McLaren Vale has some of the most variable, ancient and weathered soils on the planet. 19 different soil types have been identified in one of the most detailed soil studies carried out in any wine region. It is for this reason we called this wine ‘Ancient Earth’. It is a single-vineyard Shiraz from the beautiful sweep of vines immediately to the south of our Cellar Door. We call this our ‘Cellar Block’.
Our other vineyards have different soil types but we selected this part of our vineyard to carry the Ancient Earth mantle as it makes the quintessential McLaren Vale style of Shiraz. So what’s special about the earth? The earth is known locally as ‘Biscay soil’. It is also referred to as ‘self-mulching black cracking clay’ and these soils have unique properties. Slow to wet, they can tightly hold a large volumes of water. Unfortunately the soil is not so generous in giving the vines access to this moisture so in heatwave conditions the vines can stress quite quickly. The fruit therefore needs to be watched and managed very carefully as it ripens. On the other hand, correctly managed, the resulting wine can be quite magnificent. Shiraz thrives here and can produce fruit with great fragrance and power, but a structure which guarantees ageing potential.
Since the Cellar Block is our signature vineyard we have worked hard over several years now to ensure the consistency of this block. With careful management of the cover crop on the soil, adjustments to the irrigation regime, and correctly managed pruning to even out the distribution of shoots and fruit, we now have the vineyard working at its optimum for quality.
We want the ancient earth of the Cellar Block doing the talking so we do not intervene much in the winemaking process. Simple de- stemming leads to a gentle, whole berry, warm fermentation. Running to barrel follows within a few days of pressing. We give ‘Ancient Earth’ time in some of our best barrels.
Deep, deep, purple-red This wine has a track record of rewarding cellaring for at least 10 years.
Bouquet & Palate
In this young wine we see the powerful fragrance and flavour of the site, the terroir: liquorice, fruit-cake, blackberries, and dark chocolate. It is quintessentially varietal and regional. Its savoury tannic structure and lively acidity offer longevity. It is fair to call it robust – even slightly rustic - but showing great harmony or balance - just that it has a distinctive structure and mouth-feel, something that we see year in, year out.
Ancient Earth is made in extremely small quantities each year, only 3,240 bottles in 2012, and is consistently one of our super premium offerings.
Winemaking and Dogs go together. You will struggle to find a winery in Australia without a dog that calls it home. And it is often a dog that makes a winery feel like home for all.
Jim Jim was Hugh’s faithful Labrador / Kelpie at Hugh Hamilton’s estate in McLaren Vale, South Australia. Every vintage Jim Jim would eat Shiraz grapes only when they were ripe for the picking, so with viticultural skills like that, Hugh decided Jim Jim deserved his own brand. Jim Jim went to the big kennel in the sky in November 2010 but his talent is remembered in his wines. Smart Dog, Smart Wine!
FROM THE WINEMAKER
The easy option is a classic - Steak. Feel free to experiment a little, go beyond the norm - try this with a rich-ish pasta; Spag Bol.
JC SCORE 8/10
One of the best value Shiraz's you will find in Hong Kong - this drinks like a wine with a much higher price tag. Juicy, fruit-driven body, moorish - real winner.
View full product details
The 5OS project, through an array of talented winemakers that call it home, is forging a new path for Australian wine, and creating an ever-brightening spotlight on small batch winemaking and the positive yet disruptive effect it can have. This is the front line of modern winemaking and we love supporting it.
This Red Blend is a cracking example of what 5OS is all about - have a crack and see if it works. This time, it did.
FROM THE WINEMAKER
"We use 'thrown together' here lightly. This wine is immaculately blended to equal a lot more than the sum of its parts, and its parts are pretty spectacular coming from our small and ever-so-sophisticated winery in the McLaren Vale. With too many parts to really mention, it's easier to just say that the density and class of this Aussie red would put wines at three time the price to shame. The only reason we have it is that we are mates. It also has an award-winning label that's an amalgam too."
Lighter than a typical Aussie Red, so see if you can match up with something that allows the wine to shine through. Perfect for a Friday night Pizza. Early evening Charcuterie (Chips and Dips).
JC SCORE 7.5/10
Late last year we introduced you to the wonderful world of Nero. And it went bang! In just three short months, we sold out of all our precious stock and left our customers wanting more...
We have answered your call!
A series of Italian varieties grown in the heart of McLaren Vale, this beauty is unique before you even crack the top (Beauty refers to the wine and/or the lady on the label. Your choice). A blend of Nero d’Avola, Touriga, Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Sagrantino. A savoury European styled wine. Medium bodied with a touch of dry tannins but countering sweetness from the fruit.
Clean and crisp but alluring and very drinkable in its youth.
FROM THE WINEMAKER
"Bright, medium bodied in the glass, looks really well prepared. 5 varieties should probably have a menagerie of aromatics and this certainly does. If I can pull one out of the mix it’s this concentrated, candied fruit, almost like kids cough medicine but not quite as strong. The palate’s got a nice combination of sweet and tart fruits, along with an alluring herbal edge, again not surprising when you look at the varietal mix. Has me daydreaming about a Sunday roast on a full, long table with water droplets winding their way down the kitchen windows."
Go Italiano. Pizza + Pasta
JC SCORE 8.5/10
I am a big fan of this wine. There is plenty of office 'tasting' sessions done every Friday afternoon at Wine Brothers HQ. Order some more samples!
View full product details