You know those special, never to be repeated moments, like when Warnie bowled Gatting first ball, or when Susan Boyle silenced a nation with her song? Well, here’s another that’ll leave you speechless. Limited edition and individually numbered, each beautifully labelled bottle is overflowing with the finest hand-picked, hand-plunged, basket-pressed, single-vineyard shiraz this side of McLaren Vale. Unique moments like this are rare, but at this price you can afford to watch it in all its glory.
I wish I could reveal the genius behind this vino because talent like this deserves public applause. What I can say is that they’re highly respected boutique producers who have folks like Decanter Magazine and Jancis Robinson showering them with praise. Their winemaker won the ‘Bushing King’ Trophy - a big deal accolade given to the winemaker with the most awarded wines - at the McLaren Vale Wine Show. Their other wines have flown off the shelves of the ‘Fo, but this special release is next level. Take a seat, you’ll need one to fully absorb this ballad of brilliant.
An ode to some of McLaren Vale’s best fruit, this shiraz sings with the kinda power and grace that’ll make the hairs on your arm stand up. A symphony of plums, blackcurrants, spicy clove, cedar and black pepper harmonise on a rich and well structured palate that’ll keep it pitch perfect for up to 15 years. The crowd are waiting and the stage is set, this is your chance to own this magic moment.
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
- 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 kg centre fillet of beef , trimmed (the timings below work perfectly for a fillet of roughly 10cm in diameter)
- olive oil
- 2 large knobs of unsalted butter
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 600 g mixed mushrooms
- 100 g chicken livers , (cleaned)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon truffle oil , (optional)
- 50 g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 x 500 g block puff pastry
- 1 large free-range egg
- For the gravy:
- 2 onions
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 heaped teaspoon blackcurrant jam
- 100 ml Maderia wine
- 1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
- 2 heaped teaspoons plain flour , plus extra for dusting
- 600 ml beef stock , (hot)
- Preheat a large frying pan on a high heat. Rub the beef all over with sea salt and black pepper. Pour a good lug of oil into the pan, then add the beef, 1 knob of butter and 1 sprig of rosemary. Sear the beef for 4 minutes in total, turning regularly with tongs, then remove to a plate. Wipe out the pan and return to a medium heat. Peel the onion and garlic, then very finely chop with the mushrooms and put into the pan with the remaining knob of butter and another lug of oil. Strip in the rest of the rosemary leaves and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and starting to caramelise, stirring regularly. Toss the livers and Worcestershire sauce into the pan and cook for another few minutes, then tip the contents onto a large board and drizzle with the truffle oil (if using). Finely chop it all by hand with a big knife, to a rustic, spreadable consistency. Taste and season to perfection, then stir in the breadcrumbs (you can use pancakes to line the pastry and absorb the juices, but I prefer using breadcrumbs like this).
- Preheat the oven to 210°C/425°F/gas 7. On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry to 30cm x 40cm. With one of the longer edges in front of you, spread the mushroom pâté over the pastry, leaving a 5cm gap at either end and at the edge furthest away from you – eggwash these edges. Sit the beef on the pâté then, starting with the edge nearest to you, snugly wrap the pastry around the beef, pinching the ends to seal. Transfer the Wellington to a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, with the pastry seal at the base, and brush all over with eggwash (you can prep to this stage, then refrigerate until needed – just get it out 1½ hours before cooking so it’s not fridge-cold). When you’re ready to cook, heat the tray on the hob for a couple of minutes to start crisping up the base, then transfer to the oven and cook for 40 minutes for blushing, juicy beef – the two end portions will be more cooked, but usually some people prefer that.
- Meanwhile, for the gravy, peel and roughly chop the onions and put into a large pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil and the thyme leaves. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in the jam and simmer until shiny and quite dark. Add the Madeira, flame with a match, cook away, then stir in the mustard and flour, gradually followed by the stock. Simmer to the consistency you like, then blend with a stick blender and pass through a sieve, or leave chunky. Once cooked, rest the Wellington for 5 minutes, then serve in 2cm-thick slices with the gravy and steamed greens.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...