Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wirra Wirra

Wirra Wirra PO Box 145McLaren Vale SA 5171
McMurtrie RoadMcLaren Vale SA 5171
Phone: 08 8323 8414 Fax: 08 8323 8596

wine making and wine
Vineyard Series
From time to time Wirra Wirra produces wines from very small parcels of extremely intense, high quality fruit, that comes from either our own vineyards or from those of our specialist growers. Vinified separately to create unique wines of special interest, Vineyard Series wines are only produced from the very best fruit, hand selected from the very best vintages.

2002 Chook Block McLaren Vale Shiraz - Released April '051998 Penley Coonawarra Cabernet-Sauvignon1998 Chook Block McLaren Vale Shiraz1997 Allawah Barossa Grenache1994 Jones Block McLaren Vale Shiraz1993 Kuitpo Adelaide Hills Shiraz

R.S.W. Shiraz
This wine (one of two Wirra Wirra flagships) is named after the winery's founder Robert Strangways Wigley. A qualified architect, noted eccentric and state cricketer, he produced a much acclaimed Shiraz that was shipped to the U.K. by Burgoynes of London until his untimely death in 1926.Produced using 80% french oak RSW typifies power with elegance and will reward appropriate cellaring for an extended period.

The Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon (only available in Australia)
This is our premium varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, which is produced from fruit grown in low-yielding vineyards in the warm climate of McLaren Vale and the cool Coonawarra region. The blend of these two regions produces a wine of complex fruit character, showing the rich subtle blackberry and silkly tannins of the McLaren Vale and the cedary, cassis and fine grain tannins of the Coonawarra

Dead Ringer Cabernet Sauvignon (Available in Export Markets only)
Will Wirra Wirra’s Angelus be silenced in the Battle of the Bells?

It’s on again. Another Australian wine is under threat due to its name - Wirra Wirra’s The Angelus, made by the popular McLaren Vale winery since 1989, is having legal pressure applied to it by the historic French winery, Chateau Angelus in Bordeaux.

It seems the French are upset because the multiple trophy winning Aussie red is having a little too much success in, of all places, Chateau Angelus’ own backyard.

It seems the connections of Chateau Angelus were more than happy to allow the small Aussie winery to sell its wine without fear for 15 years, but when the Wirra Wirra wine was added to the wine lists of a prestigious Michelin-starred restaurant in Bordeaux and a local fine wine retailer, things suddenly turned sour.

A letter was sent between lawyers and the Battle of the historic Bells began.
In the blue corner is Chateau Angelus, a well regarded 1er Grand Cru Classe wine from St Emilion, made from merlot and cabernet franc. The Angelus name derives from a particularly ancient plot of vineyard, from which the men tending the vines were able to hear the angelus bells ringing out from all three of the village churches. Chateau Angelus is one of the most famous wines of France, with a history dating back 150 years and sells around the globe for around $AUS400 per bottle.

In the red corner is Wirra Wirra The Angelus, a wine that has built a reputation for classic Australian cabernet sauvignon on the back of the best McLaren Vale and Coonawarra fruit available since 1989. Its name is taken from the 3/4 tonne Angelus bell at Wirra Wirra that is rung to celebrate the commencement of each McLaren Vale vintage. The Angelus has been well reviewed across Australia and the globe, with the current 2001 vintage receiving high praise from leading wine writers.

Wirra Wirra Managing Director Tim James says the circumstances of the argument are not entirely surprising.

"It is never nice to receive letters like this, but sadly in the age of global expansion it is going to happen. While our wines are essentially named after the same thing, I think they are clearly different. Our Angelus sells for $48, Chateau Angelus sells for about $400, the labels look nothing alike, they’re from different parts of the world and are made from different varieties . . . would you get confused?"

"In a legal sense we are guilty - after all we never took out global copyright on the name, as such it looks like we will be renaming The Angelus for the international market, but keeping the status quo in Australia."

With the release of the highly anticipated 2002 vintage, Wirra Wirra The Angelus will be sold under two names. In Australia it will remain as Wirra Wirra The Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon. In the rest of the world it will be renamed Wirra Wirra Dead Ringer Cabernet Sauvignon. Dead Ringer was chosen for the international market to convey that it is exactly the same wine, just with a different name.

