The Lucky Country Shiraz 2011
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
Deep red. Very McLaren Vale! Initially full of dark fruits and chocolate/mocha notes, but upon a second look, aromas of grilled meats, vanilla bean and spice become quite prevalent. The palate starts out soft, but the fleshy plums and vanilla spice slowly build to more savory characters delivering a long finish balanced with earthy chewy tannins.
Wine Spectator - "A fresh and vivid style, offering juicy elderberry and cherry flavors that finish with a savory note. Shows depth and a distinctive profile."
The Lucky Country Winery
The Lucky Country is synonymous with Australia, the phrase having first been coined in the book of the same name in 1964 by Donald Horne. The phrase was initially used as an irony mocking the fortune of the post-colonial Australians of the 1960s.
Since then it has become a descriptive label for Australia and its wealth of natural resources, beautiful weather, stunning landscapes and relaxed lifestyle. It is the same slice of fortune that allows the fertile soils of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale to yield such lush, vibrant fruit from which The Lucky Country is made.
By contrast, Lucky Country Shiraz is made in a simple, natural fashion, with individual parcels of fruit fermented, pressed and barreled separately until blending just prior to bottling. Minimally fined and unfiltered, the wine starts out layered and concentrated, then reveals a much softer side on the finish. View all The Lucky Country 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.