Zonte’s Footstep 'Hills are Alive' Shiraz 2016
Adelaide Hills, SA
I love making this stew when in the depths of winter we have the slow combustion fire going. With the cosiness of the fire and the smell of the stew slowly cooking on the combustion fire-top, the world seems a happier place when we hunker down by the fireside in refuge from the cold and rain, comfort food and wine at the ready.
Ingredients4 beef cheeks (if you can’t find beef cheeks at your butcher, ask him to substitute them with gravy beef – about 750gms) 2 kangaroo fillets (about 500gms) Olive oil 4 cloves of garlic 1 large brown onion 3 golden shallots 4 sticks of celery Orange zest (from 1 orange) 6 sprigs of fresh thyme 2 bay leaves 400ml of red wine (shiraz, grenache, tempranillo or similar) 1 cup of homemade beef or chicken stock Seasoning to taste
MethodTrim the beef cheeks (not too severely) and cut the beef cheeks and kangaroo meat into large pieces Marinate the meat in
A winter staple in the boss' household. It’s hearty, delicious and is a great excuse to open a bottle of red wine in the middle of the day!
Ingredients4 bacon rashers – chopped 1 large brown onion – chopped 2-4 garlic cloves – finely chopped 1 kg beef chuck steak – cubed Plain flour 1 cup dry red wine 1.5 cups beef stock 1 can crushed tomatoes 3 medium carrots – sliced 12 small button mushrooms – sliced [you could also substitute a tin of whole champignons] Small bunch continental parsley
MethodPreheat oven to 160c Heat olive oil in a large, heavy based oven-proof casserole dish over low heat and cook bacon for 3 mins. Add onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook until aromatic. Remove mixture from dish. Put aside Add fresh oil to the dish and cook ½
Considerably cooler than the surrounding plains, the hills are washed in rain during winter months, and the peaks wrapped in fog. It is considered a high rainfall region compared to other Australian regions, but outside of winter the climate is warm and dry. Night time temperatures are the feature - notably cooler than the day when the sun sets. Worth noting is how the average rainfall increases the higher you go, with Mount Lofty picking up 1400mm on the old splash-o-meter compared to 850mm just 10K down the road in Charleston. This range of moisture and altitudes results in a variety of soils, but in general are sand and clay loam over clay subsoils. A bit of shale and ironstone can be found, and the soil is acidic on average and rarely acidic.
The combination of climate and soil lends to superb cool-weather whites like Riesling (if you watch for mould), Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and crisp Chardonnays. Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon can also be found, with the grapes
Shiraz (which is essentially Syrah) is a dark-skinned grape grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerful red wines.
Wines made from Syrah are often powerfully flavoured and full-bodied. The variety produces wines with a wide range of flavor notes, depending on the climate and soils where it is grown, as well as other viticultural practices chosen. Aroma characters can range from violets to berries (usually dark as opposed to red), chocolate, espresso and black pepper. No one aroma can be called "typical" though blackberry and pepper are often noticed. With time in the bottle these "primary" notes are moderated and then supplemented with earthy or savory "tertiary" notes such as leather and truffle.
"Secondary" flavor and aroma notes are those associated with several things, generally winemakers' practices (such as oak barrel and yeast regimes).
It is called Syrah in its country of origin, France, as well as in the rest of
Mr Riggs, Penny's Hill, Woop Woop, Zonte’s Footstep
We often joke that there must be more than one Ben Riggs, that no one winemaker could have his hands in such a range of premium McLaren Vale wineries. And yet, after thorough research (we asked) he has not cloned himself.
With 14 years making wine at Wirra Wirra alone, Ben's experience totals a quarter century of producing notable wines, including Penny's Hill, Tatiarra, and Cazal Viel in France. But his real love for McLaren Vale remains, and along with Tony Parkinson, he has crafted successful brands like Woop Woop and his own Mr. Riggs.
With such a broad portfolio, Ben picks up awards with regularity. Twice named Bushing King (for making the best wine at the McLaren Vale Wine Show), and winning the first two Great Australian Shiraz Challenges. His wines have also won best in show at the Sydney International Top 100 (1991 Wirra Wirra "Angelus").
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