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: Wirra Wirra

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Wirra Wirra

www.wirrawirra.com

McMutrie Rd, McLaren Vale, 5171

Cellar Door: Mon -Sat (10-5), Sun (11-5)

Ph: (08) 8323 8414

Wirra Wirra
Wirra Wirra cellar door
wirra wirra label

Wirra Wirra in the local indigenous dialect means ‘between the gums’. It was established in 1894 by Robert Strangeways Wigley.

He lived up to his middle name - his pranks included towing the pie cart down Adelaide's main King William St, much to the consternation of the patrons and owner. But he knew how to make good wine and was exporting most of his stock to London.

After his death most of the land was sold in 1936, and the cellar with only 3 hectares fell into dis-use. In the early 1970s the Trott family decided to revive the vinery but retain its historic charm. They chased up old winemaking equipment, got bricks from old demolished cottages, beams from a historic church. Of course out back the Trotts have serious, modern wine-making equipment.

An association in the 1980s with Brian Crosser from Adelaide Hills famous Petaluma winery led to a marked improvement in the white wines. The best reds (RSW Shiraz, The Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale Grenache) now match the quality of the whites.

Greg Trott died in March 2005. Tim James is now in charge and Samantha Connew became a long-serving chief wine-maker. Samantha has recently left which has opened the door for the return of Paul Smith, who worked at the winery until 2004 before a distinguished stint at Hardys.

In 2015 Wirra Wirra has purchased Ashton Hills in the cooler Adelaide Hills, a small producer well respected for Pinot Noir, sparkling whites and white varieties.

giant bottle
Wirra Wirra promotion at Southbank during Melbourne's Food and Wine Festival. The giant bottle is constructed from cork (photo: genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2015

Purchased: Not ($A70)

Drink:2030+

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2016, powerful and deep set blackberry essence, plum pudding and redcurrant with liquorice and violet florals, medium-full bodied with slaty minerality, persistent savoury tannins and tight grained cedar/chocolate/cinnamon oak (****1/2)

Wirra Wirra The Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2030+

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2016, fragrant and intense cassis, dark plums and mulberry with olive, sage and mint leaf notes, long and concentrated with some herbaceousness and earthiness  and a backbone of  fine powdery tannins, sweet vanilla/sandalwood oak (****1/2)  

Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz 2015

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2016, Gold Medal at McLaren Wine Show 2016, juicy and rather ripe blackberry and dark blueberry with some glossy redcurrant and white pepper notes, medium bodied with the dash of Viognier softening the tannins, good acid line and some bitter chocolate on the finish (****)

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Grenache Rose 2016

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2016, magenta colour, floral, fresh and dry strawberry watermelon and raspberries with musky spices and chalky and savoury  phenolics, fuller palate with crisp citrusy acidity and a touch of spritz (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2030+

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2015, from an outstanding vintage, perfumed, pure and sumptuous black cherry, blackberry and mulberry with liquorice, white pepper and violet notes, the razor-sharp palate is deep set but medium bodied, minerally and evenly ripened, racy sour edged acidity with charry chocolate/cedar fine grained oak, the best RSW I have ever had (*****)

Wirra Wirra Whaite Old Block Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($130)

Drink: 2027+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, part of the regional Scare Earth project, vineyard on the Maslin Sands of the higher Blewitt Springs, highly aromatic and tightly wound core of blueberry and mulberry with asian spice.and fennel notes, vibrantly flavoured and medium bodied core of fruit, plenty of toasty cinnamon/clove/cedar oak and fine dusty tannins, will unfold more complexity as it unfurls (****1/2)

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2011

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, atypical due to the cold vintage but a nice core of blackberry pastille and mulberry with white pepper and lifted violet notes, creamy and medium-full bodied palate with a graphite minerality, linear with good length for the vintage, sweet mocha-chocolate oak and persistent grainy tannins (****)

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz 2011

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, perfumed dark plums and blueberry with bright violet florals and herbal meat notes, smooth and medium bodied with fairly overt toasty mocha/cedar/cinnamon oak, fine dusty tannins, respectable length for such a cold vintage (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Rose 2013

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, made from Grenache, off-dry cranberry, watermelon and red cherries with lavender aromas, crisp and fresh with a touch of clove, fairly dry finish with fine phenolics (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra Original Blend Shiraz Grenache 2012

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, juicy and smooth medium bodied blend of Grenache and Shiraz, glycerolly with peppery and musky spice notes, open knit powdery tannins, modest charry coffee-vanilla oak, drink soon style (***)

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Rose 2012

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2013, named after a deceased winery cat, off-dry style made from Grenache, shows pomegranate, raspberry and rose petal aromas, the fresh palate is crisp with light spiciness and a touch of clove, some residual sugar sweetness on the finish, the racy acidity balances the sweetness (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2009