Wirra Wirra Dead Ringer will be available in 15 countries including; France, New Zealand, UK, USA, China, Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden. Wirra Wirra The Angelus will be available in one; Australia

Sparrow's Lodge -Cabernet Sauvignon (Cellar Door Only)
The "retro" blue label signifies a win eoffered exclusively at our Cellar Door, so if you find a bottle elsewhere, you can safely assume that you are drinking with avery good friend of Wirra Wirra.Standing proudly next to the Wodhenge gate at Wirra Wirra is a classic Aussie residence. After our founder RS Wigley died in 1924, the winery was left to his manager, Jack Sparrow. When the buildings were destroyed by storms in the 1930's the Sparrows built this house with the salvaged materials. Over the years, Sparrow's Lodge has been home to various vintage vagabonds and the occasional winemaker. A Little comfort and a lot of conviviality have been found within its walls which we celebrate with this limited release McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon

Catapult Shiraz Viognier (Cellar Door & On Premise)
The late Greg Trott, achieved many great things in his colourful lifetime. Yet one vision eluded him - to build a medieval siege machine or trebuchet. Why? To bomb neighbouring wineries with bottles of fine wine in the hope they would reciprocate the favour. With plans on the drawing board the ever-enthusiastic Wirra Wirra tribe is ready to fulfil Trotty's dream. But for now, we honour his pioneering spirit with the release of a new wine, aptly named Catapult (it's easier to pronounce than trebuchet) Hurling a splash of Viognier into our highly revered Shiraz, the result is a rich, opulent wine, brimming with intense fruit and a hint of spice

Woodhenge McLaren Vale Shiraz
A legacy worth drinking - As a tribute to Greg Trott’s unique vision of that which has always made Wirra Wirra special, they have named their McLaren Vale Shiraz after the massive post-and-rail fence only Trott could have dreamed of and that now greets visitors to the winery.
Woodhenge is essentially in the mould of the fences early settlers would erect, but on a cyclopean scale, with posts more than two metres in diameter, some weighing over three tonnes. Less fence, more elemental sculpture, Woodhenge is a monument to "big" ideas.

McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon (exclusive to Cellar Door)
Whilst Shiraz is the variety that most people regard as synonymous with McLaren Vale, equally important to McLaren Vale's growing international reputation is its natural ability to produce exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon.
Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, ancient soils and old vines, Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale typically displays a level of middle palate texture and richness that is the envy of other premium wine regions

Mrs Wigley Moscato
The wine emerged victorious after a couple of vintages as a cellar door exclusive where it was part of a group of "experimental" wines along with Arneis and Mourvedre that offer our winemakers the chance to let their hair down a little. After a month last summer when it was outselling Church Block, we thought we might be on to something, so here it is, now joinng our Grenache Rose as pasrt of the Mrs. Wigley range. A style well loved by the Italians and lesser known in Australia, the sweet fruit, low alcohol and light fizz make this the perfecr summer wine. When is the best time to drink? Well we launched it over breakfast…

McLaren Vale Grenache
McLaren Vale, with its consistent climate and proximity to the ocean, has demonstrated the ability to produce Grenache wines with exceptional varietal character and an outstanding ability to age.

The fruit for this wine is sourced from 50 year old dry-grown Grenache bush vines, that have survived several periods when this it has been considered unfashionable - including the tragic vine pull scheme of the early eighties where much of the precious old vine Grenache was lost. The 2002 McLaren Vale Grenache is a medium-bodied dry red wine that reflects the richness and spice of this variety and its ability to match so well with food.

Hiding Champion Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc
Greg Trott, founder of Wirra Wirra, was a "wanderer". A simple run to the local shops might evole into an interstate luncheon, phone seemingly absent from the journey. He would return a day or so later, bemused by the fuss. Although one "unplanned" visit to the UK was a stretch, even by his standards! Over time, we accepted that Trotty was in training to become the Olympic Hiding Champion and it became part of life at Wirra Wirra.Should a visit to Yandra vineyard in the Adelaide Hills predicate a Trott absence, we understood. We hand pick our Sauvignon Blanc from this idyllic location, producing a vibrant wine, rich with fruit flavour. Hiding Champions, Olympic or otherwise find it easy to lose themselves amid its rolling slopes.

The 12th Man Adelaide Hills Chardonnay
From the 2006 vintage, the Adelaide Hills Chardonnay joins Woodhenge Shiraz and Catapult Shiraz Viognier in the RGT Collection, our tribute to the late Richard Gregory Trott and will be known as The 12th Man in memory of Trott's religious devotion to the game of cricket. Consensus seems to be that the Adelaide Hills is producing some of Australia's best cool climate chardonnay. That’s why we headed to our neighbour region a few years back to source fruit we felt would best express the type of chardonnay we would like to make- and drink!

Church Block
'Church Block' is named after one of Greg Trott's original vineyards, which lies next to the small Bethany Church {est. 1854} and is only 100 meters from Wirra Wirra's century old ironstone cellars. First produced in 1972, our most recognised wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot, with the percentages of the blend varying slightly from year to year to maintain the desired style and quality each vintage.Keep a second bottle handy.
This wine utilises the celebrated Stelvin screw cap closure, to ensure every bottle will reach you in perfect condition, exactly as we intended.

