What to Drink

Meet Shottesbrooke’s ‘Eliza’ Shiraz, 2021’s Wine of the Year

Shottesbrooke Vineyards stole the show at the 2021 USA Wine Ratings with three awards and a gold medal.

Emerging from the pinnacle Reserve series of Shottesbrooke’s wine range, the ‘Eliza’ Shiraz has the majestic grandeur of a high quality wine. With the potential to age into an outstanding wine from a great one, the ‘Eliza’ Shiraz took home the Wine of the Year, Best in Show by country (Australia), and Best in Show by varietal awards at the 2021 USA Wine Ratings.

With a stellar 97 points in the USA Wine Ratings, the Shottesbrooke Reserve Series 'Eliza' Shiraz is certainly the one to top your wine list. Rated highly by Masters of Wine, retail trade buyers and top sommeliers in the U.S., the ‘Eliza’ Shiraz will grace your home bar with elegance.

Wines at the USA Wine Ratings are judged on three criterias - quality, value, and packaging. In order to excel at the awards, a wine must achieve a high score in each category. For quality, factors such as taste, aroma, body, and aftertaste contribute towards assessing the composition and drinkability of the wine. The value score is determined by how the wine is priced in relation to its quality, and the packing takes into account the label, bottle shape, bottle color, and closure. Grabbing a medal at the USA Wine Ratings demands excellence from winemakers, not just what's within the bottle, but also what's on it.

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Enjoying Shottesbrooke wine in the vineyards, Source: Facebook

This year, the competition recorded over 1000 entries and 12 Masters of Wine came together at the judging panel. Judges at the USA Wine Ratings comprise top level wine buyers (retailers, wholesalers and distributors), Masters of Wine, sommeliers and other experts from the wine industry. Some notable mentions from this year’s judging panel include Tim Marson (Master of Wine), Eduardo Dingler (Vice President at Wine Access), Tim Widnes (Wine and Beer buyer, Whole Foods Market), Olga Crawford (Master of Wine), Henry Brimo (wine category manager at Southeastern Grocers), Ashley Hausman (Master of Wine and Sommelier at Mistral Wine School), Tim Hanni (USA’s first Master of Wine), and more.

Reserve Series

Products from the Reserve series make their way into the market only once they reach maturity. Named in recognition of one of its pioneers, the ‘Eliza’ Shiraz comes to life by way of quality grapes that ripen in ideal conditions. Then, the fruit is crushed and destemmed, left to ferment the skin in temperatures ranging between 22-25°C, until pressed against high grade American oak hogsheads. The wine has a full-bodied palate with rich blueberry, dried plums, bramble, bing cherries, toasted wood spice, and light coffee notes. The nose presents brooding dark fruit aromas and savory, spice oak. The ‘Eliza’ Shiraz has a deep red color with a lively purple hue, pairing well with braised beef cheeks, roasted baby carrots, and creamy mashed potato.

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Shottesbrooke Reserve Series 'Eliza' Shiraz , Source: Facebook

Other wines from the Reserve series are the ‘Punch’ Cabernet Sauvignon and ‘The Proprietor’ Blend. All wines from the reserve range are only released after years of exceptional quality.

Buy from the Shottesbrooke Reserve series.

A tale of origin

The Shottesbrooke Vineyards were founded by Nick Homes who planted his first vineyard in Myponga, a small South Australian hamlet. After discovering the quality of the fruit he produced in 1981, Homes expanded his gardens in McLaren Vale, not long before constructing the Shottesbrooke winery and cellar door.

McLaren-grown grapes and their capability to make high quality wine was a revelation. At the same time, Nick’s step-son, Hamish Maguire started following his footsteps to excel in premium winemaking. He completed his graduation in science and business from the Adelaide University in 1993 and ventured into mastering the details of winemaking with Ryecroft Wines on the McLaren Flat. To continue his journey of learning, Hamish spent three years in Spain, France, England, and New York where he worked as a wine representative.

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The Shottesbrooke team, Source: Facebook

To this day, Hamish has played an integral part in carrying on his step-father’s legacy in making Shottesbrooke a premium wine brand. As the general manager and chief winemaker, Hamish has expanded Shottesbrooke Vineyards’ storage capacity to one million liters with an annual crush hold of around 1200 tons. The Shottesbrooke have already made a name as Australia’s best premium winemakers and now look to conquer the international market.

McLaren Vale escapade

To become a part of the exotic food and wine experience of the Shottesbrooke Vineyards in McLaren Vale, choose from a range of tours and packages on offer. With over 80 vineyards and cellar doors in the region, explore the territory with a helicopter ride to enjoy the aerial view.

Book your tickets here.

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The McLaren Vale region in Australia is famous for its Shiraz, Source: Facebook

Go behind the scenes with the winemaker for a day experience (available only during April and May), taking you through the unique process of winemaking at the Shottesbrooke Vineyards. Find yourself making way to the cellar doors, enjoy a six-course degustation lunch menu, and bask in the lush landscapes of McLaren Vale. The all day tour includes pick up and drop off services and starts from $860 AUD for upto six people.

See more tours.

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