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.
100% of funds raised will be shared between the South Australian CFS and Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal. Auction closes midnight on Monday 27 January 2020.
To make a bid, provide your name and email in the form below, include the lot number you wish to bid on and your bid amount under comments (disregard the website field).
Call 08 8398 0500 or email with any questions.
Lot 1. Sauvignon Blanc Magnums
3 x 2019 Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc Magnums - Limited Release, signed by Michael Hill Smith and Martin Shaw.
Value $210 (minimum bid $180)
Lot 2. 3 x Shaw + Smith Magnums
1 x 2012 M3 Chardonnay Magnum
1 x 2018 Pinot Noir Magnum
1 x 2013 Shiraz Magnum
Value $410 (minimum bid $330)
Lot 3. Single Vineyard vertical six
1 bottle each x 2015, 2016, 2017 Lenswood Vineyard Chardonnay
1 bottle each x 2014, 2015, 2016 Balhannah Vineyard Shiraz
Value $550 (minimum bid $450)
Lot 4. M3 Chardonnay vertical dozen
2 bottles each x 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay
Value $748 (minimum bid $600)
Lot 5. Shiraz vertical dozen
2 bottles each x 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Shaw + Smith Shiraz
Value $748 (minimum bid $600)
Lot 6. Friday Table
A Shaw + Smith Friday Table for 10 guests.
Come behind the scenes at Shaw + Smith with Friday Table. A guided tour of our winery and vineyard will show you our wine growing and making philosophy. This is followed by a comprehensive tutored tasting including current releases, limited and single site wines, then a two course lunch, with wines, in the Map Room.
Value $2400 (minimum bid $1900)
The winner will be the highest bid amount (over the minimum bid) per lot item, received before midnight AEST on Monday 27 January 2020. Winners will be contacted by Wednesday 29 January to confirm payment details and delivery of their prize.
It’s hard to put into words the devastation we have seen in our community over the last two weeks.
While Shaw + Smith has been incredibly fortunate we want to acknowledge that many friends, growers and vignerons have not been so lucky.
We are contributing to the South Australian Country Fire Service and will continue to support recovery efforts by taking part in a host of events and fundraising initiatives over the coming weeks and months - keep an eye on our website for more details.
How can you help?
Here are some of the organisations that are taking donations and will use them well:
The SA Country Fire Service (this is where our initial donations are going)
The Adelaide Hills Wine Appeal
The Kangaroo Island Mayors Fund
The region has reopened for business and Tasting Room has resumed normal trading hours. Come up and share a glass with us.
As December approaches we have taken the time to write a short, thoughtful wish list of gifts that we hope will inspire new ideas for you, for the month ahead.
Christmas looks different for everyone and keeping this in mind we have chosen items of varied price but also based on a theme that resonates with us, as winegrowers, of appreciation for celebration and togetherness, and carefully considered objects.
Ceramic serving plates, from Made in Japan $17.50 each + delivery buy
Made in Japan is notable in Australia for ceramics and tableware. These earthy and durable, high-lipped dishes 22cm in diameter, are perfect for serving a Burrata dish, salumi or any shared plate of this nature. Made in Japan deal directly with small family-run businesses in Japan, providing the highest quality ceramics at the best possible price; no excessive packaging either. If you live in Melbourne you might also like to see about their ceramic workshops.
Adventures on the Wine Route, by Kermit Lynch $24.75 + delivery buy
Non-fiction, first published in 1988, A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France is likely to add value to any wine devotee’s library. Alice Waters provides a good synopsis: “Kermit's book changed my thinking about wine. Colorful encounters with larger-than-life personalities, the primacy of the land and authenticity, plus a good dose of humorous anecdotes to keep you entertained.”
Bottle of 2018 Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay, gift boxed $49 + delivery buy
Recent winner of Best Young White Wine at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, this Chardonnay will be a welcome addition to the dinner table. It comes with a complimentary gift box that is illustrated with fun and colourful hand-brushed zigzags, lines and curves, available with all wines if something else better suits.
Culture Memory Game, The School of Life $49 + delivery buy
This traditional game of matching pairs is made perfect for all ages with the addition of works of literature, art, design, or architecture, showcased on each pair. A fun way to learn up on cultural icons, their important and appearance: a visual index of some of the best ideas in the world!
One book a month for three months, from Wellread $99 (delivery inclusive) buy
A book subscription can be a thoughtful gift, especially for those that manage a little more time for reading over the summer holiday. The subscription includes three carefully selected books, delivered separately each month with reading notes. There’s a kids subscription available too.
Universal wine glass, by Zalto $58 each + delivery buy
These glasses are unbelievably lightweight and delicate. The shape of the bowl distinguishes Zalto from other known stemware, and they are tall as well. Suiting a range of different wine varieties and styles, the universal glass is a good versatile option, that we can recommend.
A magical dining experience, at Villetta Porcini in the Adelaide Hills. $ Email to buy - email@example.com
Gifting an experience is a lovely thought and even better if it’s somewhere hidden and magical! Villetta Porcini is a new culinary experience in Mylor, where the tables are all outdoor and surrounded by nature with produce and beverages presented by André Ursini. Whether you are contributing to, or purchasing in full, the experience will cost about $200 per person for food, drinks on top. In terms of available times, they are in demand, and will be made available to your guest/s later on, upon request.
Broadsheet Edition prints, from $220 + delivery buy
Beautiful images by past and present Broadsheet photographers, available for purchase. They start from $220 unframed and go up in size and price from there. We like Mark Roper’s Flinders Lane featuring one of our favourites, Supernormal. Also Rebecca Mansell’s Authentic Bites II, or Gareth Sobey’s Circular Quay or Lisbon Laundry.
Hand blown wine decanter, by artist Nick Mount $399 + delivery buy
Nick Mount is a leading Australian glass artist living locally in the Adelaide Hills. His hand-blown wine decanters are beautiful and include a funnel available in one of four colour choices: amber, ruby, black or clear. As well as online from the Jam Factory, Shaw + Smith sell these in the Tasting Room, if you live nearby and can come in.
Congratulations to Kelly Flynn, the winner of our Shaw + Smith Adelaide Hills Luxury Weekend Competition 2019 and Chris Byrne, the winner of the Shaw + Smith $1000 Cellar.
Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks also to Sequoia Lodge, Mount Lofty House for their participation in this sensational prize.