As always here is a monthly update on all the goings-on here at Koonara Wines. Our 2022 vintage is well and truly wrapped up. Where have the last few months gone? I have no idea. Unlike the rest of Australia, for most of our growing season it was dry as toast here, allowing us to dribble the water on the vines to keep tonnes low but the quality high.
We did do two mineral sprays, but upon reflection, I’m starting to realise we don’t need them. What we do need is to increase the diversity of grasses and flowers in our vineyard to help grow microbiology in the soil.
With every vintage and year that passes, it’s a great chance to reflect and look back on what worked and what we can improve on.
I’m thirsty for knowledge and so I’ve been reading the book by Gabe Brown “Dirt to Soil.” There are a lot of key takeaways and I’m definitely filling in the knowledge gaps. I’ll keep you updated with everything that I learn.
I know I’m like a broken record but let me tell you this year’s vintage looked exceptional and I am very much looking forward to the finished product! Quietly confident you will love what we have produced too.
Speaking of new release wines (sneaky segue) the good news is you won’t have to wait long as we are ready and raring to go. You may have seen our 2022 Lucy and Alice Pinot Gris was released last week and keep your eyes peeled next week for our 2022 Emily May Rose.
In other news, we have welcomed Chicago Smith to the team. She joins us to take over Caitlin’s role as she heads off on maternity leave. We are very excited about having Chicago’s energy in our team and meeting Caitlin’s new bubba soon.
We are also busy putting the final touches on our plans for Cellar Dwellers which kicks off in July – a month-long celebration of all things wine as we all dig deep and dust off our back vintages for you to try and buy.
Share the Dignity update
For those of you unaware we wanted to try something a bit different for Mother’s Day this year. So we pledged to donate 10% of our sales in the lead-up to Mother’s Day to the Share the Dignity campaign. Check out how much we raised here
2 mins to do good
The AGL demerger is poised to set back Australia once again on its Paris climate targets. AGL is Australia’s biggest polluter, and the demerger is set to offload assets that are hurting its reputation. Find out how you can help by clicking here
This delicious dish is perfect with both of our family reserve red wines. With the rich chocolate tones and the melt-in-your-mouth lamb – it’s the perfect dish for a winter’s weekend. Jump to the recipe here
A few years of age on a great Chardy makes it sing, and this one was ready to drink. Once again, Jules Langworthy with the Midas touch making some gold. You can buy it here or lock in a more recent vintage and save it for future you to enjoy here.
Artist of the Month
Mallrat – Butterfly Blue
Australian singer-songwriter Grace Shaw is an Indie upstart slowly seeping into the mainstream. She has just released this new album that needs a few listens. It’s super likable. Check it out here. For a way better review of her album check out this article
Join us this July for the Coonawarra Cellar Dwellers events. We have some tasty offerings planned this year and we think you’ll love them. Find out what we are up to here.
Cellar Door In the City
Join us in August as we pack up the wines and head around the nation so you can taste the best that Coonawarra has to offer. Check out where we will be and the full program here
Our Platinum Marquee is located in the premium trackside infield location, this marquee is suited for those guests looking for a superior day of racing, elegance and fun.
Tickets are $205 which includes general admission to the racecourse, all-inclusive gourmet finger food as well as premium wine and beers and live entertainment.
They say wine is one of the best things in life and I’d have to agree. Not only is it delicious on its own but it pairs well with so many foods really allowing both the wine and foods flavours to truly shine.
With most wines, we end up developing favourites that become everyday quaffers. What I hope to share today is a guide to taking a moment to stop and take in so much more about your wine to really allow you to appreciate it.
Since our wine of the month is Ambriel’s Gift and we have been plunged into the cold depths of winter (well a vast proportion of the country has) It’s the perfect time to stop and savour all that is rich and warming about this elegant Coonawarra Cabernet.
Tasting Wine the Koonara way
All too often we pop things in our mouth because we know we like the taste of it. How often do we really stop to appreciate what it is we are tasting? Simply by taking a mere moment to use our five senses, we can appreciate it even more. Tip for beginners–what I’m about to share with you is essentially what the pros sommeliers do but they take notes and take a bit more time as well.
When it comes to using our five senses with regards to enjoying wine, we focus primarily on Sight, Smell and Taste. The key to truly a memorable experience when indulging and enjoying wine is to try to involve the other senses too. So ensuring perhaps you have some background music playing to add to the moment. I have a few playlists that I made specifically for drinking red wine that will add a great atmosphere to any occasion. You can find them here Or simply follow Koonara on Spotify. I have so many playlists for every occasion.
Is it time for the wine yet?
When it comes to the next part, the actual wine tasting there are four basic steps that one should follow to ensure mindfulness and appreciation.
