McLaren Vale Wines – Caught Red Handed

Caught Red Handed is the venture of Phil Rogers who is based in Sellicks Beach in the McLaren Vale wine region.  Phil has all but completed his winemaking degree in Wagga and after working in a few wineries (including McLaren Vale wineries – Rosemount, Hardys Reynella & Wirra Wirra) during vintage as a cellar hand.  During this time he became frustrated at the lack of opportunity to get a winemaking gig so he turned this frustration into a decision to start his own brand and make his own wine.  The 2007 reds were made at the Hawkers Gate Winery (in the McLaren Flat area of McLaren Vale region) and since then the wines are made at the Dennis Winery (on the Kangarilla Road just outside the McLaren Vale township).

Caught Redhanded does not have a web site yet, but can be contacted via email ( and Phil is also an active member of the BooseMonkey site (  Phil has a mailing list that you can also join when you contact him.

Wines will be delivered at a flat rate of $20/12 bottle case.

And now the wines:-

Caught Redhanded Pack

White Wines

2008 Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc ($A12.50)

The grapes for this wine comes from one of the highest Adelaide Hills vineyards in Lobethal and it is the first commercial white wine Phil made.

The wine shows herbaceous characters but is not over the top like a lot of Sauvignon Blancs available right now.  When I drink it I get the herbaceousness continuing with tropical fruits combined with hints of limes and a good acid finish.  The wine would go well with a locally caught pan fried fish – I always like snapper.  I suggest this wine is a buy and drink now sort of wine as it may lose it’s freshness with much more aging, but right now and cold would be very good (it is about 35 degrees as I write this). 

2008 Pinot Gris / Sauvignon Blanc ($A15)

The same Sauvignon Blanc from the above wine was mixed with some (Mount Compas) Pinot Gris.  I found the wine had a closed nose but the palate was pleasing with good acid and an excellent mouthfeel of nashi and lime.  This wine has more complexity than the straight Sauvigonon Blanc – it was a pity the wine had a closed nose.  With the extra complexity the wine could match with more complex food such as a mild chicken indian curry.

2008 Sauvignon Blanc / Chardonnay ($A12.50)

As soon as I saw the label I was interested to see what was in the glass, as I had not see this blend before.  The Sauvignon Blanc is the same as the above wines and the Chardonnay also came from the Adelaide Hills (a different vineyard than the other wine).  The blend is 70% Sauvigonon Blanc with 30% Chardonnay – and the chardonnay is wooded.  As per the previous wine the nose was closed (note that the wine was not too cold).  The wooded fruit dominates the palate with hints of citrus peel and peachy melon characters.  The oak domination detracts from this wine but it may go better with food (I suspect this was Phil’s plan).

2009 Pinot Gris ($A15)

The grapes for this wine come from a Lobethal vineyard and they were the first harvest from those vines.  There is orange blossom and pear on the nose.  When I drank the wine it showed minerally nashi charachters with lots of acid (though a little short), which would go well with grilled seafood.

Red Wines

2009 Cabernet Rose ($A15)

The grapes came from Langhorne Creek and was the bleed off juice from the processing of the grapes.  The wine had just been bottles (6 days).  What I found was a very interesting wine in a style that should be a good seller in the coming hotter months.  On the nose was pink lady apples, floral and straw characters followed by a palate full of pure cabernet fruit, apples and some herds on the back palate.  Please note this is not a totally dry style but it is not a sugar bomb either.  This wine would be great cold while sitting in the backyard with friends on a Sunday lunch with lots of crusty bread (maybe from the Willunga Markets) and some soft cheeses – my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

2007 McLaren Vale Shiraz ($A20)

The grapes for this wine were from a vineyard in Willunga, with only 2 barrels made (1 barrel french oak and the other american oak).  Even before the wine was brought to the nose I could smell the vanillin oak, which also has stewed plums and black fruits coming through.  There was also a tingling on the nose from the high alcohol (15.8%).  The palate is a mixture of fruit cake (which reminds me I had better check my fruit mice), plums and finishing with bitter chocolate a licorice.  There is so much going on there that you can hardly notice the alcohol heat on the finish.  This is a big, big wine with lots of tannins and acid.  I would leave this one for a while longer and I can see a rich slow cooked casserole being consumed (as winter comfort food) with this wine. 


NV Port (375 ml bottle)($A15)

Not tasted.

Future Releases

2008 McLaren Vale Shiraz ($A20)

This wine is from the same vineyard as the 2007 wine and will be bottled in the next few weeks.

The wine is very dark in colour and continues with dark black fruits and black cherries on the nose with a fruit cake palate with the black cherries continuing.  The 2 things I note when comparing the wine is that the oak and alcohol is not as dominate in this wine – making the wine better balanced.  I like this wine a whole lot better than the 2007 version and I will check it out when bottled. 

Other wines being made are:-

2008 & 2009 Chardonnay from Adelaide hills

2007 Adelaide Hills Shiraz – ready to be bottled

2009 Langhorn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Adelaide Hills (Lobethal) Pinot Noir

2008 Adelaide Hills Shiraz

2009 McLaren Vale Shiraz

About Lonely Grape

Passionate about wine - particularly McLaren Vale wines. Check out my blog on different winery reviews and my wine sales web site
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2 Responses to McLaren Vale Wines – Caught Red Handed

  1. Joeshico says:

    The Cabernet Rose’ looks very interesting. Almost winter here in USA, so that will give me a few months to search this one out before next years summer patio parties.

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