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Wednesday Specials

Think Thrice Then Buy
Great Red from Unexpected Region

It’s a complicated business choosing wine. If you landed in Georgia for four weeks what would you do? I offer my thoughts.

Deep Colour and Silky Smooth
Crayford Barossa Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Region: Barossa Valley

Is it possible to have a deeply coloured Pinot showing ripe warm flavours yet retains the smooth silky texture you likely expect? Indeed it is as even cool climate regions may have summer heat waves. They are not common but when this happens wines of sublime perfection result.

Thus the reverse is also possible and a well handled Pinot from the Barossa Valley is indeed possible, though it must not be made like its a Shiraz. Recall a warm climate Pinot Noir from the Hunter Valley made by Tyrrells was crowned one of the worlds great wines in the 1970s.

I also remember wonderful examples by Hardys and Seppelts made from Padthaway fruit which is hardly cool climate.

So do as we do at Glug, buy great wine when it is offered. I guarantee you will not be disappointed with what frankly is a superlative Pinot but Tasmanian it is not.


Inspiration from Far Northern Barossa
Bagot Station Captains Table Barossa Valley Red Blend No 2 2012

Region: Barossa Valley
We buy small amounts of wine of many varieties from the recent and previous vintages. These are offered to us for many reasons; for example a small winery may only make a Shiraz and Cabernet but adds a small percentage of Mataro to both wines. After the wine is made there may be 200 litres of Mataro left over and then we will get a call.

As we make such a large range of wines such tiny amounts of very high quality are gold dust, as it makes well priced wines like the Bagots take on a shine. Captain Bagot owned the whole of the far north of the Barossa Valley and ran sheep and cattle and likely had a small winery operating in the 1860s.

Back then the red of the day would have been a vineyard blend of heritage varieties. I asked Benjamin to imagine this and make me his impression which I call the Captains Table red.


Great Vintage Great Prospects
Langdorf Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
Every ripening cycle of the grapes is different. This leads to vintage charts as they provide numbers to measure what nature has given the fruit. In cold climates a good rule of thumb is that a warmer season makes more interesting wines than a season when it is harder to ripen the grapes.

In a warm to hot climate like the Barossa Valley getting a ripe crop is not the problem yet striking seasonal differences occur between wines even when we see one summer much like another. These differences though are not so pronounced that you would prefer one over another, rather they are complex differences which are apparent when comparing wines.

Thus I like 2013, 2014 and 2015 and do not favour one over the other though I like the additional ripening time evident in our 2015s. The same vineyards give different results so if you are collecting the Langdorfs keep the sequence going as they strike me as getting richer the younger the vintage; at least in this part of the weather cycle.

At this stage the 2015 is a warm rich wine though cellaring will bring benefits suggesting others from our range are better at this moment.


Exceptional Fruit and Finesse
Knotts Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2017

Region:Adelaide Hills, SA

It is awhile since we have had a Chardonnay with the smart appeal of this Knotts. Over the last few years we sold a collection of Adelaide Hills and McLaren vale Chardonnays purchased from a winery in McLaren vale and they were all excellent value for money. This Chardonnay is a couple of steps up in quality and shows the gentle light texture and pure aromas that come from carefully made wine produced from free run juice.

This was not made by us but was discovered by Benjamin and the story is a familiar one to us; ‘it did not meet the quality I need as I charge customers over $50’. Many of the wines we buy are offered for similar reasons. Alas I cannot reveal the grower-maker but it is the sort of thing you could ask Benjamin at the next tasting and likely he will whisper an answer. Up in price and way up in quality.


Fabulous Barossa Gold
Restless Farm 'The Pig' Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015

Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia

‘There’s gold in them thar hills’ did not come true for South Australia although they did work an alluvial river flat not far from the Barossa Valley town of Lyndoch which is known as the Barossa Goldfields.

The real gold has come of course with the recognition of the Barossa Valley as a unique, world class, wine region.

Finding another place just like the Barossa is unlikely as while vines will spring up in many new locations my perusal of the global geography shows the location is unique. Barossa Valley Shiraz is a world class drink and when well priced is a must buy.

The range of Restless Farm wines dates back to the 2008 vintage with the first being The Goat from Padthaway of 40 cases. The other animals down on this strange farm are the Goose, the Elephant, the Camel and the Bunny.

As expected The Pig is stout, round and soft and to bring you up to date two real Bershires called Crackle and Pop have been purchased and are growing quickly. Commence drinking now though this Restless Farm Shiraz will mature over many years.


Elegant Tight with Length
Ariadne Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
The 2017 is sourced from the same Adelaide Hills vineyards as previous vintages. The town of Woodside is centrally located in the Adelaide Hills at a height of about 370 metres. The grapes for the Ariadne are sourced from further west, well into the climb up the Basket Range, which is the hot place for aspiring young winemakers.
To make great Sauvignon Blanc you need a cool growing climate and for Australia this means a high elevation. This also means the variety will take on a slightly different expression to the popular New Zealand wines which are from cool climate latitudes but near sea level.
As the excitement of wine is about its variation I think you should be drinking a range of Sauvignon Blanc’s. You will be the judge but since we moved to this locality in the Adelaide Hills I now score the Ariadne up with the best Australians and the $10 plus New Zealand wines.
I am so confident with this statement that I give the Ariadne my 10/10 value for money sticker.


The 8th Guardian of the Barossa
Karrawirra Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015

Region: Barossa Valley, SA

Karrawirra is translated as ‘stands of red gums’ from the native dialect. These massive trees, many hundreds of years old, are a distinctive feature of the South Australian landscape.

Those that remain are fiercely protected thus we refer to our Karrawirra reds as guardians of the Barossa. We are not coy about how we want our Barossa reds to taste and the more flavour the better. Delicacy and finesse we applaud but not with Karrawirra.

The winemaker Benjamin Parker explores other facets of the Barossa Valley in for example his Village Belle series. With Karrawirra we want you to be able to inhale the aroma as it is being poured and know from the colour that a big mouthful awaits. There are no ifs and buts with this wine being our version of a big, no holds barred Barossan.

It's excellent in every respect and we must give a lot of credit to the fruit we get from the fabulous Kalleske farmers in the far northern Barossa.


SA Reds Selections

Glug South Australian All Red Selection Series 2

Before late 2015 many of the experiments and special parcels made by the wine makers were blended away. Steadily through 2016 even tiny amounts were bottled and this process accelerated when we began our own in-house bottling from September, 2016. It is wines such as these which make up the South Australian Selections Series No 1. The winemakers place a great deal of effort into making what I call, kitchen reds, and this mix shows the results.

Contains 1 bottle each of the following wines:-


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