Monday 6 August 2007


SOUTH-Eastern NSW’s Bidgeebong Wines can justifiably lay claim to coming up with one of our more distinct drops of Shiraz, both because of the district in which it’s located and the methods used in the vineyard it gets its fruit from.

Located on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga, its grapes come from the so-called Bidgeebong Triangle bounded by Tumbarumba in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, Young, and the Murrumbidgee plain around Gundagai.

Fruit for the just-released 2004 Icon Series Shiraz came from the Billinudgel Vineyard of former naval officer, Peter Paffard and his wife Anne, in the Tumbarumba district – one that’s more generally regarded as Chardonnay country, but which being protected from chilly alpine winds, also produces exceptional Shiraz fruit that’s quite akin to that from France’s Rhone Valley.

The Paffards are organic devotees, do not till the soil, avoid sprays, and as they’re totally surrounded by natural bushland, employ backpackers to shoo-off native birds as the grapes ripen. In the case of the 2004, all this resulted in Bidgeebong’s Director of Winemaking, Andrew Birks enjoying that exceptional fruit to produce an elegant wine that’s loaded with forest berryfruit flavours, a touch of spice and nice oak.

Pay $35 and enjoy this one with grilled lamb back-straps accompanied by steamed baby ’taters, carrots and beans.

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