"The 2002 Shiraz Jimmy Section is a stunningly proportioned, opaque purple-colored offering displaying notes of melted licorice interwoven with creme de cassis and hickory smoke. Layered and chewy, it is the antithesis of wimpy wine. Consume it over the next 10-15 years."
Oliverhill is a small boutique winery (McLaren Vale has been refined to as the spiritual home of the small winery in Australia) that specializes in premium quality limited production reds. Specifically, a single vineyard Shiraz, “Jimmy Section”, coming from a small 5-acre plot planted nearly 30 years ago an old vine Grenache, “Bradey Block”, made from vines up to 80 years old and a Cabernet Sauvignon produced from the “Jimmy Section” vineyard. The Grenache and the Shiraz represent the classic South Australian style, big and juicy with sweet black fruits, brood shouldered with substantial palate presence, yet maintaining balance and exceptional fruit intensity. The Cabernet Sauvignon although not as big and mouth filling texturally maintains noted fruit intensity with a long and persistent finish. All 3 reds are produced in an extremely limited format with total production hovering around 1000 cases total. The Millers, producing handcrafted wines that are truly artisan in style, will never produce a lot of wine but what they do produce will always be of the highest quality.
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About Other Australia
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales - New South Wales has a variety of smaller wine growing regions. Many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations, leading to the more encompassing designation of New South Wales.
Western Australia – A small percentage of Australia’s winemaking occurs on the West Coast. The largest Australian state, Western Australia, includes the appellations Margaret River and Great Southern.
Southeastern Australia – This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in Australia.
Like 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
and Barossa Valley
. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley
, while the smaller, southern state of
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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.