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The Lucky Country Shiraz 2009

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • WS88
14.5% ABV
  • WE90
  • RP89
  • WS88
  • WS90
  • RP89
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Lucky Country Shiraz comes from McLaren Vale, which is a coastal area featuring vines that are over 100 years old and are known for mocha and warm-earth characteristics.

This wine springs from the glass with mint, herb, dark chocolate, fresh plums, anised and roasted meats. The palate starts out on the attack with a sway of dark fruits that are very rich but also rounded. This wine shows lovely mouth feel, density and control, it starts out layered and concentrated but reveals a much softer side of the finish.

The Lucky Country started as a small project created by Michael Twelftree of the famed Two Hands Winery, for a select few clients.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 88
Wine Spectator
Ripe and polished, a supple style that emphasizes dark fruit, including black cherry and prune, against spicy overtones of licorice and pepper. Finishes gracefully.
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The Lucky Country

The Lucky Country

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The Lucky Country, McLaren Vale, Australia
2009 Shiraz
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.

McLaren Vale

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Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol, with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style, as are ripe, tropical-fruited Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.


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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

RPT85410396_2009 Item# 110699