GRANDDAD WOULD BE PROUD OF THIS ONE
REGULAR readers will know our penchant for the more unusual in names bestowed on the labels of wines of many of our makers, and while one we came across recently may not rate with the actually unusual, it is how it came about intrigued us.
It's Shottesbrooke Vineyards in South Australia's McLaren Flat and it was so-named by company founder Nick Holmes in 1984 after an estate in Berkshire, England where Nick's grandfather, Richard Holmes was parish priest from 1905 to 1926.
And the label has certainly succeeded in spreading the Shottesbrooke name in this country, with Nick's Shiraz something plenty of buffs have for years enjoyed pouring and sharing with friends. The latest release from a classic 2012 vintage is a real ripper reflecting winemaker Hamish Maguire's skill with this variety that does so well in the McLaren Vale region, and from where so many of our better Shiraz originate.
This is a wine with a lovely crimson-purple colour, and which is elegant and supple with black fruits foremost on the palate; pay $20 and match it perfectly with pepper-crusted venison.
ONE TO NOTE: CHARDONNAY buffs – and there are plenty of us out there who roundly rebuff the "not another Chardonnay" brigade – should be over-joyed with a rewarding 2011 under the Estate label of Victoria's Toolangi Vineyards in the Dixon's Creek area of the Yarra Valley.
Made from low-cropped, hand-harvested fruit, this one has beautiful white peach and melon flavours to the fore, suggestions of apple and lemon, and gentle acid to round it all out.
Pay $35 and enjoy with a range of dishes from herb-sprinkled roast chicken, to prawns in a creamy sauce or white fish accompanied by a butter sauce.
 FURTHERING the McLaren Vale region's reputation as one of our foremost Shiraz-making areas.
 A CHARDONNAY to enjoy with a diversity of tasty treats on the table.