“They’re very good winemakers, these guys. They produce a very consistent product at a very consistent price. They’re grenache specialists, and add their silky Vale shiraz to the mix and you have yourself a winner.” So says John to the gaggle of geeks at the Tasting Bench.
This is spicy, peppery, and juice-running-down-your-chin plums. A full spectrum of blue, black and red fruits, with a lovely doughiness to it, barbera-like almost but much, much richer.
“If you’re buying this for twenty bucks, you’re a long way ahead of the pack,” says John.
Don’t get left behind.
“Comfort wine at its best, this is fruit-expressive, fragrant and flavoursome. The inviting bouquet shows blackberry, dark plum, hazelnut, game and black olive characters, followed by succulent palate that is juicy and smooth with plenty of attractive fruit flavours, backed by silky tannins. At its best: now to 2024.”
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- McLaren Vale
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- Shiraz, Grenache
- Serving Temp.
McLaren Vale is a region that lives in the shadow of the hype of the Barossa. While it has played on Shiraz as its drawcard, and continues to battle (quite rightly) with the supreme power of the Barossa, perhaps the most exciting wines from this region are its old vine Grenache and Mataro (Mourvedre/Monastrell - whatever you want to call it), and its more recent foray into Spanish and Italian varietals. Both the sun's warmth and the reliable salty afternoon gully breeze make the climate closer to Mediterranean than many other Aussie regions, and some of the Fiano, Vermentino, Tempranillo and Sangiovese from here are sublime (to name only a few). Awareness, proper consideration and sense of place are key attributes to the region's success, and its recent win against urbanisation reinforces the value of the viticultural region.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1.2kg-piece beef eye fillet
- 3 sheets (25 x 25cm) frozen ready-rolled butter puff pastry, just thawed
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- Olive oil, extra, to grease
- 1 x 135g btl olive tapenade
- 20g butter
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 500ml (2 cups) beef stock
- 125ml (1/2 cup) red wine
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the beef with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, for 8 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool completely.
- Place 1 pastry sheet on a clean work surface. Brush 1 edge with egg. Place another pastry sheet, slightly overlapping, alongside and press the edges together to seal. Cut the remaining pastry sheet in half. Brush 1 long edge of the 2 joined pastry sheets with egg. Place 1 long edge of one-half of the remaining pastry, slightly overlapping, alongside and press the edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining pastry to make 1 large pastry rectangle.
- Brush a baking tray with extra oil to lightly grease. Spread one-quarter of the tapenade along the centre of the pastry and top with the beef. Spread the remaining tapenade over the beef. Fold the pastry over the beef to enclose. Trim any excess pastry. Tuck the sides of pastry under to secure. Place the beef Wellington, seam-side down, on the tray. Brush the pastry with the remaining egg.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Roast the beef Wellington in oven for 1 hour for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a serving platter.
- Pour any juices from the tray into a small saucepan and place over low heat. Add the butter and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the butter melts. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the mixture bubbles. Remove from heat. Gradually add the stock and wine, whisking constantly until combined. Stir in the tarragon. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, scraping the pan to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base, for 5 minutes or until the gravy thickens. Transfer to a serving jug and serve with the beef Wellington.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...