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"So what's your favorite wine then?


"So what's your favorite wine then?"

I smiled, this is a question I get asked a dozen times a day, especially at a wine tasting and it's one of my favorite questions to answer.

Of course I reply, like any dutiful parent, "well it's kind of like answering  "who is your favorite child? I love them all equally, of course". But I always say it with a cheeky grin and a wink. I know this is a game, it's a dance back and forth and I love it.

They always push for a true answer though, oh surely you have one you love more than the others, sometimes they'll often wink and whisper conspiratorially "I know I have a favorite child."

I'll laugh, enjoying the moment and reply, "honestly, it's simple, no doubt a twinkle forming in my eye. I love telling this story, I love sharing this wine, this is my favorite of all.

"It's The Ging," I tell them and chuckle at their look of confusion.

It's almost always confusion, sometimes astonishment. The Ging isn't our most expensive wine nor is it our most awarded, though it does have a trophy cabinet overflowing with awards all to itself. Most people expect me to proclaim one of our more expensive bottles as my personal favorite.

But The Ging is my favorite because it's exactly what you would want a McLaren Vale Shiraz to be, it's bold and bright on the palate with subtle hints of chocolate and dark berries. It's a true and honest wine, but it also has just enough of that roguishness and devil may care attitude we all love so much about our Australian way of life.

The Ging is my favorite because it embodies all these truly special qualities and in doing so, it is the perfect homage to the man himself, a man who has been a very special force in our lives and one for which we will always be grateful.

The Ging is also one of my favorite wines to make, throughout the process there is always an air of anticipation. I put it in French oak barrels (7% new) to mature it until the flavours are perfect, sometimes it takes up to 2 years or longer for this process to occur.

Every few months or so, I taste test our barrels, noting each's progression through the process. There's a very unique palate that makes a barrel suitable for the Ging and not every barrel will fit the bill. The oak I put it in plays its part too, being a natural product, it makes for subtle variations during the maturation process.

As the wines mature in the French Oak and each barrel taste test reveals more of the wines character, it's the fuller, more complex barrels that I ear mark for the Ging.

Finally, it's bottled and we let our faithful Smidge community know, (our Smidge family of clients, always get first pick, especially as there's always a limited number of bottles) and then it goes to market.

I think, most importantly it's my sentimental favourite - named in honour of Trish's Grandfather who she adored (as did all his 11 Grandchildren). For me this was more than an honoring of her childhood memories, it was a nod to him as a man with how he lived with endless energy, big ideas, and an even bigger heart.

This is the reason why the first bottle of each vintage of the Ging, comes home with me and over a nice dinner, Trish and I toast the man behind the name and remember the loveable rogue who meant so much to both of us.

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Tasting Notes:


 Winemaker Matt Wenk

Tasting Notes In the glass this wine stands strong, with its black core and attractive magenta rim. The nose is immediately alluring with cherries, plums and chocolate with subtle dark olive and dried herb notes. The palate has a juicy vibrant entry with red / black fruits with chocolate and graphite, all wrapped up with fine tannins and a long fleshy late palate.

Cellaring This wine can be drunk now or with careful cellaring can be enjoyed until 2035.

Viticulture 2018 was warm and dry, although the cool nights were a godsend. With careful irrigation management and canopy retention the fruit ripened evenly and was machine harvested in pristine condition. This 100% Shiraz comes from a selection of premium blocks across the region of McLaren Vale from the area known as Seaview in the north to Willunga in the south. Vine age ranges from 14 to 45 years old with a mix of both single and double cordon trellis structure. Soil types include dark sand over red clay, red/brown clay/loam mottled with quartz and ironstone and brown loam over limestone..

Vinification & Maturation Fermentation was even and on average lasted 7 days with a maximum temperature of 280C. Total average time on skins was 15 days. Upon pressing, the free run and pressings were blended to tank. After 24 hours, the wine was racked to new to 4 year old barriques and hogsheads, which were predominantly French with 5% American for 26 months, during which time malolactic fermentation occurred and the wines were racked twice. Prior to bottling the batches were blended to tank for 5 months then fined, but not filtered.

Harvested March 2018
Bottled October 2020
Alcohol 15.0%


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