Wine review — Wirra Wirra, Hanging Rock & Lou Miranda

Wirra Wirra McLaren Vale Church Block $18–$22
We won’t hold it against Church Block that it’s named for a particular vineyard but not sourced from it. Its saving grace is the rich flavour that it delivers and the smooth, soft finish. We’re also in a forgiving mood because that richness and smoothness really does come from McLaren-sourced grapes – from a number of vineyards sprinkled through the district. It’s a bright-fruited, thoroughly modern-style blend of cabernet, shiraz and merlot. But it also has the structure of a real red and on a recent road test it held our interest to the last drop. Samantha Connew made it for drinking over the next four or five years.

Hanging Rock Macedon Ranges Jim Jim Vineyard
Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Pinot Gris 2007, RS Fifty Riesling 2007 $27

These are very delicate, intense whites from Hanging Rock’s cold, south facing Jim Jim Vineyard at 650 metres above sea level. The cool site produces aromatic whites with a flavour spectrum not often seen in Australia. The sauvignon blanc is on the minerally, lean, dry side with a pronounced acidity like a delicious, ultra fresh granny smith. The pinot gris is weighty for the variety and smoothly textured but still has a fine acid edge. The riesling is a baby – and a very promising one. It’s only nine per cent alcohol and contains fifty grams per litre of residual sugar – in the classic German dessert style, complete with the high acidity to carry this level of sweetness.

Lou Miranda Old Vines Barossa Valley Shiraz 2005 $25.95
Some years back I walked with Lou Miranda amongst the lovely old bush vines on the Miranda family’s vineyard at Rowland Flat. The family later sold up, but Lou hung onto the old vines (now 90–100 years old) and recently released this wonderful red made from their tiny crop. This is a modest price for a wine of this calibre and provenance. And it’s unapologetically, big, bold Barossa. Tasted at a crowded, noisy, dinner party amongst many other reds, it was the first to disappear. People loved its ripe, rich, juicy flavour and soft, easy tannins. An English guest soaked off the label as a shopping reminder. If you’re reading this Robert, just visit the website –

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008