It’s August, that time of year where spring is almost within our grasp, but the tail end of winter lingers. Hail Pinot Noir.
There are abundant reasons to love this wine, and its versatility is just one them. Our 2019 Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir is classically Adelaide Hills – pristine, elegant and dark fruited, but with a powerful, savoury backbone. Its medium body means its light enough for spring fare, but it has the depth and concentration to set off a rich, slow cooked dish.
In recent months we have been lucky enough to partner with some of Australia’s flagship restaurants to bring you delicious pairings to recreate at home. When looking for our fix of iconic winter classics, we couldn’t go past Orso’s braised veal osso buco ragu. The sweeter, delicate flavour of the veal compliments the lifted aromatics of the Pinot, while the peppercorn and herbs play to its savoury notes. That aside; Pinot and pasta – it’s a match made in heaven.
Try your hand at home. Alternatively, pick up a Chef prepared version from Orso’s next door neighbour, Willmotts Gastronomia. No one need know…
Orso’s Braised Veal Osso Buco Ragu:
2kg thick cut veal shin (2-3inch)
500g carrot (large dice)
1 head celery (large dice)
3 onions (large dice)
1 head garlic
Bouquet garnish (thyme, sage, rosemary, bay)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 bottle Pinot Noir (cooking)
4 litres brown chicken stock
Parsley & Lemon zest to finish
Season and brown veal shin in a hot, oiled oven proof pot until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add carrot, celery, onions and garlic into the pan and cook out for 10 minutes, then add tomato paste. Cook tomato paste for a further 15 minutes. Add in your wine and reduce by half, making sure you’re scraping all the goodness from the bottom.
Add back in the veal shin, peppercorns and the brown chicken stock.
Bring to the boil, then turn down and place lid on top. Add the herbs. Move it into the oven at 160c for 4.5 hours.
Remove from oven and check to see the marrow bone slips easily away from the meat.
Remove the veal shin and let cool. Reduce the braising liquid and veg until thick and glossy.
Pick your meat away from the marrow bone and add back into the braising pot, including the centre marrow from the bones.
Add salt and pepper to taste, a few good rasps of lemon zest and loads of fresh parsley.
Best served with soft potato gnocchi, polenta, or any dried pasta you have in the cupboard.
Email photo credit @adelaidefoodairy
Congratulations to Chris King, the winner of our Shaw + Smith Adelaide Hills Luxury Weekend Competition, and Jenna Atherton, the winner of the Shaw + Smith $1000 Cellar!
Thanks to everyone who entered.
People often ask me what makes the Shaw + Smith single vineyard wines different and the answer is pretty simple. Start with a great site that produces wine with character and delivers great flavour. Then understand that the wine must also show the uniqueness of the season and an ability to age for the long haul. This set of criteria sets these wines apart.
As soon as I arrived at Shaw + Smith we started talking about potential single vineyard wines straight away. We were bothered by that ‘reserve’ style of wine where you just get more of everything: more ripeness, more oak, more alcohol, and we thought…that’s absolutely not what this is about. Our single vineyard wines are instead focused on delivering purity, restraint, elegance and that wonderful ability for a wine to open up slowly and reveal itself over time.
We started with the 2013 Balhannah Vineyard Shiraz, from a close-planted block behind the winery, located on the gentle slope of a hill rich in ironstone. We thought about structure, working with whole bunches and how to build tannin without exposing the fruit to too much new oak. We opened this wine recently at our Vintage lunch and it looked excellent next to a Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie: spice, tannin, structure, intensity and many more years in the tank.
With the superb 2016 expression from this vineyard we included a little more whole bunch, to match the warm conditions, while dialling back the new oak to only about 15%. The whole bunch just works so well with the fruit from this block; lending spice and tannin to the distinctive red and black fruit profile. It’s powerful but also aromatic, spicy, finely textured and remarkably well balanced. Accessible now, but this wine will only improve with age – it has 20 years ahead of it in the cellar, no problem.
