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Hugh Hamilton The Rascal Shiraz 2007

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • JH92
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

Being McLaren Vale Shiraz, this wine oozes ripeness. However, being made from our own fruit, with each batch picked at optimum ripeness, it avoids jammy aromas; instead, it is reminiscent of plums, spices (including cardamom and nutmeg); and has beguiling notes of earth and dark olives. The subtle (predominantly French…) oak is present as hints of vanilla.

While some Rascals probably earned their reputation by taking a swing at you, this one won't try and knock you over. Yes, it is rich; but it is not a "blockbuster". Instead, it has great balance between sheer weight and serious structure. The nose is completely consistent with the palate, which has flavours of plums, spice and a touch of earth; it's generous yet fine, with gently gritty tannins and length from time in those lovely French oak barrels. One articulate rascal, it speaks of its origins and variety – without shouting at you.

It's a great wine to accompany any full flavoured fare like Prime rib, Scotch fillet, veal medallions & Osso Bucco, foie gras, BBQ and demiglace meats, vintage Cheddar, hazelnuts and dark chocolate.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 92
Australian Wine Companion

Quintessential McLaren Vale with a coat of dark chocolate around black fruit flavours leavened by fine, spicy tannins and quality French oak. Screwcap.

WE 90
Wine Enthusiast

Full bodied, creamy in texture and densely concentrated, this is a chunky, Shiraz imbued with ample flavor intensity. Jammy, lifted cherry fruit easily carries accents of espresso and chocolate all the way through the finish. The price is right for a wine of this quality.

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Hugh Hamilton

Hugh Hamilton

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Hugh Hamilton, , Australia
Hugh Hamilton
Five generations of Hamilton winemakers and then there is Hugh. Every family has a black sheep and Hugh is it. Hugh does things his own way and is responsible for all the unusual grape varieties we have in the ground. He is also responsible for a lot of the nonsense that goes on around here and his sense of the ridiculous is known to go into full swing after dark whilst consuming generous amounts of his own product. The one thing that Hugh is serious about is what goes into the bottle and the fact that you are only as good as your last vintage, irrespective of how many years you have under your belt.

Hugh is the fifth generation of the family that planted the first vineyards at Glenelg in 1837, less than one year after European settlement in South Australia. As with all families one is a black sheep and Hugh Hamilton is it. You can expect therefore to enjoy the difference. The black sheep is the master of a most reprobate flock, with characters such as 'The Rascal' Shiraz, 'The Scallywag' Unwooded Chardonnay and 'The Villain' Cabernet Sauvignon – this is no ordinary line up. The wines are not ordinary either. There is a fascinating range of very individualistic wines that have great character. Have a look at the range in the "Flock of Wines" section of this web site. Hugh has a clear vision about the way he sees wines and he produces accordingly. He is a firm believer in the wine and food experience. Neither is magic. Both are great, especially in the company of good friends and lively conversation. His wines therefore are eminently drinkable and certainly very "more-ish"; (that means you'll always come back for the next glass!). These wines are not simple. They have such character and depth of flavour they can become a topic of dinner party conversation on their own.

British Columbia

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

OPI54284_2007 Item# 107193

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