Monday, February 14, 2011


1. Shiraz/tempranillo is a blend with a ton of potential in the Barossa Valley.
2. Karra Yerta's Eden Valley Riesling really is one of the best rieslings in Australia at the moment.
3. You don't need meat or seafood to make truly exceptional pizza.
4. Don't spend all your money on food and wine the day before Valentine's Day.

With the exception of Valentine's Day, I'll elaborate on these points in future posts.


  1. Keen to hear your thoughts on blending shiraz and tempranillo together. Tempranillo crop from my 2006-planted vines looks small this year, so may blend with some shiraz, but haven't thought through the marketing aspects of this yet.

  2. Barossan Shiraz Tempranillo - interesting. I can see how it would work.

    How are you finding it in the vineyard Paul?

  3. Thanks, Chris, for this encouraging statement, and also for the nice words in your comment. These are the things that keep us little guys going, despite the current difficulties:)

  4. Paul and Andrew,

    Basically, after a day of tasting a mixed bag of Barossa reds, predominantly from 2007, 2008 and 2009, the wine which really stood head and shoulders above the rest was Saltram's 2008 Winemaker's Selection Shiraz Tempranillo (yes, from 2008 even), which is a 'limited release' Saltram wine made with the typical 'selective' criteria and retailing for $50. It stood out so much to me that after a tasting I needed some more; immediately, so I bought a bottle to drink with pizza in Saltram's restaurant.

    I took a full note on the wine and will be posting it soon.

    It smelled of tempranillo's attractive exotic spices and violet florals, with a strong underswell of old-vine Barossa shiraz beneath that. On the nose the varieties just seemed to play off each other's strengths, like a good GSM or Cab Merlot even, albeit in a very Barossan style. Essentially, it smelled precisely how I'd want a Barossa shiraz/temp to smell. The palate was much more shiraz like, but it was silky smooth in a sensuous, textured way, and very rich and even throughout.

    Shavaughn Wells thinks the blend has a lot going for it in the Barossa, and on the basis of her wine I'd have to agree. It's certainly the best Australian shiraz/temp or cabernet/temp I've had.

    For interest it's a 65/35 blend, aged in 100% French oak (25% new) for 12 months. I'm sure there will be more tech specs on Saltram's website.....

    Oh yeah, it went very well with Saltram's home made wood oven pizzas (the Greek lamb in particular), which I imagine would appeal to a man with your tastes Paul. :)

    Chris P

  5. Marie,

    No, no, thank you for making a fantastic riesling! Word needs to get out about it! We picked up 2 bottles and I'll be putting up a full tasting note on one, on the site soon - I can't wait!

    In the meantime, you (and I) can thank guys like Andrew for bringing my attention to the wine ;)

    Keep up the great work and best of luck with the 2011 vintage,
    Chris P

  6. p.s. make that 10 months French oak for the Saltram Shiraz/Temp


  7. all points are noted, particularly # 4 :)

  8. We wouldn't want the florists to go out of business, would we Andy? :)

    I bought Beck a pair of long-stemmed roses (in a small arrangement) on Valentine's Day for $45. The next day I walked past the same florist and saw 10 roses for $10.......

    Whether she likes it or not, I think we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day on the 15th next year.....