At 477 to 500 meters above sea level in South Australia, it is one of the highest properties in the Barossa Valley. Mad or not, McLean planted dry grown Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro and Riesling, mostly on their own roots. The vines are spaced 3 meters x 3 meters, maximizing natural uptake of moisture from these virgin soils.
To determine where to plant their four varieties, they looked first to the soils and then to the position and aspect. 6144 vines, planted as a garden, in a north south direction eastern side facing away from the afternoon sun. These plantings twist around the rocky granite outcrops and 500 year old ancient gum trees, then track around the peak on an east facing slope, finding protection in the lee of the north and westerly winds of summer.
2513 Shiraz vines are planted in hard earth with shallow top soil, over the knoll where they struggle and work hard to achieve optimum expression. One of McLean’s finest creation is their Shiraz/Cabernet 2004. It’s dark ruby/purple-colored with a sweet nose of high quality cigar smoke intermixed with dried herb, cassis, and cherry characteristics, this deep, fleshy, medium-bodied 2004 possesses delicious, ripe fruit, good underlying acidity, and notions of plums, Allspice, and loamy soil in the finish. It would be great to pair this wine with some grilled lamb kabobs. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. Readers should be buying this one by the case!
The boldness of Shiraz with the length and juicy fruit flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon giving us everything upon which Australian wine stands. They have been able to bring in two premium parcels of fruit, 50% Shiraz from the western Barossa in Greenock and the remainder Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Moculta in the Eden Valley. In the 2008 Australian Wine Companion, James Halliday rated this wine 5 glasses – 94 points and said, “Supple mouth feel and good line to the blackberry, dark chocolate, licorice and spice flavors; good oak and extract.”
While this fabulous Aussie red regularly sells for $16 per bottle, we are currently offering it On Sale for $14.89/bottle, while limited supplies last at wines.com.