Cuttings - Jen Pfeiffer - October 2013
By Jen Pfeiffer
Well Spring is definitely in the air in Rutherglen!!!! We are well and truly into the growing season now and there is lovely green growth in the vineyards after the dormancy of winter. It’s a very busy, exciting and beautiful time in the vineyard right now!!! There are the protective sprays to apply to protect against mildews and bunch rots, the spring grass is mown and mulched, and our irrigation system is prepared for watering in the summer months.
In the winery, it’s fortified time!!!! We are currently working on our Topaque blends, tasting every single barrel in stock (hiccup!!!), re-blending the Rutherglen, Classic, Grand and Rare blends, topping older base wines with younger material, and analysing every batch for sugar level, acidity, sulphur and alcohol. We will do this with all our Muscats, Tawnies and Aperas before the year is out…what a job!!!!
While the days are mainly warm and sunny, the Spring nights still bring in the cold, and I find myself reaching for a red wine with my dinner, with its lovely warming qualities. And we have some really fabulous reds in the pack – including the very special 2011 Pfeiffer Winemakers Selection Shiraz Cabernet, made exclusively for our Wine Club members.
Some of you had a sneak peek of the latest addition to the Winemakers Selection series at a couple of the Long Lunches this year, and it was very well received.
So what prompted me to produce this wine? In 2011, we started a relationship with a grower from the Heathcote region. Heathcote is known for its ancient, red Cambrian soils that are particularly suited to the production of full bodied red wines. The vineyard manager, Colin, is a fantastic bloke and I really struck up a rapport with him due to his dedication and pursuit of excellence. But my favourite thing about Col is the messages he writes on the bins of fruit when they are delivered…they always make me smile in the busy vintage period…things like “grown with love”; and “for gold medals, just add glass bottles”.
Seeing Col was not backward in coming forward, I thought I better put him (and more importantly his fruit) to the test – the result is this 2011 Pfeiffer Winemakers Selection Shiraz Cabernet…our very first wine from Heathcote.
So was it as easy as just adding glass bottles???? Well not quite, but I can certainly say the wine was made with as much love as the grapes were grown with!!!!
The resultant wine shows why Shiraz and Cabernet is THE classic Australian blend, combining the rich, ripe and generous Shiraz fruit, with the structure and length of Cabernet. If you are looking for a wine to match with red meat dishes – it would be terrific with some char-grilled meats and veggies on the BBQ, or lovely, slow cooked lamb shanks. It will also pair up with vegetable dishes with strong flavours, such as couscous with Moroccan spiced vegetables, or eggplant Parmigiana.
So now it’s time for you to be the judge….my only hope is that you too love this very special wine and that I can send some messages back to Col on the bins of fruit next year…things like “we want more” and “I love this stuff”!!!!