Chalk Hill McLaren Vale Wits End Luna Shiraz 2015 | A ripper and a bargain!
Wine Access: The Chalk Hill McLaren Vale Wits End Luna Shiraz is deep purple in color. Licorice, blueberry jam, game, violets, and charred herbs on the nose. Rich with soft but dense tannins on the palate, with exotic spices, white chocolate, smoked meat, and tobacco. Drink now – 2020. Wine Access:
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95 points – James Halliday: The Chalk Hill McLaren Vale Wits End Luna Shiraz 2015 offers great value on the one hand and exceptional quality on the other. Ths wine deserves to be rewarded for the all-important drinkability factor. Excellent dark purple-black, brimming with such bright fruit – dark plums and blackberries interspersed with licorice, dark chocolate, dried herbs, and florals. Tannins are supple, acidity refreshing and bright. It’s a ripper and a bargain.
Wine Access thoughts on Chalk Hill McLaren Vale Wits End Luna Shiraz
When I visited Australia this past fall, I was most excited to take a deep dive into the McLaren Vale — the white-hot center of some of the finest Shiraz wines I’ve had in recent years. It was there that I re-discovered Wits End, which produced one of my most memorable wines of the trip.
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The Chalk Hill McLaren Vale Wits End Luna Shiraz — a rich, powerful red for everyday drinking. Even James Halliday, Australia’s foremost critic, gushed in a 95-point rave calling it “a wine that offers great value on the one hand. Yet, an exceptional quality on the other while Halliday praised its “excellent dark purple-black” fruit, “refreshing and bright” acidity, and “supple” tannins, calling it a “bargain.” That might be a bit of an understatement when you consider that this organically-farmed, full-bodied, luscious red from 40-year-old own-rooted vines is ONLY $15.99. I would strongly encourage a case-buy on this debut of a new Australian classic — one that is the arguable definition of a true “bargain.”
I first encountered Wits End in New York, at Master Sommelier Laura Maniec’s pioneering Corkbuzz wine bar, where she was pouring it as part of a blind flight. Altogether unmistakably top-class Shiraz, I was shocked that they were pouring it by the glass. Why? because it hit all the marks of a Shiraz most restaurants would offer on their list for $100 or more a bottle. I filed away the memory. This past November in planning my trip, I made it a top property to visit the estate in McLaren Vale.
About McLaren Vale Wits End
The McLaren Vale is one of the pressure cookers for innovation in Australia and Wits End is the cream rising to the top. It’s the epitome a winery marrying tradition with a reinvention that marks the best of the modern Australian wine industry. The affable, savvy, and well-traveled Harvey brothers, Jock and Tom, oversee the 6th-generation winery. They exude a particular vigor an intensity central to the great wine estates of the world.
The vineyards are all managed organically, and the Harvey’s are playing with biodynamics on many of their six major sites. The Wits End vineyard is planted on a unique black clay called Gilgai, with most vines on their own roots. While McLaren Vale boasts a warm Mediterranean-type climate, the Harveys, along with winemaker Renae Hirsch, carefully steward the fruit, focusing on bringing immaculate quality into the winery, so that they can leave it full of energy as well as unfiltered and unfiltered. The lack of manipulation allows the special McLaren Vale terroir and sun-kissed fruit to shine through in the finished wine.