Look / Appearance
This is essentially doing exactly that – look at your wine, what do you observe? Take 5 seconds to take in the colour, clarity, viscosity. You will probably have ideas about what to expect just from Looking at the label too.
Swirl the wine around and hover your nose over the glass and take a whiff. Describing the smells is completely subjective, given there are potentially thousands of aroma components in the glass just take a moment to pick a few that stand out for you. Think broadly about fruits, and then narrow it down to the type of fruit, eg blackberries, raspberries, blueberries.
This is the part where you pop it in your mouth finally–Hooray! It’s at this point you should really stop and engage with your senses to ensure you appreciate all the flavours.
You might straight away taste flavours you identified in the previous step, these might be blindingly obvious to you, or they may not and that’s ok.
Our tongue is a great helper in detecting things like salty, sweet, sour and bitter. Sweet (from residual sugar) and sour (acidity) are common components of wine due to the nature of grapes being acidic. Saltiness is rarely encountered but can come with age in some wines. Bitterness usually is a feeling that stems from the tannins rather than actual bitter flavours in the wine.
While we are tasting, we think about the mouthfeel or texture. This comes about because of a combination of effects from the alcohol, the tannins and sugar in the wine. Ethanol (alcohol) gives the wine texture because we perceive it to be richer than waters. Tannins are what give wines a bitter taste, and can give you a sandpaper tongue feeling when drinking red wines. Thick-skinned wines like Cabernet have much higher tannin levels than thin skinned varieties.
The final part of the taste element is the finish. Think about how long the wine stayed with you. Now I don’t mean, we drank it over dinner so roughly an hour. This specifically refers to how long the flavours linger in your mouth after the wine has been swallowed.
This is where you bring everything you have just seen, smelt and tasted together to form your opinion. The first thing you should be doing is thinking about if you like the wine. What specifically did you like or dislike to make you come to that conclusion? Was there something that stood out for you?
Now you have stopped and smelt the roses (or wine in this instance) what can you further do to enhance your tasting pleasure? Cook a delicious meal that what. You have opened the bottle of wine. Now let’s see how the taste is heightened when it’s paired with food that enhances those flavours.
We paired up with Gavin from another food blogger fame who has created a recipe that truly is a match made in heaven when it comes to food pairings. You definitely need to try this Red wine and chocolate braised lamb shanks. Chocolate, lamb and red wine does sound a little weird but trust me when I say it is deeellliiccciiioouuusss. We are so glad Gav wanted to work with us here at Koonara.
This recipe again evokes a whole lot of our senses with so many flavours coming together during the preparation, and while you are cooking expect your kitchen to come alive with the tastiest smells. Once you plate this up, you are going to savour that glass of Ambriel’s Gift Cabernet and just enjoy how well this dish pairs.
Shiraz was one of the original varieties brought into Australia and is firmly established as an iconic grape variety. It is grown in all regions and this in combination with creative winemaking results in a complex array of styles and qualities.
Like all wines the terroir in which it is grown is what defines each style of shiraz. Warm climates usually produce full-bodied, richly flavoured and textured wines. While cooler climates generally make it more elegant, with fresher dark fruit, mint and spicy styles.
About the Name:
When wine is aged in fine oak barrels, a portion of it evaporates – winemakers call this the ‘Angels Share.’ It was on this sentiment the Koonara angel was born. The name ‘Angels Peak’ is a piss-take reference to the lack of ‘peaks’ in the very flat Coonawarra. The Peak reference is also due to the fact we remove it from the barrel at the peak of the barrels use, which is around 18-24 months depending on the year. We have found barrels used over 24 months can start bringing out tannins from the oak, giving the wine grippier tannins.
Style & Character:
Shiraz wines are typically medium to full-bodied and with a varying flavour profile depending on region, climate and techniques. Our Angels Peak Shiraz is a powerful, vibrant, fruit-driven style of Shiraz with lovely chocolaty, vanilla and mulberry aromas and an attractive seamlessly balanced palate with a strong natural acid drive, which will help it age gracefully for 15 years.
Our 2019 Vintage of Shiraz also has no residual sugar and below organic levels (100ppm) of sulphur. It spent 18 months in 100% French Oak barrels (20% new) and is from our certified organic vineyard in the Coonawarra.
Typical Shiraz Flavours:
Spice, Pepper, blackberries and mulberries.
So how do I serve Shiraz?
In a glass of course but its best decanted and served around 16-18 degrees
What pairs well with this?
Charcuterie, grilled and roasted meats (lamb, beef and game), stews and casseroles as well as firm aged cheeses. Try adding some to your next casserole and watch as the favour of the wine intensifies the flavour of the dish. Our Angels Peak Shiraz is also a great match for those who love dark chocolate
How long will it last?
When sealed and stored in a cool, dark place or a fridge, Shiraz, can last for around four to five days.