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1999 Wirilda Creek Vine Pruners Blend, McLaren Vale Australia

Ooh ooh. A new discovery.

I love finding out about small production wines from little known wineries, especially when they're great. I get so excited. I go online and try and find out about them, and I tend to get even more excited when they're hard to track down, and the wineries don't have a website. They're an undiscovered gem!

And then somewhere on some obscure web page, I find out that Wine Spectator gave them an 88.

Sigh. Well, I guess I'll just have to keep trying to find you real undiscovereds, but it may take some time, especially when I don't get paid to fly around the world all the time seeking out new and exciting wines (yet).

In the meantime, I'll just tell you that this wine is a tasty treat and a great value, and set off to find another one.

From the distributor's web site:

Shiraz 50%, Cabernet Sauvignon 26%, Merlot 24% " three great varieties together showing their individual merits in a blended red style that has forged Wirilda Creek's reputation since its inception. Since our earliest forefathers planted grapes in McLaren Vale around 1850 these three varieties have been blended post oak maturation to reflect their best character.

Cabernet rich and ripe with ample length and strength, the cherry berry Shiraz with a punch and 'pizzazz' and the velvety mouth filling Merlot " winemaker Kerry Flanagan selects individual parcels of grapes which are ultimately selected for the Vine Pruners.

Tasting Notes:
A lovely dark ruby in the glass, this wine has large, expansive nose of blackberry, blueberry and vanilla with light floral notes. In the mouth it is soft and round with blueberry, cherry, smoke, and soft suede leather flavors that are well integrated to a satisfying finish. Extremely drinkable, this wine is a great example of how Cabernet, Merlot, and Shiraz should be blended: so that the Merlot adds round fruit, but does not dominate the more sophisticated structure of the oak aged Cabernet, and so the Syrah brings a bit of earth to the equation but does not turn the mix too spicy.

Food Pairing:
This is a pretty stocky wine, one that can hold its own with a lot of things. I like to drink syrah either with cheese or with grilled or barbecued meats especially poultry. For this one I'd suggest the tasty grilled jerk chicken.

Overall Score: 9

How Much?: $40

I got a bottle at a small wine bar and store in Atlanta called The Grape. This wine is hard to find, and I suggest contacting the distributor.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud