"A bigger, richer version of the value-priced Woop Woop, this cuvee, which is made by the irrepressible Ben Riggs, is produced primarily from McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek fruit. The result is a fabulous value composed of 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier that is aged in mostly used French oak for eight months. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by serious blackberry and currant notes intermixed with pepper and spice. This wine offers high levels of seduction, lushness, and richness at a ridiculously low price. Enjoy it over the next 3-4 years." - Wine Advocate
The Chook Winery
As the bigger sibling of Woop Woop, the Black Chook once again represents a collaboration between Ben Riggs the wine maker at Penny's Hill, and Tony Parkinson, proprietor of Penny's Hill. The Black Chook is sourced from McLaren Vale, known for it's consistent, Mediterranean-type climate and Langhorne Creek which characteristically produces Shiraz that is spicy, flavorful and elegant. Co-fermenting small amounts of Viognier skins with Shiraz adds wonderful apricot perfumes, at the same time as intensifying the deep rich color and velvety mouth-feel of the wine… And what is Chook? It's Australian for Chicken!
View all The Chook Wines
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.