was not like that at all. Instead, it was sweet like raspberries. So sweet in fact, that I may as well have been drinking a raspberry soft drink. Later on in my wine drinking years, it was at the Heathcote wine tasting festival that I decided to give the Sparkling Shiraz another go. I was so happy that I took the plunge.

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Heathcote Wine Festival

 

The winery that really won me over was Peregrine Ridge. With 5 lots of Shiraz grapes being gown on their property, in perfect Shiraz growing conditions, this made for a winning Sparkling Shiraz – it was smooth, rounded, full bodied with medium tannins, topped off with bubbles that added that extra bit of pizzazz. Drinking it made me happy, and made me feel like there was a party in my mouth – yes, you were invited.

When searching for a great Sparkling Shiraz, I’d recommend going with a winery that nails the Shiraz. After all, it is the backbone of the wine. Be prepared to spend a little extra than you would for a Shiraz, as there’s work involved in popping in those little bubbles of goodness inside the bottle.

Here are a few suggestions from Tip The Bottle to help you get started:

Peregrine Ridge – ‘Winemaker’s Reserve’ Sparkling Heathcote Shiraz

peregrine ridge tip the bottle.jpgWhile the winery produces two Sparkling Shiraz’s, the ‘Winemaker’s Reserve’ is the clear winner! This is the one that brought my Sparkling Shiraz days back to life.  With the slightly higher price point than some Sparkling Shiraz’s, this one is well deserving of a place at the Christmas table.

‘Typically the bouquet displays blackberries, dark cherries, and raspberries with hints of yeast and spice, and the palate is of intense lifted dark cherries, blackberries and sweet spice. This wine style is perfectly balanced and has a soft, lingering after palate which makes it exceptional drinking early and equally well suited to medium term cellaring.’ www.peregrineridge.com.au

 

Blue Pyrenees – Sparkling Shiraz

blue tip the bottle.pngThis wine is a slightly sweeter than a classic Shiraz, however it still has all the classic elements of being dry on finish.

 

‘The flavours generally follow on from the aromas with sweet spiced dark plum fruit up front, a rich chocolate confection mid palate, and a lingering soft tannin, spicy dry finish.’ www.bluepyrenees.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Burge – Shiraz Cabernet NV

grant tip the bottle.pngThis wine follows a similar feel to a champagne with its creaminess. It’s a great Sparkling Shiraz that won’t disappoint.

‘Our inaugural release of Sparkling Shiraz Cabernet is deep ruby in colour, with a complex, earthy nose of smokey oak, bacon and spicy cedar along with rich fruit characters of liqueur cherries and blackberries. It is elegant and lively with the big flavours of the nose carrying through to the palate. It has a creamy mousse and elegant mouth feel finishing with a perfect balance of acidity and fruit sweetness.’ http://www.grantburgewines.com.au

 

 

 

Campbells Wines – Sparkling Shiraz NV 

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Everything you’d ever wish for in a Shiraz is delivered perfectly in Campbell’s Wines’ Sparkling Shiraz. A lot of depth and character to this one. With decades of experience in making cracking Shiraz’s, this one is a proven winner!

‘Deep red with crimson hues.  Deep plum fruit, integrated spice, liquorice and mulberry with hints of bready yeast characters.  Intense sweet plum fruit up front with a crisp bead. The palate is deep and complex with mulberry fruit and earthy savoury length, the addition of Vintage Port adds hints of liquorice and mocha. Subtle well integrated oak provides fine tannins and a long, dry, savoury finish.’  www.campbellswines.com.au

 

Frizzante

Aside from the Sparkling Shiraz, there are also lightly Sparkling wines which you can get in red wine form known as ‘Frizzante’. These are wines are also served chilled, and have a slightly lower alcohol content than a Sparkling wine would typically have.

My pick of the bunch is the Frizzante from Chrismont Winery.

Chrismont – La Zona – Marzemino Frizzante 2013

Serve this one up to guests, and you will be bound to get a surprised look on people’s faces when they discover is has a little fizz to it. Think of it like a chocolate bar with popping candy in it.

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‘vibrant aromatics of violets, plums, red currants and spices with  an effervesent palate and delicious soft tannin.’  www.chrismont.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any Sparkling Shiraz’s that you’ve tasted and loved, I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time wino’s

 

Cheers!

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A day on the wine…I mean, A Day on the Green

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Ever since Big Day Out was cancelled, there has been a hole in my summer music festival calendar. I can now safely say that hole has been filled. Filled by A Day on The Green.

Set on the grounds of a winery A Day on the Green delivers musical magic,along with magical wine.

