McLaren Vale Wine – Braydun Hill Vineyard

Carol & Tony Bradley-Dunn have put in a lot of hard work to produce some little gems mad with Shiraz from their 10 acres – half planted in 1998 and half in 1999.  They have devoted their exploits to Shiraz from an area of McLaren Vale that does not have much in the way of vineyards.  These vines are situated on the Adelaide side of Onkaparinga Gorge National Park – almost looking over the rest of McLaren Vale.  There is an emphasis on minimal chemicals in the vineyard which helps in the single vineyard wines showing a sense of place.

Braydun Hill Road Sign

Their motto of “Devoted to Shiraz” not only shows their dedication to their vineyard and what they do but also their wine list.  Nothing but Shiraz – but they have 6 wines to taste so they do have variety.  All with just the humble Shiraz grape!  Spending a little time with them also quickly shows a passion for what they do and the product of their labours.

They run a cellar door is open Thursday to Sunday 11 am to 4 pm.  Check their location on my cellar door map.  Their web site is at

And now for the wines…….

2008 Shimply Shiraz ($A15)

The 2008 Vintage was very difficult in McLaren Vale and the Braydun Hill vineyard was no exception.  As the resultant wine was not to the standard of previous vintages a very conscience decision was made that the wine needed to be marketed differently – so the name Shimply was born.  And Shimply it is – the wine shows lots of black fruits and spicy satsuma plum characters.  Sure the wine showed a little stewed fruit character and sure the wine was a little short, but at the price why not give a wine that is simply just McLaren Vale Shiraz  a go.  I would mix it with a good old fashioned home made hamburger with beetroot, egg and cheese.

2006 Red Label Shiraz ($A18.50)

This wine was a little experiment where some single vineyard fruit was blended with some cooler climate fruit from Mt Bold, with the aim to produce a wine with a different character to the normal offering.  The wine has spicy pepper with dark fruits aromas with what I thought was some greenness – the main trigger for me that there was some cooler climate material there.  The flavors were all plums, blackberries with a white pepper chaser.  At this price the wine is worth checking out!  What food would I match with this wine –

2004 Hand Picked Single Vineyard Premium Shiraz ($A39)

As the wine was being poured I could tell a difference here.  The wine was so dense that it was almost black – for  a 6 year old red I was not really expecting this.  This darkness made way for a significant jump in complexity.  The aromas had dark berries, dark satsuma plums with hints of licorice and even some mint and a little vanilla.  The mint threw me and I even wondered wrongly that a bit of Cabernet was added.  the oak maturation was 60%/40% Freanch/American and new/old.  The flavors were layered.  Satsuma plum, white pepper, licorice and anise with a fine dusty tannin finish.  This wine would need time to breath – see my review of this wine using a Vinturi Areator.  interestingly, I could see this wine being drunk at the end of the day – one that was maybe stressful and this wine will help the issues of the day just run away (maybe I need some of this today as I write this).

2005 Hand Picked Single Vineyard Premium Shiraz ($A33)

The same dark wine shows the interesting side of single vineyard wines – very different wines from one year to the next.  Reflecting the different seasons and a sense of the place the wine was born.  The dark berries mixed with anise and a more obvious vanilla aromas.  Strong fruit flavors of dark plums and black fruits are married with the cedary notes from the French oak.  The oak here is more obvious than the 2004, but so was the fruit character – so very interesting.  I am thinking of roast beef with lots of roast root vegies with just the right amount of beef jus.

2006 Hand Picked Single Vineyard Premium Shiraz ($A29.50)

Wow – so different again.  This wine has all the briary and hedge row fruits you can want on both the aromas and flavors.  This is a very fruit driven wine – from the up front fruit sweetness, highlighted by the American oak treatment, to the fruit layers on the back of the palate.  I have word this is their best seller of the premium wines, and I can see why.  The fruitiness of the wine leads me to wanting to drink it with pan seared kangaroo loin fillet with red current jelly.

2008 Crimson Silk Sparkling Shiraz ($A21)

Of course I have to try the sparkling Shiraz – at this time of year my favorite wine style.  There is fresh red and black berries here that has a refreshing level of sweetness (from the 8 g/L sugar remaining in the wine).  This is a fun wine but it also has a serious side with some interestingly gripping tannins on the mid palate.  Now this is one to share with friends as a “Sunday Afternoon” wine.

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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