Well, you’re either here because you know how good previous vintages of The Mule were, or you want to join the 6,000 or so mofos who already know. Either way, welcome.
Made by 2016’s Winemaker of the Year (as crowned by Gourmet Traveller) Steve Flamsteed and his team at Giant Steps, this silky, voluptuous shiraz comes from a brilliant biodynamic vineyard in the Vale. I’ve seen both the vineyard and the winery in action, and they’re full of the most important things - people who care... care to watch the vines day in, day out, for signs of stress, and preempt their needs; care to gently handle the fruit with gravity and peristaltic pumps. No expense is spared in making this wine the best version of a great vineyard, all the way into the bottle.
2017 was kind to McLaren Vale vintners, and lends itself extremely well to this kind of plush, fruit-driven red. While this will improve over the next few years, it’s made to be ready to rock now, so don’t slow your roll. Homie.
“It is superbly fruited and instantly appealing on the nose showing blackberry, blueberry, cocoa, roasted almond and subtle spice notes. The palate is concentrated and fleshy with brilliant fruit purity and richness, elegantly framed by polished tannins. It is flavoursome and opulent, while remaining wonderfully balanced and structured. At its best: 2019 to 2027.”
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...
Jamie Oliver's Steak Sarnie
- STEAK SARNIE
- 2 x 300g (10½oz) best-quality rump steaks
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 ciabatta loaf
- A small handful of jarred peppers
- A couple of sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Horseradish sauce, to serve
- A large handful of prewashed rocket, to serve
- 4 large flat Portobello mushrooms (approx 250g/ 9oz in total)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ fresh red chilli
- 2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ½ lemon
- 70g (2½oz) mature Cheddar cheese
- 500g (1lb 2oz) baby new potatoes
- 6 cloves of garlic
- A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- ½ lemon
- Olive oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- BEETROOT SALAD
- 1 x 250g pack of cooked vac-packed beetroots
- Balsamic vinegar
- ½ lemon
- A bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 50g feta cheese
- Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Put a griddle pan on a medium heat and a large frying pan on a high heat. Turn the grill to full whack. Fill and boil the kettle. Put the coarse grater attachment into the food processor.
- Cut any large new potatoes in half, then add all of them to the large empty frying pan with a good pinch of salt. Quickly squash 6 unpeeled cloves of garlic with the heel of your hand, then add to the frying pan. Pour in enough boiling water to cover, then cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Lay the mushrooms, stalk side up, on a chopping board. Trim the stalks and place the mushrooms stalk side up in a small earthenware dish that they fit into fairly snugly.
- Crush ½ an unpeeled clove of garlic over each mushroom. Finely chop ½ a red chilli and a couple of parsley sprigs, and divide between the mushrooms. Grate over the zest of ½ a lemon, drizzle well with olive oil and season. Cut the Cheddar into four chunks and pop one on each mushroom.
- For the salad, grate the beetroot in the food processor. Remove the bowl from the processor, take out the grater attachment and pour in a couple of lugs of balsamic vinegar and a few lugs of extra virgin olive oil.
- Squeeze in the juice of ½ a lemon. Finely chop a bunch of parsley and add most of it. Stir to dress, then tip into a nice serving bowl. Scatter over the rest of the parsley. Crumble over the feta. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and take to the table.
- Grill the mushrooms on the top shelf for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden.
- Put the steaks on a board. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, pick and scatter over the thyme leaves, and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the flavours into the meat, then flip over and repeat on the other side.
- Pound the steaks once or twice with your fists to flatten them a little, then put them into the screaming-hot griddle pan to cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side for medium rare, or longer if you prefer. This depends on the thickness of your steaks, of course, so use your instincts and cook them to your liking. Wash your hands.
- Check the potatoes are cooked through, and drain in a colander. Return the pan to a high heat, add a good lug of olive oil and tip the potatoes and garlic back in. Use a potato masher to lightly burst the skins open (don't mash them though).
- Add a few sprigs of rosemary and a pinch of salt. Toss every couple of minutes until golden and crisp.
- Put the ciabatta loaf into the bottom of the oven. Finely chop the peppers on a large clean board. Move the steaks to the board and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Finely chop a few parsley leaves, mixing them in with the peppers and all the steak juices. Scrape the pepper mix to one side of the board. Slice up the steaks at an angle.
- Remove the mushrooms from the oven and turn the grill off. Take the mushrooms straight to the table.
- Get the ciabatta out of the oven and slice it open. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Spread over the horseradish, then arrange the rocket leaves on one half. Lay the steak slices on top.
- Mix and scrape the peppers and juices from the board and scatter over the meat, then fold together and take to the table.
- Tip the potatoes on to a serving platter, and put ½ a lemon on the side for squeezing over. Take to the table.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...