Our Lenswood vineyard is the source for both the single vineyard Pinot Noir and the single vineyard Chardonnay. It was a great site to begin with, and thanks to the work that our viticulturist Murray Leake and the team have put in over the last 8 years, we have managed to unlock more of that unique character over time. We’ve only released one Pinot Noir so far – the 2016 – but the 2018 and 2019 wines are safely tucked away and show the incredible promise of this site.
The Lenswood Vineyard Chardonnay from 2017 is a classic expression: coiled, fine, effortlessly long on the palate. It’s quite different to our M3 Chardonnay, for example, which gives you lots of mid-palate weight and flavour, and can be quite open in its youth. This wine is so finely etched, the acidity is lace-like, the floral aromas so lifted and ethereal. It fluently captures the language of a special place at a particular time.
Our single vineyard story continues to evolve as we have bought a new site in the high, cool sub-region Piccadilly, which we will begin planting very soon. With about 11,000 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines planned per hectare, this represents our most ambitious vineyard project yet. It will be a little while before you see a wine from Piccadilly but the potential is mind-blowing.
These wines mean so much to our team, representing a lot of hard work in the vineyard, and finesse in the winery. I hope you enjoy the 2016 Balhannah Vineyard Shiraz and the 2017 Lenswood Vineyard Chardonnay. With small makes each year, we have a Single Vineyard Club, that allows you to receive a guaranteed allocation of these wines from your favourite sites each year. Production will remain very limited so that we can continue to capture the detail, the character and the quality in the bottle. That’s what it’s all about.
There is a cold chill over the Adelaide Hills at the moment… and most areas over the south east corner of Australia for that matter. This means it is Shiraz weather and the time for some hearty, rich, slow cooked meals. Our Adelaide Hills Shiraz is always a medium bodied, fragrant, spice driven and savoury expression of the variety that suits some winter ingredients.
Recently we’ve been highlighting dishes from some of our restaurant customers across the country, showcasing iconic dishes from iconic restaurants to pair with our wines. This month we looked to Melbourne for something to enjoy with our 2017 Shiraz and the dish we kept coming back to is Andrew McConnell’s famous slow cooked lamb shoulder. It has been a staple on the menu at his Cumulus Restaurant for over ten years, and while there have been some iterations in sauces and seasonings over the years, the principle remains the same… flavoursome and juicy slow cooked lamb meat with a caramelised, chewy skin. The current menu has a red pepper and almond seasoning, but we are going back to the 2011 version with an aromatic cumin salt and fried garlic condiment. We get a lot of aromatic red fruit and pepper in our Adelaide Hills Shiraz that complements the cumin seasoned lamb. The dense midpalate gives some sweetness that matches the flavour of the meat, but the cool climate Shiraz remains light on its feet, which means it never overpowers the food.
If you are well prepared and patient you can attempt this dish with the recipe below, though for our Melbourne members, Cumulus also arrange delivery or pick up and finish at home versions so the work can be done for you.
Andrew McConnell's Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 lamb shoulder, bone in (about 2kg
60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
To serve: pinch of thinly sliced dried red chilli
250 ml vegetable oil (1 cup)
1 head of garlic, cloves separated, finely chopped
¼ preserved lemon, rinsed, seeds removed
1½ tbsp chardonnay vinegar
100 ml olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sea salt flakes
Dry-roast peppercorns and cumin until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Cool slightly, then pound in a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and coarsely crush, then add salt and stir to combine.
Place lamb shoulder in a roasting pan to fit snugly. Rub salt mixture over, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate (4 hours-overnight).
Preheat oven to 150C. Add 250ml water to pan, cover tightly with foil, then roast until lamb is tender (2 hours). Reduce oven to 110C and cook until very tender and falling off the bone (add a little more water if pan becomes dry), removing foil for the last hour of cooking to crisp the skin (6 hours).
Meanwhile, for fried garlic, heat oil to 170C in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and stir occasionally until light golden (30 seconds-1 minute). Drain on absorbent paper.
For lemon sauce, pound preserved lemon in a mortar and pestle to a smooth paste, add vinegar, whisk to combine, then slowly add olive oil and whisk to combine.
For cumin salt, dry-roast cumin until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Cool slightly, then pound in a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Add salt and pound to just combine.
