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The Lucky Country Shiraz 2010

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP89
  • ST88
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Winemaker Notes

Deep red in color. Very McLaren Vale! Initially full of dark fruits and chocolate/mocha notes, but upon a second look, aromas of grilled meats, vanilla bean and spice become quite prevalent. The palate starts out soft, but the fleshy plums and vanilla spice slowly build to more savory characters delivering a long finish balanced with earthy chewy tannins. Made of 100% Shiraz.

Critical Acclaim

RP 89
The Wine Advocate

Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 Shiraz has aromas of blackberry preserves, crushed blueberries and black pepper with hints of licorice, tar, dark chocolate and truffles. Rich and full-bodied, with plenty of expressive blackberry and licorice flavors, it has a medium level of grainy tannins, medium-high acid and a long finish. Drinking well now, it should keep to 2016+.

ST 88
International Wine Cellar

Bright purple. Very fruity, offering lively blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors and a touch of peppery spice. Supple, easygoing and approachable, with good finishing breadth and cling. 30% of the fruit here was de-classified from the Two Hands McLaren Vale bottlings.

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The Lucky Country

The Lucky Country

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The Lucky Country, , Australia
The Lucky Country
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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles...

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision...

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

RPT85410396_2010 Item# 114998

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