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A 'Pappy' Shiraz


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Though my so-called 'formative years' were -- by the accidental nature of the space-time continuum -- spent in Northern climes, after having spent more than half my days now in the South, heart and hearth unite today as home here.

Thus I find what Vanity Fair is to its regional culture, the new-ish Garden & Gun magazine is to Southern parochialism. In the current issue is notification http://gardenandgun.com/article/wine-meets-whiskey of the soon-to-arrive Southern Belle Shiraz, from the McLaren Vale in South Australia, aged in barrels which held what became Pappy Van Winkle 20.

Apparently retail will be c. $25 per bottle. If anyone sees it, please let me know so I can access a few bottles or case. I will do likewise should it appear here.

Thanks.

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Good find indeed Tim.

Actually this not (really) new. In the 1800's, even fine French wine sent to England often contained "spirits" (brandy or other hard alcohol). This was added initially to preserve wines in those pre-pasteurization, pre-sulfur dioxide days. The same was done, earlier, for wines departing Iberia for England, which led to the development methodically of port and other fortified wines.

The English acquired a taste for the spirited wines, and only later did the practice decline with the onset of pure food laws and the ability to make wines stable for export. And by then, the English had port and sherry, so in a sense the practice had a long-term permanent effect.

This is a return to that tradition whether conscious or not. Good for the ballsy Aussies, like the Americans they are not afraid to try something novel. Australia and America (not just the South) share a lot, in fact.

I've got to try this.

Gary

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Binny's lists 2005 Southern Belle Shiraz. Since Tim's reference is specific to 2008, it may be that the earlier vintages were not aged in used Van Winkle barrels.

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I've been nonplussed by the whiskeys with wine finishes, whether Woodford or Buffalo Trace with chardonnay, or Glenmorangie with Port or Madiera, et al. The only one I found actually good-tasting enough to buy again wasn't even a wine finish, but the wine-barrel (without ever seeing wine) finish of the BTEC French Oak bottling.

So, the flip side is intriguing. Do wines finished in whiskey barrels fare any better? The line which hooked me was: "...It was a wine that defied the dictates of terroir and tradition and begged for a rack of ribs..." Not at all ironically, I think, ribs is a dish I always ponder over whether I'd prefer to accompany it with wine (zinfandel is more often my choice than shiraz) or bourbon. So, that descriptor spoke to me directly.

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Well, port itself is brandied wine, in this case to be sure a young brandy is simply added to stop the fermentation, but the result combines a brandy and a wine, married for years through cask and often bottle-aging.

Whiskies aged in sherry barrels and other barrels formerly holding wines of various kinds are an old tradition. The concept of finishing is perhaps not quite as thorough, but it is the same idea.

In the end of course, it is the palate that counts. I tend to agree about Glenmorangie, it is a fairly light-bodied estery whisky and I don't think it really needs finishing although the sherry-finish to me is most successful. The regular Glenmorangie is a fine whiskey unto itself. But a big-bodied Australian wine might take well to the smoky warm tones and residual bourbon if any of an ex-Van Winkle bourbon barrel. Something to watch for and I'll be interested to read the first taste notes.

Gary

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  • 5 weeks later...

I heard from Tim at GP who said the bottles

should be available mid February. Lucky me -

they can ship direct to my state! Also, he

confirmed what fricky suggested - the 2008

bottling is the first to use Pappy barrels.

Contact info for Tim Coles if you'd like to check

with him re: shipping.

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I heard from Tim at GP who said the bottles

should be available mid February. Lucky me -

they can ship direct to my state! Also, he

confirmed what fricky suggested - the 2008

bottling is the first to use Pappy barrels.

Contact info for Tim Coles if you'd like to check

with him re: shipping.

Thanks for the link man... and that Bacon of the month club is very tempting....

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  • 1 month later...

I got a call from my local liquor store saying this will be in March 22. I have two bottles on hold. Has anyone tried this yet?

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Thanks for the link Silverfish! I emailed Tim to see if we can get this in WA. I must try this wine!

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I will keep my eye out for the 2008 vintage... this should be fun

I'll let you know if I see any, I'm going to keep my eyes open as this is something I would like to try as well!

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The 2008 Southern Belle is available for $25./bottle at

Wine Merchants Gourmet in NC.

Since my initial inquiry when Tim responded that my state (NY)

was ok to ship to, I've e-mailed back a few times regarding

ordering some of this but have yet to receive a reply. A bit

frustrating as I'm happy to send 'em $ but cannot get an

answer.

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And for you folks near Franklin, TN, Cool Springs Wine

lists it as a "New Arrival" in a March 8, 2010 blog entry.

Sure wish Tim at Grateful palate would get back to me...

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  • 1 month later...

I finally received a reply from Tim at GP and am in the

process of working out order details. Woo Hoo!

If this isn't available in your area and you were considering

a web order, you may want to act soon - Tim says they have

less than 250 cases remaining.

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This hit the shelves in knoxville a few weeks ago. I got about 18 bottles and there were 6 left on the shelf. Excellent wine at a great price. They were expecting another shipment at McScrooges any time now. It comes in handy when the guys get together for a bourbon tasting and the ladies prefer wine but carry over the bourbon theme. Around $20 if you find it. tim

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silverfish

Latest e-mail from Tim reports they're a few days away

from selling out so I just got off the phone after placing

an order for 6 bottles. I had to ask for a later ship date

so it won't arrive until first week of June but still, nice to

have some on hold!

Sure wish I coulda found a local source and picked up 18

bottles off the shelf - my wife woulda loved that!

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ACDetroit

Enjoying a pour of this right now, if you try you can get the bourbon out of the finish. The other thing that I've noticed is the legs really stick to the glass, I'm assuming that is also bourbon influence?

Good stuff, Michigan only received 4 cases of this stuff and from what the sales guy told me yesterday it's gone.

Tony

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birdman1099

I bought a bottle yesterday and had it last night.

Not as "bourboney" as I was expecting. And you are right, Tony, the legs are thick. After I finished a glass, i went to rinse it out and the water turned purple. Much thicker that ordinary wines.

Overall I like it, but I was not overly impressed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I snagged a case of it when given the recent opportunity and opened a bottle tonight. It has a really deep dark fruitiness and I pick up the bourbon influence on entry. It is a very rich wine and at over 17%, it packs a bit of a punch. I'm not a wine guy, but this is tasty.

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  • 1 month later...
Enjoying a pour of this right now, if you try you can get the bourbon out of the finish. The other thing that I've noticed is the legs really stick to the glass, I'm assuming that is also bourbon influence?

Good stuff, Michigan only received 4 cases of this stuff and from what the sales guy told me yesterday it's gone.

Tony

Can I ask where you found it in Michigan?

Thanks!

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fussychicken

God I really REALLY wanted to like this. Picked up a few bottles at the Wine House and had a big gulp when I saw the alcohol %. 17.6%! Clearly some of the pappy is floating around in this wine.

In either case, I struggled with it. Hot and intense. But not always in a good way. Threw the rest in the decanter and it did get better after a 1-2 hours.

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