Skim fat from pan juices (discard fat) and transfer pan juices to a jug. Place lamb on a serving platter and shred meat from bone at the table. Serve warm scattered with fried garlic, cumin salt and chilli, with pan juices to the side.
The 2018 M3 Chardonnay has the ability to match with many dishes, primarily due to its power, balance and acid line.
This month we have asked one of our favourite restaurants currently providing takeaway options up in Queensland to part with one of their beloved recipes. Donna Chang’s roasted swordfish steak with a simple ginger + spring onion relish is easy to recreate at home with many types of fish, or even other proteins. Chinese cooking whilst sometimes simple still packs lots of flavour. This is why we love it with our 2018 M3 Chardonnay, the drive and power of this wine carries well with the intensity of the ginger. The swordfish is known for being a meatier, fleshy type of fish with great weight. The 2018 M3 Chardonnay aims for elegance and restraint but typically shows a generosity of flavour, which handles robust meaty fish dishes.
Donna Chang's Recipe: Roasted Swordfish Steak with Ginger + Spring Onion Dressing
Dressing makes 4-10 serves depending on your desired amount.
4 x 200gm fillets of swordfish (can substitute with other fish or chicken)
1 bunch spring onions (also known as green onions, scallions or shallots)
2 large knobs peeled ginger
Pinch ground white pepper
Flake sea salt to taste
1L peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
50ml sesame oil
100ml white soy sauce (substitute with gluten free soy or regular light soy)
- - Peel outer layer of spring onions and cut off roots. Wash and dry.
- - Slice spring onions into thin rounds + place in a large mixing bowl.
- - Slice ginger into chunky slices, blend in food processor to form a smooth paste.
- - Add to sliced spring onions in mixing bowl.
- - Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan (or wok) until smoking hot.
- - Carefully pour over ginger and spring onion mixture. Beware of steam that will be released by this quick cooking method. Make sure all the mix has been covered in this hot oil. Allow mixture to sit until room temperature.
- - To finish, mix through sesame oil, soy sauce, white pepper and flake sea salt to taste.
- - Steam, roast or pan fry fish to just cooked.
- - Serve generously as a condiment.
What a year! For winegrowers in the Adelaide Hills, it was anything but normal.
September and October saw a lot of frosts. Some vineyards were relatively unscathed, whereas a few lost almost their entire crop.
The weather during flowering in November was unsettled, with a lot of cool, windy days which resulted in heavily reduced yields, which we initially estimated at 30 - 40% below normal. December came with extra heat, and in late December fires tore through the Adelaide Hills, destroying homes and other property, including vineyards. Some vineyards that we source fruit from were burnt in the fires. A number of others were affected by smoke taint, and unfortunately this meant we had to reject a significant amount of fruit.
The ripening period, though, was great from a weather perspective. After some rain in early February, we had lovely cool to mild temperatures, sunny days, and fresh winds from the south-west and south-east. It was the perfect month for ripening, with daily maximum temperatures ranging from around 15°C (59°F) to around 29°C (84°F). So those grapes that made it through flowering and fires were treated to ideal conditions, and they were small, packed with flavour, and had higher than normal acidity.
The wines are very exciting. Excellent acidity and fresh, bright flavours reflect the lovely February, and the low yields have translated to intense flavours.
Recent travel restrictions and lockdown regulations have left many of us at the winery reminiscing about our favourite restaurants and the joyful times we spent in them. As the colder days set in, our daydreams of past European holidays have become even more vivid. Our fondest memories seem to be more important than ever, so we thought we would take the opportunity to ask Michael and Martin about their most unforgettable Chardonnay experiences.
Michael; I’m old enough to remember the pre-Chardonnay epoch of Australian wine. The arrival of the 1971 Tyrells Vat 47 was a game changer and I can clearly remember it and other early wines of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Today modern Australian Chardonnay is unrecognisable when compared to those pioneer wines - wines that do not try to mimic Burgundy, that are sophisticated, distinctive wines that rank amongst the world’s best.
I was first exposed to great Chardonnay aka Burgundy at Len Evan’s Bulletin Place.Those years with Len, often acting as an unpaid waiter at wine dinners, were formative for me. We happily traded our time to taste the wines being served.
