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There is nothing quite like the deep, foreboding color of a true South Australian Shiraz, and the 2002 Rockbare McLaren Vale Shiraz is perhaps the quintessential example. And better still, this wine's regal purple robe is followed by all the olfactory fireworks that make good Shiraz so popular. Eucalyptus, blackberry, herbes de Provence and a smooth but richly fruity hedonistic quality define both the scent and the savor of this luscious, easy to drink potion. The wine's palate is opulent and elegant, viscous and supple, which showcases the greatness of McLaren Vale fruit. On the finish, subtle hints of French oak meld with deft touches of mocha and dark chocolate, both of which grow in intensity with time in the glass. For optimum enjoyment, we suggest serving the Rockbare Shiraz at or below 68° F after at least 15-20 minutes of airing.
In Australia, where sheep far out number people, lamb is the preferred accompaniment to Shiraz. Indeed, the 2002 Rockbare McLaren Vale Shiraz falls in line with the national preference, providing a wonderful companion to grilled lamb chops or a braised lamb shank. And for those not as enamored of lamb as our Australian brethren, fine cuts of beef, especially beef tenderloin and filet mignon, offer other equally tantalizing options. Eggplant and Zucchini Parmigiana are other favorites. In addition, almost any Mediterranean dish that is prepared with Provencal herbs would complement the Rockbare Shiraz by harmonizing with the eucalyptus and garrigue tones in the wine. Enjoy!
Rockbare is the handiwork of Tim Burvill, Australian winemaker extraordinaire, in collaboration with the great terroir of McLaren Vale. McLaren Vale is a relatively small viticultural area of South Australia that is known for its premium grapes and its abundance of meticulously tended, family owned vineyards, which not surprisingly turn out some of the very finest fruit Australia can produce. Tim Burvill gained extensive winemaking experience working at Southcorp, one of Australia's leading wine conglomerates, where he was responsible for making what many consider to be Australia's most exciting and expensive premium Chardonnay Yattarna. Well versed with red and white wines, as well as the merits of technical razzle-dazzle, Tim made a conscience effort when he created the Rockbare label in 2000 to eschew technical homogeneity along with the smoke and mirrors employed by so many other Australian winemakers. Instead, he employs winemaking techniques that were more in vogue a hundred years ago or more. Using minimal filtering or even a no filtration approach and very little oak, Tim does not obscure or obliterate the great McLaren fruit he sources from the region's premier vineyards. Rockbare's wines are filled with complex flavors driven by outstanding fruit and natural acidity, not some wine technocrat's rendition of the Molotov cocktail. Rockbare produces two outstanding McLaren Vale offerings: Shiraz and Chardonnay. Both varietal offerings are produced from 100% McLaren Vale fruit, much of it from old vines that are dry-farmed.
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