Friday, 24 November 2017
The Thief 2015 Shiraz - Barrosa Valley
STEALING A LEAD WITH A THIEF
WHEN then-Poundkeeper in the Flinders Ranges' town of Melrose in South Australia was charged with stealing a cow way back in 1867, it's a safe bet he'd never have envisaged it raising him to something of celebrity status 150 years later.
But that's the case with Mr John Walter Mooney who was sent to gaol with hard labour for allegedly pinching the cow in cahoots with his own stockman and a local butcher, and slipping it in with his own for slaughter and sale through the butcher's shop.
And when the poor fellow told the presiding judge that his official Pound-book would show that he was holding the cow legally, but that he didn't have the book with him in court to prove it, the judge grunted that he should have brought it with him, and sent Mr Mooney off to the slammer for four years.
Bizarrely, when he died fifty years later, as a consequence of his imprisonment Mr Mooney was excommunicated and disallowed a Catholic burial – a slight that saw his entire family then withdraw from their life-long faith.
Now his great, great granddaughter, winemaker Natasha Mooney has created a label in her forebear's memory and honour, using fruit off her vineyard at Greenock on the north-western edge of the Barossa Valley, and with that label somewhat impishly titled The Thief?
Natasha's 2015 The Thief? Shiraz has a wonderful depth of red fruit flavours to it and a tingling spiciness from 18 months in oak; at $22 it's a well-priced stand-out with all manner of beef dishes.
 THIS colourfully named drop has a colourful background to it that dates back some 150 years, and will help start the conversation as you start to pour.
Posted by Roderick Eime