So what is the greatest Chardonnay I have ever tasted? Once upon a time I would have said 1978 DRC Le Montrachet – an extraordinary wine. As a young taster I was totally seduced by the sheer power of this wine and drank my last bottle with Jancis Robinson and Nick Lander whilst I was studying for my Master of Wine in the late 80s.
Today however I am less attracted by the power and awe of DRC’s Chardonnay style and now prefer the wines of producers such as Roulot, Leflaive and Bonneau du Martray. Wines that combine flavour intensity with acid line and overall balance.
If I had to pick one producer it would be Bonneau du Martray. I love the wines, I love the estate and I loved spending time with Jean-Charles the then owner. Bonneau is an example of a great estate that moved from more commercial farming practices to organic and bio-dynamic. I remember Jean-Charles saying , “we find that when we farm this way, the wines are better.” That was quite an important moment for me. If someone as serious as Jean-Charles could change the way they farmed then so could we.
A final observation on Chardonnay – whilst I am very proud of the Chardonnay we are making at Shaw + Smith and Tolpuddle Vineyard, I am also proud of the quality of Australian Chardonnay in general and this evolution has been a wonderful thing to have been able to witness over 40 years.
Martin; Soon after I left Petaluma and started my flying winemaker consulting business, I was fortunate enough to be asked to do some consulting work in Burgundy for Domaine Leflaive, when Vincent Leflaive was at the helm. He truly was a great gentleman and a brilliant wine man. In my opinion that was when the Domaine was in its absolute heyday.
When I was lucky enough to visit, Vincent took great time and effort to explain the region and what they do. I spent several days there looking at their vineyards, which are some of the best sites in Montrachet, tasting the wines, and going through their wine making technique in detail.
Afterwards Vincent took me over the road to a very simple little restaurant in the town square of Puligny Montrachet, called Le Montrachet, where he opened some older bottles. This was at a time when Australia was producing much bigger, louder, more alcoholic, and oaky wines than we should have been. To have the opportunity to spend time looking at those beautifully grown, balanced wines, really opened my eyes to what cool climate Chardonnay could and should look like. It was this experience of being introduced in such detail to one of the great producers, rather than just a singular great bottle, that is my most memorable Chardonnay experience. It became the foundation for how I would aspire to make great Chardonnay for the decades that followed.
Fast forward 30 years and Martin and Michael have just bought a parcel of land in the Piccadilly Valley where they will be able to employ many of the same practices as Domaine Leflaive and Bonneau du Martray. From clones, vine spacing and yields all the way through to organic practices. How rewarding.
With everyone keeping their distance for now, and with Mother's Day coming up on 10 May, we have created a gift guide, that we hope will inspire ideas for you, for the month ahead. This includes gift experiences, and wines, from Shaw + Smith (of course), but also thoughtful ideas for other gifts that resonate with us.
Balhannah Tour Gift Voucher $110 | Members $95 per person, buy
One for when our Tasting Room re-opens. Go behind the scenes on a comprehensive tour of the winery and vineyard at Balhannah, followed by a wine flight tasting including five Shaw + Smith wines, plus our single site wines, accompanied by a South Australian produce plate.
DIY Leather Clutch Purse Kit, from J Tanner from $54, buy
Simple, ready-to-stitch kits for all skill levels, with live-chat support and video resources to help you as you handcraft.
Vignette, by Jane Lopes, from Matilda’s Bookshop $40 + delivery, buy
Vignette, written by sommelier Jane Lopes, recommends 100 bottles of wine to expand your wine journey, giving a complete palate education of styles, grapes, regions, and flavours. A foray into the foundational wine knowledge that underpins a good drinking experience. This book is part memoir and part wine education, but a lot more fun than either alone. This is about wines to live with, learn from and take solace in – a joyous, surprising, and revelatory response to that age-old question, "What should I drink?”
Journey of Something Puzzles from $49.95 + delivery, buy
A gift of fun. Featuring work from independent illustrators and photographers.
