10 months ago

The Perfect Aussie Red for Chilly Evenings


With an evening nip in the air – brrrr! – and the clocks moving back I’m beginning to bypass cool whites in favour of warming reds. This polished Australian has exactly the right build: smooth and rich but neither too sweet nor too oaky. Buy a few bottles and I think you’ll be surprised how quickly and pleasurably they disappear over the next few months. 

McLaren Vale south-east of Adelaide is one of the Aussie regions best suited to the production of enveloping, full-throttle red wines, and Willunga 100 is one of the companies to craft them skilfully without resorting to silly prices. I first tasted this 2016 Shiraz-Viognier last autumn when chief winemaker Mike Farmilo visited Dublin and although I admired it then I like it even better now. The intervening year has brought extra harmony to its notes of plum, blueberry, chocolate and spice, leading into a finish that is firm but not austere.

Willunga 100 McLaren Vale Shiraz-Viognier 2016

The five per cent dash of Viognier in the blend definitely delivers an aromatic lift and the oak treatment is subtle with just half of the wine having been treated to twelve months of maturation in barriques and hogsheads while the rest remained in tank.

True to its Aussie character, this easygoing extrovert is brilliantly adaptable – happy in its own company but also a fine partner for the robust roasts and stews that will sustain us through the winter, whether they’re based on meat or veg. I love its velvet texture as well as its pure, generous flavours. See if you agree.

Alcohol: 14% 

From wineonline.ie; Avoca outlets; Fallon & Byrne, Dublin 2; Clontarf Wines, Dublin 3; Baggot Street Wines, Dublin 4; Mortons, Dublin 6; O’Donovans, Cork; World Wide Wines, Waterford, usually €18.99.


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