After the huge success of The Trucks wines in the States, creators 585 Wine Partners of the Napa Valley, California contacted their mates in Australia at Cheviot Bridge and suggested recreating the wines here.
Cheviot Bridge loved the idea and immediately licensed the Red Truck and White Truck brands in Australia and put one of their most talented winemakers, Shane Virgo, in charge of putting an Australian engine in this American classic.
Whilst the labels remain the same, featuring the appealing painting by internationally renowned Sonoma artist Dennis Ziemienski, the wines have become official Australian citizens being re-crafted from 100% South Australian fruit.
Following the philosophy of the original wine, Shane and the team behind The Truck wines are serious about making great wine, but they don't take themselves too seriously. Shane confesses, "We had a great time jumping in our utes and driving all over the South Australian countryside in the sunshine, selecting the best quality grapes to use for these new wines."
"Then the serious part kicked in and we went through a rigorous selection process. We tasted lots of different varieties and involving lots of different vineyards and winemaking techniques. We must have put over 50 different blends up on the bench at least 5 times, for each wine.
The driving factor (pardon the pun) for selection was definitely quality but we did also keep in mind reflecting the original style of the wines - a smooth ride of big-hearted, bright, juicy flavours, full of youthful energy and fun. It is a great added bonus that the wines are also distinctively Australian, with Shiraz being selected for the red blend and Chardonnay for the white ," Shane says.
2008 Red Truck Shiraz RRP $14.99
The fruit for the 2008 Shiraz ended up being sourced from three vineyards; 60% from a gnarly old vineyard in the Barossa Hills, and then equally from one near the coast at McLaren Vale and one in Clare. The wine has a firmness and grip which delivers oomph and grunt.
2009 White Truck Chardonnay RRP $14.99
Chardonnay shone through for the White Truck wine and particularly fruit from the Angas Creek vineyard in the Adelaide Hills and an old Chardonnay site high in the Eden Valley. Half the wine was fermented and matured in French oak barriques and half kept in stainless steel to maintain freshness.
Shane Virgo has definitely cranked up the gears to a new level and created bold, bright wines that will rev-up the palate and make any engine purr. The Dan Murphy's tasting panel certainly agreed with the quality and price, giving each wine a score of 94 points and agreeing to stock both wines. Their decision was backed-up by the 2010 Adelaide Wine Show where the 2008 Red Truck Shiraz also received a bronze medal.