As I sip on this wine, my eyes well with tears as I think back to my times as a wine retail grommet in Sydney. The Chapel Hill Shiraz was one of my ‘go–to’ wines and a regular in my glass; an essential bribe as I attempted to woo the ladies over a game of pool at the pub next door to the bottle shop where I worked.
Winemaker Michael Fragos spent 14 years at Tatachilla before taking over the reins at Chapel Hill in 2004. He’s been recognised with three Bushing King awards and the title of International Wine & Spirits Competition International Winemaker of the Year in 2007. Deep red/purple in the glass with a rich, opulent nose of ripe black fruits; plum, blackberry and cherry underscored with deep, moody spice notes, black strap licorice, wet earth, roasting meats, olive tapenade and dreamy French oak notes. Medium bodied in the mouth with flavours of ripe blackberry and black plummy fruits flowing across the palate. There are hints of marinated cherries, créme de cassis, deep spicy notes of clove and cinnamon, licorice, beef consommé, black olive paste and some meaty notes along with gentle oak as the wine trails off. It’s energetic with fine, bright acidity and plenty of structure in the way of sandy, fine tannins. It would be just the ticket with something meaty on your plate in front of the open fire. 2014 McLaren Vale Shiraz chapelhillwine.com.au Header Photo: John Kruger