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: June 2012, new bottle design, deep but slightly raisened liqueur blackberry, redcurrant and dark plum with white pepper and liquorice notes, full bodied with a creamy, velvety mid-palate with a streak of underlying minerality, sweet mocha-chocolate US and French oak, fine but grainy tannin (****)

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz 2009

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, fragrant dark plum, blueberry and sour black cherry with violet, toasted cinnamon and liquorice notes, silky and medium-full bodied with charry mocha/cedar/clove oak, fine dusty tannins (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz Viognier 2009

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, the Viognier input is about 3%, aromatic blackberry and mulberry with liquorice and violet notes, medium-full bodied, silky and plump mid-palate with creamy chocolate/cedar/vanilla French oak, slippery tannins (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra Original Blend Grenache Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, juicy and medium bodied blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Shiraz, fresh and glycerolly with spice and musk notes, loose knit powdery tannins with a light touch of charry coffee-cedar oak, best drunk at its freshest (***)

Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Unwooded Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, fairly simple quaffer showing broad and generous melon and yellow peach with a soft acids and fine talcy finish (**1/2)

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: May 2011, creamy liqueur blackberry and dark plum with liquorice, fruitcake and musk notes, full bodied with ample spicy US and French oak brings mocha and dark chocolate notes, minerally with a slightly raised finish with fine, supple tannins (****)

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, delightfully perfumed, lush, spicy and deep set blackberry and fruitcake with liquorice, violet and leather notes, framed with supple savoury tannins, very long and well balanced, toasty French and US oak, dark chocolate finish (****1/2)

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, ripe and intense blackberry, plum and mulberry with anise and black pepper notes, tarry mid-palate with plumcake aspects, American and French oak brings a creamy mocha-chocolate finish, chewy fine grained tannins (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz Viognier 2007

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, rather ripe, soft and lush with generous plum and blueberry with cinnamon, anise, ripe apricot and dried herb notes, creamy mocha-chocolate oak, the Viognier input is kept down to a modest 5% but the problem for me is why anyone would see the need to add Viognier to Shiraz in such a hot vintage (***)

Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Red 2007

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: June 2009, blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, spicy, flavoursome and juicy mulberry, blackberry jam and raspberry, surprisingly complex for the price bracket with some quirky synergies between the varieties, a drink now BBQ wine with some attitude (***)

Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz Viognier 2006

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: May 2008, lush blackberry with the 5% Viognier input giving a silky apricot nectar aspect to the mid-palate, perhaps a bit too much, medium-full bodied with rich mocha-chocolate, a bit of acid and tannic grip makes this a medium term cellaring prospect (****)

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($29)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: May 2008, rather ripe and lush with blackberry, plum and cranberry with liquorice notes, creamy medium bodied palate has black pepper and dried herb notes, cedar-vanilla oak, smooth mocha-chocolate finish, appealing regional style just lacking the length and focus to get to the top rank (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra Unwooded Chardonnay 2007

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: May 2008, soft and buttery palate with white peach, nectarine and melon flavours, crisp finish, an uncomplicated summer quaffer (**1/2)

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($55)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, fragrant, lush and opulent style with blueberry and blackberry with plenty of liquorice, full bodied and spicy palate that avoids getting jammy and over-the-top, smooth coffee-vanilla oak support, fine tannins, great length (****1/2)

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Rose 2007

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, off-dry style made from Grenache, shows red cherry, raspberry and watermelon aromas, the palate is crisp with light spiciness, the sweetness on the finish is offset with just enough acid (***)

Wirra Wirra Stonehenge Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, very ripe and lush with blackberry, plum and cranberry with liquorice notes, smooth palate has some light black pepper notes, cedar-vanilla oak, some tannic structure but not too grippy, mocha-chocolate finish (****)

Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz Viognier 2005

Purchased: ($20) cellar door only

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, fairly dense blackberry with an earthy savoury palate with the 4% providing Viognier lift and roundness but not too much, soft tannins, better than a lot of commercially released Shiraz Viogniers (***1/2)

Wirra Wirra McLaren Vale Grenache 2003

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, from 50 year old bush vines, fairly forward spicy redcurrant and stewed plum that fall way a bit too quick but well judged cedary French oak and liquourice features kick in, dusty tannins (***)

Wirra Wirra Sexton’s Acre Unwooded Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, light with soft melon, peach and lemon flavours, buttery palate with a dry citric finish (**1/2)

Wirra Wirra Church Block 2003

Purchased:

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: 2005, blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Shiraz and 15% Merlot with herbed lamb, a smooth little number, not complex, lacking in mid-palate, some structure without excessive tannins but lacking some brightness in the fruit (**1/2)