Monday 28 April 2008



YOUR WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning 28 April 2008

wine with david ellis


NOT many winemakers can boast a cricket pitch in the middle of their vineyards, but when Jim Barry Wines bought the disused Penola Cricket Ground in South Australia's Coonawarra ten years ago, they decided to leave the pitch intact as something of a tribute to the State's cricketing greats.

MD of the family-owned company, Peter Barry planted four clones of Cabernet Sauvignon on the ground, leaving a path through to the pitch ("it's got the world's shortest run-up," he says,) and has just released the inaugural wine from this unusual vineyard – appropriately labelled 2005 First Eleven.

Vines for this first wine from the Penola Cricket Ground vineyard were hand-pruned, and fruit selectively hand-harvested to ensure fruit was gathered at full ripeness.

The result is a classic young full-bodied Coonawarra Cabernet with a palate rich in blackcurrant, clove and cinnamon, velvety tannins and liquorice and cherries. Pay $60 and couple with char-grilled steak, a walnut sauce and celeriac mash.

ONE FOR LUNCH – a very special lunch: Katnook's Prodigy Coonawarra Shiraz 2004 is one of those exceptional wines for exceptional occasions, the result of an ideal growing season and the hands-on attention that can be paid to a very small vineyard with a long lineage of outstanding production.

The very noticeable raspberry and plum fruit flavours, sweet anis spices, licorice and hints of cracked pepper feature on the palate, coupled with soft and lingering tannins; pay $95 for that special occasion and share at the table with pesto crusted Frenched lamb chops.

WINE OF THE WEEK: New Zealand's Secret Stone has added a Pinot Gris to its stable, a beautifully crispy, tropical-fruit-rich wine from the Marlborough region of the South Island; great buying at $20.99 to enjoy with pan-fried salmon.

(Need a drink? Past wine columns are archived on


Photo captions:

HIT drop from Jim Barry Wines is a classic young Coonawarra Cabernet

KATNOOK Prodigy Coonawarra Shiraz an exceptional wine for exceptional occasions

SECRET's out: Secret Stone Pinot Gris: tropical fruit rich from New Zealand

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