South Australia

Wits End, McLaren Vale, Luna Shiraz 2015

67 Wines $18.99

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Wits End Shiraz is from the McLaren Vale in South Australia. South Australia, which currently produces around 45 percent of Australia’s wine, includes areas that have never been attacked by phylloxera, and is not uncommon to find fine wines from Riesling to Shiraz vines that are more that a hundred years old. With the first vines planted around South Australia’s major city of Adelaide in 1837, the region produces what is arguably Australis’s finest wine. In the 1950s, Max Schubert, then winemaker for Penfolds, produced the Shriaz-based Grange (originally named Grange Hermitage), which continues to rank as one of the world’s best red wines. Grange can age for thirty to forty years, depending on the vintage, and is one of the best expressions of the full-bodied and fruit-rich Shiraz grape.

From the warmer areas north of Adelaide to the southernmost region of Mount Gambier, South Australia offers a myriad of climates and soils to support a broad range grape types and wine styles. South Australia’s most important wine-producing regions include Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Padthaway.

The rolling green hills of McLaren Vale’s vineyards and orchards begin south of Adelaide and extend to south of Morphett Vale. with 56 cm (22 in) of rain and a complex range of soils, including sand, sandy loam, limestone, red clay, and many forms or rich alluviam, there is great potential for quality in a range of styles from various grapes. This is perhaps why it is the most volatile wine district, attracting a lot of new talent, but also seeing wineries close or change hands. McLaren Vale produces big red wines of excellent quality from Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon (often blending with Merlot), with some increasingly fresh and vital white wines form Chardonnay, Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Fine dessert wines are also produced.