McLaren Vale Wines – Pirramimma

Pirramimma Road Sign

Pirramimma is one of the McLaren Vale originals, but seems to have suffered that in relative terms little is known about them in the wine drinking public.  In the last year their has been a shift in the company with one of the partners buying out the other.  Since this time they have included the Sparkling Range, Katunga Range, Grey Nomad Range, a sweet white and a range of cleanskins (under the guise of an Export Clearance Sale).  Not including the cleanskin wines, there is over 30 wines now for tasting at this cellar door.  You can check out the wines and other winery information on the Pirramimma Web Site.

Pirramimma Cellar Door Entrance

Check out my Cellar Door Map to find the location of the cellar door.  Their full contact deatils are on the Cellar Door Contact Details Listing.  The cellar door has just been given facelift recently, however these have not changed the old world charm.  The original white washed walls and hessian ceilings remain – it is worth checking out.

Pirramimma Cellar Door

Two of the wine ranges were not tried in this tasting.  Firstly, the Stocks Hill Range has a history of being value for money easy drinking styles that are true to variety.  The Stocks Hill Shiraz has graced my glass on many occasions.  The other range not tried was the Grey Nomad range which was made for another market and has just been released for tasting at the cellar door.  Also note that I have not reviewed their cleanskins.


The sparking range is a new offering from Pirramimma.  All wines are $A18 each or for a limited time $A120/dozen plus a wine cooler.  There are 6 bubblies – Viognier (reviewed below), Riesling, Chardonnay, Rose and 2 reds.

NV Bardot Sparkling Viognier ($A18 or cellar door special $A120/doz + Wine Cooler)

The nose was grapey with the usual apricot tinge on the palate.  The wine is obviously made as a light drinking style for the weekend party / celebration market.  I would not classify these as food wines but as fun drinks to be shared with friends.


The Pirra range is a good initiative to produce low alcohol wines.  I am not sure if the wines are made from early picked grapes or are de-alcoholised – probably a combination of both.  The cellar door is offering the white for $A80/case and the red (grenache shiraz) for $A70/case.

2008 Sauvignon Blanc ($A14)

The nose showed passionfruit characters which normally indicate ripe McLaren Vale fruit which makes me think this wine has had some de-alcoholised treatment.  True to the variety the palate was a fresh infusion of cut grass and passionfruit – all these characters are light, which should be expected of a “light style”.

Katunga Range

A new range of wine with 2 offerings – both are reviewed below.

2006 Grenache Tannat Shiraz ($A20)

Well I was looking forward to tasting this wine.  The use of Tanant – a wine grape known for producing extremely tannic wines and mixed with my 2 favorite red wine grape varieties, sparked my interest.  The nose had interesting violets and quince (possibly from the Tannat) combined with the red fruits you would expect from Grenache.  The heavy palate started with star anise and quinces, satsuma plum and pepper on the mid palate, then a strong tannic finish.  Interesting to try, but not really for me.  I am not sure if time will dumb down the “bigness” in the wine so you would need strongly flavored foods to match with this wine.

2008 Shiraz ($A20)

The packaging does not let you into the fact that there is a little addition of 5% Viognier to this wine (indeed the packaging laws don’t require the winery to put any wine variety that is less than 20% of the whole makeup).  the makeup is apparent on the nose of the wine with some lifted apricot tones mixed with plums and pepper.  The palate starts with sweet mulberries and through the mid palate brings in some liquorice complexity intermingled with cedary tannins.

Bring on some seared kangaroo fillet with lots and lots of sauted mushrooms with just a hint of brandy added.

White Label Range

This range has been the main thrust of the top end wines from Pirramimma for as long as I can remember and I look forward to each new release.

2004 Old Bush Vine Grenache ($A20)

This has been my favorite of this range for a few years.  The old bush vine vineyard is only a stones throw from my home and I check out their progress as I drive past then every week.  The wine is quite true to variety and being a 2004 vintage means it is usually older and approachable than a number of other winery Grenache offerings.  All the red fruits you want and expect from Grenache with a nice hint of spices plus soft oak influences.  I am thinking here of a rack of lamb smothered with a red wine jus with a side of crispy beans.

