The ¾ tonne Angelus bell that sits proudly atop the Wirra Wirra cellars is rung to announce the start and finish of each vintage in McLaren Vale and for other suitable celebrations. For generations it rung out thrice daily from the Jesuit Church at Norwood at, 6am, midday and 6pm, calling the faithful to joyful prayer. In honour of that tradition, the name ‘The Angelus’ is reserved for only exceptional parcels of cabernet sauvignon which are selected and vinified at Wirra Wirra
Wirra Wirra's Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon is a flagship wine in their range. With grapes sources solely from the local McLaren Vale region, it is consistently an excellent wine.
Wirra Wirra sources fruit from a combination of owned vineyards and premium McLaren Vale growers. The blend of individual vineyard and sub-regional characteristics is the key to the resulting style. Blended from a combination of mature McLaren Vale vineyard sites - typically low in vigour, producing modest yields of intense fruit. Soils range from shallow red clay loam over limestone to slatey clay loam on the ancient rocks.
Each ferment was tasted twice daily to determine the level of hand plunging and maceration required during fermentation. At the required level of tannin and fruit extraction, ferments were basket pressed with winemakers making the ‘press cut’ at the first sign of tannin hardness. After pressing and a brief settling period in tank, each wine was transferred to a tailored selection of French oak before completing malolactic fermentation. Following MLF, and several times thereafter, the wines were racked and returned. At the end of this program, barrels were selected from the most outstanding vineyard parcels, blended and filtered with a single pass before going to bottle.
Each vineyard block was individually assessed for barrel selection and matured for an average of 17 months in French Bordeaux oak prior to blending. New oak consisted of 30% of the blend. The balance was a combination of two to four year old barriques.
The nose shows fragrant red and black currant, a forest-floor earthiness and briary, tobacco-leaf character. The peaty, cedary influence of French oak compliments a vibrant and varietal display of leaf and fruit. The ripe core of blackcurrant fruit is cut by a bright acid line, while a long spine of powdery tannin travels the length of the palate into a savoury finish. Long, fresh, beautifully weighted medium-bodied cabernet.
Wirra Wirra was originally established in 1894 and though abandoned after several decades of production was revived by the late Greg Trott in 1969. The winery produces exceptional value, fruit driven wine styles that don’t shy away from ripeness, intensity and oak usage. Wirra Wirra is located approximately four kilometres outside of the township of McLaren Vale in the McLaren Vale wine growing region of South Australia. Wirra Wirra source fruit from estate and selected grower vineyards. Wirra Wirra is the core range but the wines are delineated by tiers including Flagship wines, RGT collection, Church Block, Mrs Wrigley range and the entry level Scrubby Rise wines. The production of these wines is overseen by Chief Winemaker Paul Smith, with able assistance from Tom Ravech and Kelly Wellington. The winery employs modern technology and new world technique to produce expressive wines of intensity, bold flavour and McLaren Vale profile.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Very good deep red/purple colour; bold and youthful. A full-bodied, dense, fleshy wine with concentration and power. Harmonious palate, with nicely polished tannins and balanced oak. It’s varietal but properly ripe and has a very promising future. 2019-08-30
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
From old vine vineyards across McLaren Vale, each parcel vinified separately, matured for 15 months in French oak (30% new) before barrel selection and blending. The alcohol was unknown at the time of tasting, but seems moderate. The super-fragrant bouquet is full of red flowers and red fruits that positively dance on the tongue as you start to assess the palate. Freshness and length are the keys to a very elegant cabernet.'
NICK STOCK - JAMESSUCKLING.COM
Very impressive dark plums and licorice with toasted spices and blackcurrants, leaves and herbal accents, which speak strongly to cabernet. This is an impeccably made wine. Silky tannins that are long and succulent with some redcurrants creeping up through blueberries and cassis. Screw cap.'