This winery, based in McLaren Vale, are among Jancis Robinson’s favourite new-wave producers. And Jancis doesn’t exactly hand out endorsements like your average Instagram influencer.
This is a serious GSM, made very well. Put another way, it’ll happily cellar up to 2025. That’s often a great indicator of style - this wine is built to last. It’s fruit and perfumed. You’ll find loads of dark plums, raspberries and cherries in terms of fruit. But maybe even more beguiling is the gamey savouriness, dried herbs and toasted almonds that come through from below the fruit. The tannins are soft and supportive, though unobtrusive. It’s definitely not a fruit compote of a wine, there’s far too much interest here.
Black Market deals are only made possible if we don’t reveal the maker’s brand on site. The wines are the genuine article, absolutely no cleanskins or fake brands, just dangerously good value. You won’t find out what it is until it hits your doorstep, but you won’t regret it. Just keep it on the down low.
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- McLaren Vale
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre
- Serving Temp.
McLaren Vale is a region that lives in the shadow of the hype of the Barossa. While it has played on Shiraz as its drawcard, and continues to battle (quite rightly) with the supreme power of the Barossa, perhaps the most exciting wines from this region are its old vine Grenache and Mataro (Mourvedre/Monastrell - whatever you want to call it), and its more recent foray into Spanish and Italian varietals. Both the sun's warmth and the reliable salty afternoon gully breeze make the climate closer to Mediterranean than many other Aussie regions, and some of the Fiano, Vermentino, Tempranillo and Sangiovese from here are sublime (to name only a few). Awareness, proper consideration and sense of place are key attributes to the region's success, and its recent win against urbanisation reinforces the value of the viticultural region.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
- 1 kg centre fillet of beef , trimmed (the timings below work perfectly for a fillet of roughly 10cm in diameter)
- olive oil
- 2 large knobs of unsalted butter
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 600 g mixed mushrooms
- 100 g chicken livers , (cleaned)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon truffle oil , (optional)
- 50 g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 x 500 g block puff pastry
- 1 large free-range egg
- For the gravy:
- 2 onions
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 heaped teaspoon blackcurrant jam
- 100 ml Maderia wine
- 1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
- 2 heaped teaspoons plain flour , plus extra for dusting
- 600 ml beef stock , (hot)
- Preheat a large frying pan on a high heat. Rub the beef all over with sea salt and black pepper. Pour a good lug of oil into the pan, then add the beef, 1 knob of butter and 1 sprig of rosemary. Sear the beef for 4 minutes in total, turning regularly with tongs, then remove to a plate. Wipe out the pan and return to a medium heat. Peel the onion and garlic, then very finely chop with the mushrooms and put into the pan with the remaining knob of butter and another lug of oil. Strip in the rest of the rosemary leaves and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and starting to caramelise, stirring regularly. Toss the livers and Worcestershire sauce into the pan and cook for another few minutes, then tip the contents onto a large board and drizzle with the truffle oil (if using). Finely chop it all by hand with a big knife, to a rustic, spreadable consistency. Taste and season to perfection, then stir in the breadcrumbs (you can use pancakes to line the pastry and absorb the juices, but I prefer using breadcrumbs like this).
- Preheat the oven to 210°C/425°F/gas 7. On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry to 30cm x 40cm. With one of the longer edges in front of you, spread the mushroom pâté over the pastry, leaving a 5cm gap at either end and at the edge furthest away from you – eggwash these edges. Sit the beef on the pâté then, starting with the edge nearest to you, snugly wrap the pastry around the beef, pinching the ends to seal. Transfer the Wellington to a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, with the pastry seal at the base, and brush all over with eggwash (you can prep to this stage, then refrigerate until needed – just get it out 1½ hours before cooking so it’s not fridge-cold). When you’re ready to cook, heat the tray on the hob for a couple of minutes to start crisping up the base, then transfer to the oven and cook for 40 minutes for blushing, juicy beef – the two end portions will be more cooked, but usually some people prefer that.
- Meanwhile, for the gravy, peel and roughly chop the onions and put into a large pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil and the thyme leaves. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in the jam and simmer until shiny and quite dark. Add the Madeira, flame with a match, cook away, then stir in the mustard and flour, gradually followed by the stock. Simmer to the consistency you like, then blend with a stick blender and pass through a sieve, or leave chunky. Once cooked, rest the Wellington for 5 minutes, then serve in 2cm-thick slices with the gravy and steamed greens.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...