The Red Wine of The Year is our biggest event of the year, with a search across the country, hundreds of tastings and a unanimous decision from our tasting panel before choosing the winner. Find out the history, region and other details of this year’s winner - the Reynella Limited Release Shiraz 2015
Meet the Winemaker
Paul Carpenter was born and bred in McLaren Vale, the heart of South Australia's Wine Country. A true local and passionate advocate for the region, it's no surprise that he is now the man behind the winning wine. Paul's winemaking journey began after working a vintage at Geoff Merrill in 1995 and he hasn't looked back since. With several international vintages under his belt at the Cháteau de Bluizard in France and Archery Summit in Oregon, Paul's Australian winemaking took place at the likes of Tintara and Wirra Wirra. Winner of two Max Schubert trophies for Best Red Wine at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show in 2007 and 2008, Paul was also crowned Bushing King, honouring the winemaker of the Best Wine of Show, at the McLaren Vale Wine Show. In 2009, Paul was named a finalist in Winestate Magazine's 'Winemaker of the Year' awards.
Behind the Scenes
Watch Paul talk about his beloved McLaren Vale, his work at Reynella and get the first hand experience of the winning wine in our video from our visit to the winery.
Steeped in History
Reynella is McLaren Vale's oldest winery, having been established in 1839 by John Reynell, one of the first colonists to grow commercial grapes in Australia. He's thought to have established the first commercial vineyard and winery in McLaren Vale, by planting the very first vine cuttings. The cellar he built in 1845 survives to this day and Chateau Reynella is an established landmark in the region, where his passionate winemaking tradition continues to this day.
A Dazzling Shiraz
Crafted from carefully chosen premium Shiraz grapes, it has all the qualities you'd look for in a bold Shiraz, without competing for attention or overpowering the palate. Earthy and approachable, this wine tantalizes with perfumes of crushed blackberries and the intensity of fruit and spice is balanced with satiny-smooth tannins and a generous finish.
It has beautifully integrated oak tones and it will softly envelop the nose and palate with aromas of dark, black fruit, silky tannins and a generous finish. Enjoy a drop now, but cellar some bottles until 2023 to allow complex secondary aromas and flavours to fully develop.
McLaren Vale - Where Shiraz is King
McLaren Vale is the birthplace of South Australia's wine industry, best known for the Shiraz wines produced there. Shiraz fruit accounts for 50% of the total crush in McLaren Vale and it's an important and revered variety in the region. Nestled next to the sea, this region's vineyards are still mostly family-run, boutique operations. There are events throughout the year to celebrate everything wine, for example, the Bushing festival is a chance for winemakers to introduce new vintages and celebrate the season.
The unique terroir has many different soil varieties, including the most famous one - terra rossa. This contributes greatly, along with expert winemaking to the differences and flavour nuances of the fruit grown in the vineyards.
Dining with a Winner
The Reynella Limited Release Shiraz 2015 has a few food partners, so you won't be starved for choice when you open this bottle during a special dinner. The first recommendation is lamb cutlets, baked with beetroot in red wine and you can find the recipe below.
People often think that cheaper wine should be used for cooking. While that's acceptable if it's all you have on hand, to truly elevate your meal, use the wine you're drinking in your cooking. The wine in your glass will work with the wine in your recipe for a perfect culinary partnership.
Lamb Cutlets with beetroot baked in red wine
12 lamb cutlets
8 medium beetroots, trimmed and scrubbed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cups Reynella Shiraz
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 220°C. Toss beetroots with 2 tablespoons of oil in a large baking dish. Roast the beetroots uncovered until tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Cool beets slightly, then peel. Cut beetroots into quarters.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender (about 12 minutes). Add the beetroot quarters to the skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes. Add the red wine and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the wine almost evaporates and the glaze coats the beetroot (about 15 minutes). Add butter and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl and serve with the lamb cutlets (cooked according to preference) and a glass of Reynella Limited Release Shiraz 2015.
Shiraz is a very versatile wine and if you’re not a fan of lamb, a grass-fed steak with a black olive sauce or a slow cooked beef ragout can also be a worthy food match for the Reynella Limited Release Shiraz.
Our panel consists of Christine Ricketts, Cellar Director, Gwyn Olsen and Nick Badrice, winemakers extraordinaire. To find the winner, they taste hundreds of wines throughout the year and must come to a unanimous decision.
"I'm transported to McLaren Vale when I sense the aromas of blackberries and spice. This is a beautiful Shiraz." – Gwyn Olsen
"You can taste Paul's hard work in every sip - he really outdid himself and I have nothing but respect for this wonderful wine." - Nick Badrice
"I'll definitely be cellaring a few bottles and I'm looking forward to seeing them develop and flourish in my cellar." - Christine Ricketts
A Chance to Taste Excellence
We started Wine Reservations to connect our customers with winemakers and give them a chance to taste the best wines we can find. The Red Wine of The Year Reservation begins with a countrywide search, followed by panel tastings and a selection of six finalists before the winner is announced. These red wines are available at the best price to customers on the reservation list and you automatically receive the case. Reservations are completely flexible and you can skip any cases you’re not interested in. The Reservation is currently closed, but should more cases become available, click here to be the first to know.
- Red Wine of the Year
- Mclaren Vale