Wirra Wirra Vineyards in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia is a medium Australian producer of a range of quality varietals - which are exported to the US. Wirra Wirra was our first stop on the last day of our Australian Wine travels. So we were approximately sixteen wineries in when we pulled up to this beautiful winery with a basket full of treats & cheese (that's another story - we thought doing a pre-determined cheese trail trip was the way to go but it was too constricting & difficult to maintain while focusing on the wine). I didn't have big expectations so as one could expect, I was pleasantly surprised and would recommend visiting Wirra Wirra if you have the time & interest the next time you're in the McLaren Vale region.
We tasted the following wines:
- 2005 Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc - Citrus nose, pleasant w/the local feta cheese selected for this vintage. Earthy tones with a sweet melon make it a nice Sauvignon blanc. A well received wine from local critics which is evident upon tasting.
- 2004 Hand Picked Riesling - Light sweetness, pleasurable to the palette but w/ heavy tannins for a riesling
- 2005 Hand Picked Riesling - Much better structured than the '04 w/ subtle fruit.
- 2005 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay - Butter/Oakey style but w/ a natural, well balanced flavor. This is a good chardonnay for a cream sauce pasta. This is another well received wine by critics. I don't like it as much as the Sauvignon Blanc but if the natural buttery style Chard is your style here is one.
- 2003 Church Block (Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot blend) - 50k cases of the Church Block are produced annually. Known for its strong tannins and spicy structure that's not overwhelming - this is a wine I would recommend.
- 2003 McLaren Vale Grenache - Subtle grenache varietal. Light bodied with a simple cherry taste.
- 2003 Woodhenge McLaren Vale Shiraz - Heavy, inconsistent tannic shiraz. A solid effort if surprise is what you prefer but below South Australia's Shiraz efforts.
- 2003 The Angelus (Cabernet Sauvignon) - Dark blackberry, needs a few more years of maturity but a rich, silky style big red. This is one of Wirra Wirra's signature wines and I can see why. It's only available in Australia though.
- 2000 McLaren Vale Shiraz - Easy nose, earthy tone, tastes like moist soil after the first rain of the year. Very subtle but time has stripped it of some of its savory, fruit flavor.
Wirra Wirra is a beautiful winery that's worth the effort to visit. If you have an opportunity to visit or pick up a bottle of their wine, particularly the Church Block, Sauvignon Blanc or Rieslings, do so as you won't be disappointed.