Wine Lists

McLaren Vale wines to try

By Halliday Promotion

25 Sep, 2022

Located south of Adelaide, McLaren Vale is one Australia's oldest wine regions. Here are five wines expressive of time and place – add them to your list.

Established in the 1800s, McLaren Vale is one of the country's most historic winemaking regions. Its soil diversity, climate and influence from the ocean and mountains lends itself to traditional varietals like chardonnay, grenache (and blends), cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. Along with the classics, lesser-known varietals like aglianico and fiano shine in the region. Here are five wines to try.

2020 SC Pannell Olivers Rd Aglianico

2020 SC Pannell Olivers Rd Aglianico

Chinotto, new leather, old furniture, spicy red pepper, deeply flavoured dark fruit and Italian sausage. The palate is loaded with Maraschino cherry, satsuma plum, dusty earth and terracotta. This is a classic example of a red variety with natural tannin grown in a warm place. The 2020 is our third release, and we've found ourselves wondering why we didn’t plant the whole vineyard to aglianico, such is the excitement. A mouthful of wine with a tannic tail that beckons the next sip.

Winemaker Stephen Pannell says: Our approach brings together decades of winemaking experience with growing insights to create wines that offer a new way of thinking. Aiming to inspire a generation of winemakers who delight in the different, while trusting what the land can produce. 

H. What do you love about making wine in McLaren Vale? 
SP. McLaren Vale’s geological diversity, access to water and the cooling influence of the gulf make it a kind place to grow grapes. The region is especially suited to varieties that excite our palates – aglianico, fiano, grenache, montepulciano, nero d’Avola, tempranillo and touriga nacional.

Suggested food pairing: Meatballs with sour cherries from Claudia Roden's Med: A Cookbook.

RRP $45 | Drink to 2030 |

2022 Oliver’s Taranga Fiano

2022 Oliver’s Taranga Fiano

Prepare your palate for a textural journey with this fiano. One minute it’s all pine nuts and cashews, the next it’s makrut lime and fresh basil with a touch of the tropics. Drink with anything spicy, or just to spice up your life.

Winemaker and director Corrina Wright says: Who wouldn’t love making wine in McLaren Vale? We have the sea, the farmers, a long history, and an incredible food culture. It's one of the most perfect regions climatically, and we are blessed with so many inspiring winemakers and growers. There is a constant drive in our DNA to grow and make great wines, to farm sustainably and to always be innovating. It’s a pretty special place.

H. How would you describe your wines and how do they reflect the region? 
CW. Our wines are all estate grown. Our family has been part of the fabric of McLaren Vale since its settlement. We specialise in shiraz and grenache – two of McLaren Vale's darlings – along with varietals new to Australia that work perfectly in our coastal climate and lifestyle.

Suggested food pairing: Thai banana blossom and chicken salad.

RRP $28 | Drink to 2025 |

Grounded Cru 2020 McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre GSM

2021 Grounded Cru McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre GSM

The 2021 McLaren Vale GSM is a beautiful example of this classic Southern Rhône blend. A tremendous array of aromas and flavours are on offer – raspberry, plum, blackberry and spicy notes abound, all wrapped up in a beautifully textured palate. It combines the sweet raspberry fruit of the grenache, rich dark fruits of the shiraz and the savoury spice of mourvèdre in harmony. The finish is long, generous and satisfying. Not too heavy, not too light, this GSM is in perfect balance. 

Winemakers Geoff Thompson and Matt Jackman say: Our wines are elegant and generous – handcrafted with passion – they're best enjoyed with great food and company. We strive for texture and balance in all our wines, along with fantastic varietal and site expression.

H. What do you love about making wine in McLaren Vale?
GT. McLaren Vale is an amazing wine growing region with great diversity of sites. Different soils, proximity to the ocean and altitudes combine to offer unique expressions of every variety. It really is winemaking paradise, and with our sites in the Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek so close by we're able to craft a wide range of wines from perfectly situated vineyards.

Suggested food pairing: Mushroom risotto with garlic, thyme and parsley.

RRP $30 | Drink to 2028 |

2019 Haselgrove Catkin Shiraz

2019 Haselgrove Catkin Shiraz

Deep garnet in colour, the nose is intense and exudes bright fruit and lifted perfume. Red summer berries intertwine with dark cherry and plum, finished with integrated spicy French oak. The palate is rich and full-flavoured yet elegant – a powerful wine without being excessively weighty. Luscious fruits combine with quality oak giving structure and mouth coating tannins. Although drinking beautifully now, this wine will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Winemaker Alex Sherrah says: We believe that great wine comes from the vineyard. In the winery, we are merely providing the polish to take it to the extraordinary.

H. How would you describe your wines and how do they reflect the region? 
AS. Our ethos is that wine should reflect place, not be overtaken by oak, nor picked so late that it loses any semblance of fresh fruit character. These philosophies flow through to each wine we make. Our winemaking team are passionate about producing handcrafted, artisan wines that reflect vintage conditions and display terroir. 

Food pairing suggestion: Pappardelle with a rich, slow-cooked beef ragu.

RRP $40 | Drink to 2037 |

2019 Angove The Medhyk Old Vine Shiraz

2019 Angove The Medhyk Old Vine Shiraz

Opaque purple with bright hues and an alluring bouquet of plum, red cherry florals and subtle clove spice are entwined with dark cocoa and savoury notes. The deliciously complex palate offers seamless length, elegantly refined tannins and textural concentration from French oak, with a rich core of currants, blue and black fruits. 

Chief winemaker Tony Ingle says: Our wine style is driven by the desire to craft approachable, food friendly, elegant wines that are accessible, sustainably produced and made to be enjoyed in great company. 

H. How would you describe your wines and how do they reflect the region? 
TI. Wines produced by Angove McLaren Vale express the region's diverse terroir. Our Family Crest range and The Medhyk Shiraz sing of McLaren Vale's incredible diversity, while our single vineyard, organic and biodynamic Warboys Vineyard wines exemplify the rich loam and limestone soils of their origin. While every vintage will be unique, we strive to create wines that express true varietal characters. The unique flavours that come from a tapestry of subregional, and often single vineyard diversity, give us an exciting palate to work from, allowing the addition of complexity and interest by careful combinations of select parcels. 

Suggested food pairing: Slow-roasted beef brisket with scalloped potatoes and dill carrots.

RRP $65 | Drink to 2028+ |