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Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz 2012

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • TP92
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WS89
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The late Greg Trott saw many of his unusual dreams realized at Wirra Wirra. Yet one vision eluded him – to build a medieval siege machine, or trebuchet. Why? To use as a catapult to bomb neighboring wineries with bottles of wine, of course. Trott believed that if other wineries followed suit, he would have created a major tourism drawcard for his beloved McLaren Vale.

We fulfilled Trott's ambition when we had our very own trebuchet built in 2010. While we don't bomb our neighbors with wine bottles, we do hurl watermelons into a neighboring paddock. Just because we can. Oh, and this is where the Catapult Shiraz gets its name.

Vivid red in color with brilliant purple edge. Fragrant aromatics displaying plums, red fruits and blue berries. The bright fruits are complexed by attractive florals and musk, violets and phenol spice. Lively fleshy plums, red currants and blueberries provide a plush palate with great depth. The bright fruits are balanced by fresh acid, fine cedary oak and fine silky tannins. The wine finishes with luscious fruits and a wave of spice.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 92
Tasting Panel
It was the late Greg Trott who transformed Wirra Wirra Vineyards into what it is today in McLaren Vale in the southern tip of South Australia. McLaren Vale is highly regarded for its Shiraz style: ripe, spicy savory and sleekly structured. Trott's vision for the winery was probably equal to his sense of humor, as he envisioned a large catapult on the property (especially good for tossing watermelons) and this wine was named for that imaginative device. Big, generous plum and a touch of white pepper engage, sending up spiced blue and black fruit. A touch of Viognier brings in floral tones. Silky espresso tannins sweetened by milk chocolate on the finish has us over the moon.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Representative of the solid values that may be found from Australia for about $20, this medium- to full-bodied Shiraz offers a blend of cherry and plum flavors, with savory elements of mocha and roasted meat. It’s slightly dusty on the finish, making it food-friendly, ending with hints of cocoa and coffee. Drink now–2018.
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Wirra Wirra

Wirra Wirra

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Wirra Wirra, McLaren Vale, Australia
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Wirra Wirra Vineyards was originally established in 1894 by known South Australian eccentric and cricketer Robert Strangways Wigley. The winery prospered in its early days, producing many wines including a much acclaimed Shiraz, which was exported to England and the Empire until his death in 1926. The winery ran into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. In 1969 under the watchful eye of the late Greg Trott and his cousin Roger, the winery was rebuilt from the remnants of two walls and some slate fermenting tanks. As with all subsequent Trott endeavours, it was the sheer magnitude and unlikeliness of the project that made it so attractive.

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.

WBO30131085_2012 Item# 140594