McLaren Vale Wine – Shottesbrooke

Shottesbrooke Cellar Door & Winery

Nick Holmes established Shottesbrooke in the early 1980’s with a vineyard in Myponga and McLaren Flat.  The emphasis in the early days was Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.  When I hear the name Shottesbrooke these two varieties immediately come to mind.  The cellar door (adjacent to the winery) has always been impressive and the drive through the vineyard to get to the cellar door is always just a wonderful mood setting experience.  There is also a grape pickers hut on the edge of the vineyard which is available for hire (or free if you buy some wine) which would be a great spot for a family picnic.  You can find their location on the Lonely Grape Cellar Door map.

Shottesbrooke Grape Pickers Hut

I have always been greeted warmly and with a smiling face at the cellar door and for all the Merlot lovers out there Shottesbrooke is a must visit when in McLaren Vale.

Their web site is

You can check out my video tasting at the cellar door where I had a wonderful time showing the Lonely Grape TV watchers what the cellar door really looks like.

NV Blanc de Blanc ($A18)

Made from chardonnay this wine is has melon hints and good clean acid.  Not necessary a food wine but more what some of my Western Australian friends would call a “Veranda Wine”.  Friends & family on a Sunday lunch – bring it on.

2008 Engine Room Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Semillon (A$14)

The Engine Room wines have an interesting label – check out the Shottesbrooke web site.  The blend is 70% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Chardonnay & 10% Semillon to produce an easy drinking lighter style white that would work well with all sorts of Asian foods.  The nose was slightly chemically or showing aged characteristics followed by a palate of slightly tropical melons and lemons wrapped up with some soft spices.

2009 Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc ($A18)

Straight away you can tell this is cooler climate fruit here.  An infusion of tropical fruits with a emphasis on lychees.  This theme continues on the palate with gooseberries, lychees and a good citrus acid finish.  Bring on a big bowl of fresh prawns and chunks of crusty bread.

2008 Chardonnay ($A18)

30% French oak with no malolactic fermentation but it has lees aging and stirring.  Thankfully, not a big buttery chardonnay here!  The nose has the expected melon and peach with the obvious (but not overpowering) hint of cedar oak.  The palate has a creamy textural feel (from the lees stirring) and melons.  This one has the complexity to match with Tomato Chilli Mussels.

2009 Merlette Rose ($A14)

I do not think I have tasted a Merlot based Rose style wine before.  As Shottesbrooke is known for their Merlot, I thought this maybe interesting.  The nose had red berries all over it and the palate was soft fruity Turkish Delight.  There is some residual sugar here (3.6 g/L) but not excessive.  This style is what I like to drink with cheese and crusty bread.

2008 Merlot ($A18)

Merlot is Shottesbrooke’s thing – they have been known for this variety since their beginnings.  Not normally my thing – if you like Merlot check this one out.  Here  we have mulberries and cloves, with a grainy tannin dry finish.  When I tasted this all I could think of a food match was a wild mushroom risotto.

2007 Shiraz ($A18)

This was a lighter style shiraz (probably due to vintage variation) has all the usual spiced plums and cherries on the nose and continued on the palate with some mocha hints, vanillian oak and a tannic finish.  Maybe try a lamb curry to match with the spicyness of the wine.

2006 Engine Room Shiraz ($A20)

This is a step up from the previous wine – and this would be expected as 2006 was a significantly better year.  A rich nose of olives, plums plus cinnamon and nutmeg spices.  The palate was (as expected) plums with a chocolate and tannin finish.  Bring on a plate of long slow brasied lamb shanks.

2006 Eliza Reserve Shiraz ($A35)

One serious Shiraz!  A smoky chocolate infusion with lots of spice on the nose and the palate continues the same theme with a mocha and fine tannin finish.  The oak is part of the overall good – certainly no oak monster here.  I can imagine some sort of slow cooked beef would work a treat with the wine.

2007 Cabernet ($A18)

The first thing that stuck me here was the mint on the nose.  I have read about minty Cabernet but not really tasted it. The nose has a blackberry and cherry start and finished with that minty character.  The palate has that sweet fruit – dominated by blackcurrent and finishes with dry dusty tannins.  I am thinking a steak smothered in onions and sauteed mushrooms.

2006 Punch Cabernet Sauvignon ($A35)

Now this is what I expect that the “Peppermint patty” wines taste like.  There is mint with spades on both the nose and palate.  The nose also has black cherries.  And now the palate has the sweet fruitiness (blackcurrents again) with hints of dark chocolate.  There is wonderful structure here and a really good length to the wine – even though the wood in unobtrusive.

Bernesh Bray Fine Old Liqueur Tawny ($A30)

This classy fortified is a blend of old bush vine dry grown grenache grapes from 1990 to 1999.  The nose has the expected brandy spirit tingle and it is just like my Christmas Pudding that is full of raisins.  The palate is pleasantly lighter than expected and is like drinking liquid complex raisins.  This is definately worth drinking with somebody you love while cuddled up 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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