Tag: Shaw & Smith

Apr 04 2011

Shaw + Smith Shiraz: Refined Elegance in A Bottle

Posted on April 04, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

South Austalia, and especially the Barossa Valley, is typically associated with big, ripe, full-bodied shiraz. Many examples of this style have won critical acclaim from esteemed American critics like Robert Parker, partly because they typified a unique Australian take on the Rhône varietal.

But winemakers are by and large a very creative, innovative bunch who don’t like to be boxed in by stereotypes. While many South Australian wineries are still making fine shiraz in a big, bold style, the trend is definitely towards a more elegant and approachable style. In fact, Harvey Steiman of the Wine Spectator notes in his article, Renewed Allure: With ever more distinctive styles arriving on U.S. shores talk of Australia’s flagging appeal doesn’t compute, that “about half the Shirazes in the [Wine Spectator’s] 90-plus range come from somewhere other than Barossa, and even the Barossa wines show more elegance than generally ascribed to that warm area.” (Wine Spectator 31 July 2010).

The Adelaide Hills Shaw + Smith, founded by cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith in 1989, has consistently demonstrated the ability of this cool climate region to create wines of distinction.

Hill Smith credits Brian Croser for discovering the wine-growing potential of Adelaide Hills. “Brian Croser was the person who had the vision for the Adelaide Hills, and a lot us have followed that vision,” he told the Wine Spectator’s Jennie Cho Lee back in 2002, “Now the top Sauvignon Blancs and top Chardonnays come from this region.” (A Turn Toward Refined Elegance: Vitners in South Australia are pioneering a new style of Wine, 15 May 2002).

Since that time the Shaw + Smith winery has also created an award winning elegant, spicy shiraz to share the stage with its top-rated sauvignon blanc and M3 Chardonnay. The 2007 Shaw Read the rest

Apr 04 2011

Adelaide Hills: A Diversity of Wines of Distinction

Posted on April 04, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

I’m spending next Friday in Adelaide Hills, and in preparation for my trip I thought I would research the best wineries in the region, so I know exactly where to go and what to taste. Hard work, I know!

As many of you are aware, Adelaide Hills has developed an outstanding reputation for sauvignon blanc. Three of the top six 2009 sauvignon blancs (96 points) in James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion 2011 edition are from the Adelaide Hills: Dandelion Vineyards Wishing Clock of the Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Geoff Weaver Lenswood Sauvignon Blanc and Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc.

The region is also highly respected for its elegant and complex Burgundian-style chardonnay. Fruit for Penfolds multi-region Yattarna – the 2007 vintage was the highest rated chardonnay (97 points) in Halliday’s Wine Companion, is sourced from the Adelaide Hills. Ashton Hills, Grosset, Michael Hall, Shaw + Smith and Ngeringa also make outstanding examples. Tapanappa, a joint venture between Brian Croser, Jean-Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch-Bages in Pauillac and Societe Jacques Bollinger, makes the very highly regarded Tiers Vineyard Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay.

Petaluma, of course, makes an excellent range of sparking wines from its Piccadilly Valley  vineyard, including the Croser Piccadilly Valley Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV Sparkling and the vintage Croser Late Disgorged Piccadilly Vally Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling. Piccadilly Valley and Lenswood are the two registered sub-regions of the Adelaide Hills.

I was interested to learn that Shaw + Smith had won the Trophy for Best Australian Shiraz over 10 GBP at the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards for the 2007 vintage of the Shaw + Smith Shiraz. Most people don’t normally associate the Adelaide Hills with shiraz, but a number of wineries in the area, including Bird in Hand and Romney Read the rest

Nov 11 2010

Why Drinking Only Aussie Wine in January is a Great Opportunity!

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

My initial reaction to the campaign by McLaren Vale winemaker Stephen Pannell to ask Australians to pledge to drink only Aussie wine in January was phew! Well at least we can still drink French Champagne on New Year’s Eve!

As Rebecca Gibb reported in her article,  Aussie petition accused of protectionism, Decanter.com, 24 November 2010, Pannell has caused a bit of controversy with his online petition, All for One Wine, which invites people to pledge that they will only drink Australian wine from 1 January to 26 January 2011 (Australia Day!)

I can understand why the Kiwis aren’t happy about the campaign (Australia is New Zealand’s biggest export market for wine), but accusations that Pannell’s promotion amounts to protectionism are surely not justified. After all, he’s not asking retailers to pull the foreign stuff off the shelf, he is just advocating that consumers buy local wines for 26 days (not even a whole month)!

Shortly after I had read the article about Pannell’s campaign, I drove out to my nearest Dan Murphy’s to stock up on some Xmas grog! Not the biggest Dan Murphy’s in the country, but still numerous aisles of mainly Australian and, yes, New Zealand wines. Despite the impressive selection, however, I was actually struck by the omissions. Of the approximately 2,300 wineries in Australia, I’m guessing that only a couple of hundred at the most were represented!

So I really think Pannell has a point when he says that he sees the campaign as an opportunity for Australians to “discover incredible local wines, and celebrate the rich diversity and quality that exists in this country.”

Yes, New Zealand makes very fine sauvignon blanc, but so does Australia! Dandelion Vineyards, Geoff Weaver and Shaw & Smith are just a few of the dozen or … Read the rest