Longwood McLaren Vale Shiraz 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
Known as the Godfather of garage winemaking in McLaren Vale, Phil Christiansen gained his wine knowledge as a master cellarman for 10 years at Tintara winery. Longwood's success has been its ability to source and ferment small batches of high quality fruit that is sometimes hidden in a larger vineyard. The color is deep purple. The nose shows raspberry with hints of chocolate and licorice. The flavours are dark red fruits, while the tannins are fine and long. This wine will age well for 7-10 years.
Wine Enthusiast - "Consumers who give this immensely rich and oaky wine a couple of years to come together should reap the rewards around 2010, when the surface layers of vanilla, toasted coconut and caramel blend more readily with its blackberry core. The fruit shows through on the finish, so it should win out in the end."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, bright ruby. Floral aromas of red and blue fruits, Asian spices and smoky minerals. Juicy and strikingly pure, with sweet raspberry and mulberry flavors, dusty minerality and fine-grained tannins. Gains weight and richness with air, finishing with excellent cut and persistence. A late note of bitter cherry adds grip and helps to focus the exuberant fruit."
The Wine Advocate - "Deep purple, the nose offers up cedar, smoke, meat, black raspberry, and a whiff of chocolate. This leads to a ripe, structured wine with excellent depth and lots of flavor. It will evolve for 2-3 years and provide pleasure through 2020."
Wine & Spirits - "Youthful and fresh, this shiraz offers a sweet and savory balance of lush blueberry fruit and juicy tannins. It's simple and satisfying with roast lamb on the bone with rosemary. "
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Phil Christiansen formerly worked at Hardy's, where he was a cellar hand. Since then, he has gone solo, making Shiraz in small, but ever increasing quantities. He continues to contract making wine for other small independents. The label for Longwood Estate wines is from Australian native (Aboriginal) artists. The works are original and have a social consciousness. It's a very intriguing concept that the owner feels truly goes to the heart of what Australia does best – making great Shiraz and producing incredible Aboriginal artwork. View all Longwood Wines
About McLaren ValeView a map of McLaren Vale wineries
McLaren Vale is home to the oldest Australian vineyard, with grapes planted in 1838. It's a coastal area, the Indian Ocean bordering the west, which leads to a cooling factor that prevents the grapes from getting too hot. In all, the climate is a perfect one for the vines.
Notable FactsIn McLaren Vale, there are vines as far as the eye can see. As in other parts of Australia, Shiraz and Grenache are the top grapes of the region, with some Cabernet Sauvignon planted as well. While red rules, whites are able to hold their own here too. With the warm yet reasonable Mediterranean climate, white grapes like Chardonnay, Semillon and even some Sauvignon Blanc grow well. The wines are round and smooth and the producers in the regions are excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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