Bottle of 2019 Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir in gift box $49 | Members $44.10 + delivery, buy
Our latest release. In the words of Huon Hooke: A serious pinot of real depth, concentration and structure. Impressive stuff and good value. 95 Points.
Jurlique Complete Hand Care Ritual from $29 + delivery, buy
Jurlique’s botanical ingredients are grown and harvested by hand in the Adelaide Hills. Complete hand care products designed to nourish and hydrate over-washed hands.
Settler’s Autumn Seed Set from Peregrine Store $30 + delivery, buy
The last few weeks of autumn are upon us, time to get the gardens prepared for winter. The Autumn Seed Set includes a selection of wild flowers, herbs and vegetables.
Limited Edition Sauvignon Blanc Magnum $80 delivered, buy
This 2019 release, our 30th vintage, is terrific: particularly bright, fresh and balanced. A limited number made, and only a handful remaining at the winery.
Roaming Zen, Yoga On-Demand $24.95 a month, buy
Unlimited access to Roaming Zen BarrePilates, Yoga & meditation workouts to enjoy at home. A selection of new workouts uploaded weekly.
Sheoak Bakery Sourdough Subscription from $55, buy
Love sourdough but feel its best left to the experts? The wheat is grown and milled on a family farm in South Australia and fresh bread is delivered to your door every Friday.
We hope this gift list provides some inspiration, and if we can help with anything please let us know, by email or call 08 8398 0500.
Missing your favourite restaurants? We are too.
To support our wonderful restaurant partners, we are teaming up with some of our favourites, to bring their signature dishes to you at home.
Spend $350 on wines and receive a bonus $50 gift voucher. Enter the coupon code from the list below, to select the gift voucher for your restaurant of choice:
For Amalfi Restaurant, use coupon code AMALFI
For ORSO Restaurant, use coupon code ORSO
For Africola use coupon code AFRICOLA
For Concubine, use coupon code CONCUBINE
For Chianti/Bar Torino, use coupon code CHIANTI
For the Stirling Hotel, use coupon code STIRLING
For the Stanley Bridge Taven, use coupon STANLEYBRIDGE
For Coda Restaurant, use coupon code CODA
For Tonka Restaurant, use coupon code TONKA
For Maha to Go, use coupon code MAHA
For The Malvern Hotel, use coupon code MALVERN
For Chin Chin, Surry Hills, use coupon code CHINCHIN
For Catalina, Rose Bay, use coupon code CATALINA
For Sealevel (and Next Door), Cronulla, use coupon code SEALEVEL
For Totti's, Bondi, use coupon code TOTTI
For Gerard's Bistro, Brisbane, use coupon code GERARDS
For Sono Restaurant, Brisbane, use coupon code SONO
For Embassy XO, Sunshine Beach, use coupon code EMBASSYXO
For Noosa Waterfront, Noosaville, use coupon code NOOSAWATERFRONT
For Burleigh Pavilion, Burleigh Heads, use coupon code BURLEIGHPAVILION
For Ochre Restaurant, Cairns, use coupon code OCHRE
For Shorehouse, Townsville, use coupon code SHOREHOUSE
For Fraser's Restaurant, use coupon code FRASERS
For Long Chim, use coupon code LONGCHIM
For Odyssea City Beach, use coupon code ODYSSEA
For Lalla Rookh, use coupon code LALLAROOKH
The vouchers can be used now for takeaway, or in the restaurant when they have reopened for regular service.
To order wines online, use the relevant coupon code in the checkout, and we will email you a $50 gift voucher (valid for 12 months). Otherwise email, or call us on 08 8398 0500.
A reminder that free shipping is still available with any order of 6 or more bottles, until 30 April 2020.
*One $50 dining voucher available when you spend $350 or more in a single transaction during April 2020. Free shipping is available within Australia with orders of 6+ bottles, until 30 April 2020.
The good news is we can still deliver wine, so our customers can continue to purchase on our website or over the phone and we’ll deliver to your door using our usual delivery services.
We are now offering FREE SHIPPING on six or more bottles.
Click here to order your wine or call us on 08 8398 0500.
We look forward to welcoming you back to our Tasting Room, soon.
The Shaw + Smith Team.