2006 Petit Verdot ($A25)

Now here is an interesting wine and I strongly suggest any visitor to the cellar door try this wine – please.  It is easy to shrug this wine off as it is an unusual variety amongst a large number wines being offered for tasting.  The perfumed nose is reminiscent of blackberries infused with violets and the palate is a clone of Mulberries and cherries mixed with vanilla and finishing with dry dusty tannins.  Yeah, even if this wine does not ring your bells it is different enough to expand your tasting experience.  By the way, this wine could cope with the many varied flavors of a Chinese banquet.

2006 Shiraz ($A25)

The wine is typical of the main variety found in McLaren Vale, but not as fresh and flavorsome as many other of this variety around.  I would spend my money on other wines from this winery.

2004 Tannat ($A25)

A 2004 offering a straight varietal that has a reputation for being very tannic – well I have to try this one!  The nose is an interesting infusion of black cherries and quince followed on the palate with more interesting quince, dark fruits and dry grainy tannins.  In terms of a food match – well it has to be something really, really big – I will leave that one to you.

Super Premium Range

2004 ACJ Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Petit Verdot ($A50)

The company flagship and it has a deserved reputation for being a fine wine.  The nose is all black fruits (blackberries and blackcurrents) with violets.  The palate is blackcurrent with fine and lingering tannins.  If you like red wine, there is a good chance you will like this wine.  Definitely a food wine, why not try it with roast beef (baked with garlic and pepper) – cooked to your liking.  Remember to make mine medium and I will be there.


2002 Fortified Shiraz ($A18 500 mL bottle)

Yes I admit that I have consumed a few bottles of this wine in the last year.  I enjoy the spiced red fruit infusion that is a lingering sweet but tannic finish that almost dries the palate.  The thought of a plate of cheddar cheese, water crackers, quince paste and raisins is making my mouth water.

NV 12 Year Old Liqueur Port ($A15)

Every thing about this wine screams good value.  This is quite classy in the glass – nutty caramel with rancio characters that leaves the drinker wanting more.  What a nice winter warmer.

Digby Old Tawny Port ($A36.50)

There is layers of complexity here from the grainy tannins, lovely sweet fruit and all the aged rancio flavors you really need.  This is really an enjoyable mouthful and bring on sharing this with your loved one in front of an open fire!

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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6 Responses to McLaren Vale Wines – Pirramimma

  1. Nicola Chandler says:

    To Lonely Grape
    Love the fact that you are giving McLaren Vale wineries some coverage, especially Pirramimma that has had a lot of new wines come out recently, and more to come. Lots of errors though in your article – prices, names, etc. The premium blend is ACJ – named after the founder AC Johnston. Also, the flagship wine – petit verdot – is $25 as are all of the white labels apart from the grenache.
    Just thought you might like to know these things.
    As a McLaren Vale fan and new (today!) to Twitter I am keen to connect to likeminded people.
    Best regards

    • Lonely Grape says:

      thanks for the “proof reading” – I spent the weekend quite tired so I guess the mistakes came in! Thanks for your support. Have you followed me on Twitter? Also you may want to check out taste mclaren vale on FaceBook & web page (

      Let me know what you think.


  2. chris gordon says:

    Pirramimma Wines of Mclaren Vale their Petit Verdot is a fantastic drop for lovers of deep dark wines with character.
    a must drop.

  3. Linda Shearer says:

    As one of the grey nomadsthat weight gained as the wallet shrank I found the cleanskin range fantastic …especially love their Grenache/Shiraz .. oooooooooowarms the cockles of your heart as you sip on a cold cold day…

  4. Mavis Roberts, Mrs. says:

    Could you please tell me where in the Blue Mountains region I can purchase GREY NOMAD wine?

    Thanking you, Mavis roberts.

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