Mad Fish Western Australia Shiraz 2002
Picturesque Madfish Bay is located in the remote southern corner of Western Australia. The bay's tranquillity is broken when two tides meet. According to local folklore, the fish, confused by this natural phenomenon, can be observed leaping in the air as if in a state of complete madness. The MadFish wine range and label, first released in 1992, was named as an homage to this unique geographical occurrence. The superb climate of South West Australia has always been conducive to the cultivation of healthy wine grapes with attractive and vibrant fruit flavors. MadFish has always been about simple enjoyment - fun, food, family and friends. While the wine inside the bottles retains its consistency, style and quality, the packaging and labels have playfully evolved over time. More than 25 years later the fresh and satisfying wines released under the MadFish label have attracted a large and loyal following across Australia and the world. The Burch Family’s architecturally awarded winery is a “must-see” for any visitor to the Margaret River region. The winery stands on a hilltop flanked by tall Marri and Jarrah trees with commanding views over the magnificent Leston Park vineyard (named for Jeff’s father) and parklands.
Margaret River is considered to be one of Australia’s most exciting winegrowing regions and is regularly the source of award winning Australian wines. The climate in Margaret River is more influenced by the sea than any other premium wine region in mainland Australia and studies on both soil and climate suggest a strong similarity to Bordeaux in France.
Australia’s Great Southern zone is considered an area of staggering promise for the future of Australian winemaking. In size, this region is the largest in Australia yet it is also the most remote. This region is home to a cool Mediterranean climate with maritime influence and a variety of elevations and vineyard exposures throughout the foothills of the Porongurup Mountains. The Great Southern has attracted talented winemakers from near and far for its ability to yield wines from cool climate grape varieties that show unparalleled elegance and finesse. In the spirit of Western Australia, MadFish wines are without pretension and fuss. They are wines made for easy enjoyment and for those simple pleasures of life: family, friends, food and wine. The MadFish label was first released in 1992 with the MadFish Premium White, soon followed by the MadFish Premium Red in 1993. Today a number of wine styles are produced including Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay along with some alternative varietals such as Pinot Noir. These contemporary wine styles are made from cool climate fruit and are noted for their pure, fresh and clean characteristics in which the flavor of the fruit is the primary character.
Quite remote and unequalled in beauty, the wine regions of Westerm Australia promise endless physical and climatic diversity. From the coolest, seaside vineyards to the hottest inland zones, Western Australia is the source of some of the country’s most sought after wines.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.
Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.
In the Glass
Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.
Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.