The Lost Watch Riesling
Wirra Wirra's riesling was first produced in 1973. It was also the first to be called 'Hand Picked' following an argument and subseqent bet between proprietor Greg Trott and winemaker Geoff Merill over the merits of mechanical vs. manual harvesting. A slightly more generous style of dry Riesling, Hand Picked is captivating when young but also very attractive when cellared under appropriate conditions. This wine has been bottled with a Stelvin screw cap closure since the 2001 vintage which will further enhance cellaring potential.
Mrs Wigley RoseMrs. Wigley (1977-1991) was not the wife of Wirra Wirra founder Bob Wigley, but a particular pussycat who was born at the neighbouring Petrucci residence. Within days her mum had dragged the litter to settle in our open fermenters, and from then on Mrs. Wigley became a permanent feature of the cellars. Raised exclusively on Myponga Cheddar from the cheese board in cellar door, she was black in colour and sported a trimmed tail courtesy of an accident with some Galv and some emergency surgery from Joe Petrucci's pruning snips. The wine we have chosen to honour Mrs. Wigley is our first ever Rosé style. Designed to be enjoyed on lazy afternoons with friends, it is also a versatile accompaniment to a variety of foods. This wine utilises the celebrated Stelvin screw cap closure, to ensure every bottle will reach you in perfect condition, exactly as we intended.

Scrubby Rise - Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot
Located directly in front of Wirra Wirra's century old ironstone cellars, the Scrubby Rise vineyard and its marvelous soils produce some of our best Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from season to season. Quite rare in its varietal composition, the final Scrubby Rise blend has been chosen to produce a wine that displays balance, elegance, complexity, and structure - typical chracters of a Wirra Wirra red.

This wine utilises the celebrated Stelvin screw cap closure, to ensure every bottle will reach you in perfect condition, exactly as we intended.

Scrubby Rise Shiraz (exclusive to the US)
The Scrubby Rise vineyard at the entrance to Wirra Wirra's century old ironstone cellars, supplies the name as well as most of the Shiraz for this blend. Produced in a typically Australian style, Scrubby Rise Shiraz displays an abundance of primary fruit characters, with a generous palate and comlex aromatics.Although Scrubby Rise Shiraz will benefit from appropriate cellaring, it is a wine that can be enjoyed in its youth, preferably with friends, a plate of food and lively conversation.

This wine utilises the celebrated Stelvin screw cap closure, to ensure every bottle will reach you in perfect condition, exactly as we intended.

Scrubby Rise - Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Viognier
The Scrubby Rise vineyard fronting Wirra Wirra's century old ironstone cellars, supplies the name as well as most of the semillon for this blend. Incorporating three different grape varieties, each has an important role in the make up of the wine. The Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon provide lifted and distinct armatics as well as a crisp and lively palate. Whilst the Viognier adds complexity to the nose and a soft mouth-filling and persistent finish. To complete the blend, 10% has been fermented in French oak barriques. Scrubby Rise is the perfect wine for relaxing afternoons with friends and is an ideal partner with a diverse range of foods.

This wine utilises the celebrated Stelvin screw cap closure, to ensure every bottle will reach you in perfect condition, exactly as we intended.

Scrubby Rise Unwooded Chardonnay
Formerly known as "Sexton's Acre" this wine has always been considered a defacto member of the Scrubby Rise range. It now formally joins the "Scrubby White" and "Scrubby Red" blends as part of a revitalized range with a fresh new look. Completely untouched by oak, this chardonnay is for those who like their wine to refelct the vineyard, not the forest.

NV The Anthem
The Anthem is a blend of McLaren Vale Shiraz dating back seven years, with recent vintages added to provide freshness and vitality. It pays homage to this uniquely Australian wine style and is affectionately referred to in-house as 'splurgundy'. {an abbreviation of this wine style's old name - sparkling burgundy.}. It is fermented in bottle and aged on yeast lees for over 18 months prior to disgorging and release. Perfect for Christmas morning.

Empire Series and Dessert Wines
From the middle of the 19th century, McLaren Vale became famous for producing a range of excellent fortified wines.The styles of these wines were designed to please the fastidious palates of the drinkers from the halcyon days of the British Empire. The Empire Series range of dessert and fortified wines are only produced when vintage conditions are suitable, and are made in recognition of great wines that formed the foundation of the McLaren Vale wine growing region.

Adelaide Hills Late Picked Pinot GrisVP Vintage Fortified Shiraz
The Cousins Wirra Wirra's Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay (better known as our fizz) is named in recognition of Wirra Wirra principals, cousins Greg and Roger Trott. The Cousins is produced from traditional varieties and in the traditional manner (Method Champenoise) meaning that it goes through the lengthy and expensive process of fermentation in bottle, and ageing on yeast lees for over two and a half years, prior to disgorging and release

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