Mr. Riggs The Gaffer Shiraz 2007
Grapes for "The Gaffer" have been sourced from vineyards from a variety of McLaren Vale's best sites. A tried and tested area for growing full-flavoured Shiraz, McLaren Vale has almost the perfect climate for grape growing: warm summers, low humidity, good winter rain and long autumns to ensure that grapes achieve ripeness, flavor, acid and balance.
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Mr. Riggs Wine Co. was founded in 2001 as a collaboration between Ben Riggs (with decades of vintages at McLaren Vale’s Wirra Wirra under his belt) and his mentor Tony Parkinson.
Mr. Riggs winemaking philosophy is to make unpretentious wines that express the essence of the vineyard and the region’s terroir in a style that Ben enjoys drinking; big, rich and complex, but also with finesse, texture and elegance, the latter not necessarily being traits Ben possesses.
Mr. Riggs wines are stamped with Ben’s considerable European experience, as well as his unique vision for wines produced on his hallowed South Australian stomping ground.
Though Syrah originated in the Rhône Valley of France, Australia is home to the oldest Syrah (called Shiraz here) vines on the planet. Found in Australia’s Barossa Valley, where phylloxera has never threated viticulture, these ancient vines are between 140 to 175 years old!
Having brought fame and merit to the country’s wine scene since the early 1950s, namely via the debut of Penfolds Grange, today Syrah (Shiraz) claims rank as the most widely planted grape in Australia. In fact, the amount of land dedicated to Shiraz in Australia is now almost equivalent to what it is in France. Australian Shiraz has its own personality with flavors and aromas of intense blackberry, fruitcake, menthol, tobacco leaf and umami. Conveniently one can find great Australian Shiraz at a variety of price points but the very best will be dense, gloriously complex and capable of long aging.