The most recent A Day on the Green featured non other than the flamboyant sunglasses wearing Sir Elton John at Mt Duneed Estate, located in Geelong.

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It all kicked off in the early afternoon, catching a bus from Melbourne’s city centre to Mt Duneed Estate.  Afterall, why would one drive when there’s a music festival being held at a winery.

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Bus = two thumbs up

As soon as we had arrived, we threw out the picnic rug and made a bee-line to the bar.

Being a slightly cool December day, a red wine was in order. Sure enough, the Mt Duneed Estate 2014 Shiraz certainly delivered: A classic peppery red, nicely oaked. It was the perfect accompaniment to Elton, particularly when the legend is bashing out the tunes of Tiny Dancer, Candle in the Wind, and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.

 

With the end of the concert being finished on a high with Crocodile Rock, I can highly recommend the A Day on the Green events as ones to be marked out in your calendar.

Just one word of advice, be sure you have a bottle of water with you for the bus ride home.

Until next time winos,
Cheers!

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Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend – Rutherglen Winery Walkabout – Part 2

Okay, so where I left off in my last post was the morning of the ‘big day’, the Sunday of the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout.

 

All aboard the bus dressed in ‘Around the World’ theme, it certainly was a sight to see. Penguins from Antarctica, a Belly Dancer from the Middle East, Statue of Liberty from the USA, a Japanese Geisha, Parisians, and Germans, all complete with Pooh bear sitting up the front. That’s right; Pooh bear joined us from out of the woods of Ashdown Forest for the day.

Who knew Pooh bear loves a glass of Shiraz?

 

10am, and the first stop of the day was Cofield.

With an early start to the day, the cellar door was certainly buzzing with many getting their first sip of wine for the day. I even spotted Olaf from Frozen sampling some wine – I wonder if he could feel his feet?

Olaf deciding what to drink

Considering the hour of the morning, I figured a glass of sparkling was in order – a crisp 2012 Pinot Noir sparkling Chardonnay.

A glass or two later, and it was back on the bus to the next winery.

 

11.30am, stop number two was Pfeiffer wines.

This winery is great for its Frontignac – a beautiful floral, slightly sweet, and fresh wine. While this wine was on the menu for tasting, the cold weather certainly called for reds ‘a-plenty’. Testing out the reds, it was the 2012 Carlyle Cabernet Merlot that my Japanese Geisha friend and I purchased. We quickly found out, that with the lengthy lines at the wineries, bottles were the way to go. With Jukebox on site, and backstreet boys power ballads on play, it was clear to see that the party vibe was certainly starting to ramp up.

I do ❤ Pfeiffer Wines

One of my favourite costumes from the day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick stop over at the toilets on the way back to the bus, and boy oh boy were the lines long. It became clear that none other than a bus of elderly ladies were occupying the toilets. These gals were certainly a highlight of this winery. They really played out their roles as grannies to a tee. One granny was even spotted leaving the toilets having “accidently” tucked her skirt in to her underwear, putting her diaper on show for all to see. Classic! It certainly got the crowd cheering and laughing.

 

Respect your elders!

 

1pm, next stop was Stanton and Killeen.

This winery excites me with its brilliant range of fortifieds. You can even purchase bottles dating back to the 80’s in magnum-sized bottles! A great gift for anyone born in that era.

With a belly full of red from Pfeiffer’s, I opted to just do a taste test of the wines here. One wine that caught my attention was the 2014 Chardonnay – slightly oaky, with a beautiful crisp finish. Just the way a Chardonnay should be. With one bottle purchased, and in my bag, it was off to the final destination of the day.

 

2pm, last winery of the day was none other than Campbell’s.

 

This is one magnificent winery. If you ever find yourself here, be prepared to get stuck in to the reds, and fortifieds.

With their full list on offer to taste, my number one pick of the day was the 2012 Shiraz Durif.

Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine…Water

Barrels of gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the tastings, we searched for food. Along the way I had the privilege of getting a photo with the man himself – with none other than Colin Campbell, 4th generation owner of Campbell’s wines. Lets just say I was just a little bit chuffed.

 

 

As the day moved along quickly, it was at this winery was where the party kicked in to over gear when the band played Bruno Mars Uptown Funk. That song can get anyone up on their feet.

 

Once it reached 5.30pm, it was back on the bus and in to town to the pub for dinner, where the party continued on well in to the night. But that’s a story for another time.

 

Suffice to say, the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout is a brilliant festival on the Victorian calendar. With many great wineries taking part, this is one event that you should not miss out on getting yourself to. Highly recommend.

Happy Birthday Queenie!

Group shot! I think I found Wally

 

Until next time wino’s

 

Cheers,

 

 

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