Winemaker Ben (Mr.) Riggs follows the philosophy "iconic wines from iconic regions". Whether it's McLaren Vale Shiraz, Coonawarra Cabernet, or Clare Valley Riesling, his wines are expressing the essence of the vineyard and variety in a style that is big, rich and complex, but also with finesse, texture and elegance.
The Gaffer is a tribute to Ben Riggs' great-great-great grandfather, John "The Gaffer" Riggs (1814-1902), who was one of South Australia's most renowned farmers. This McLaren Vale Shiraz was made to acknowledge 150 years of the Riggs family's rich farming heritage in South Australia. Regarding the Gaffer Shiraz, in Ben's own words: "Think Ella Fitzgerald – bombastic and powerful with a huge vocal range, yet with purity of tone and a gentle sensibility when needed."
Grapes for "The Gaffer" have been sourced from five key vineyards in McLaren Vale; Martins, Gateway, John Rivers, Tim Hunts and Ben Riggs' Piebald Gully vineyard. 2017 was a late and wet vintage in McLaren Vale. Following on from a wet winter, spring and summer were hot, with late budburst. The vines ripened throughout February and harvest began in March. The vines held large canopies with average yields. Above average rainfall in winter led to elegant, refined and delicate fruit.
The Gaffer Shiraz is a testament to the best of McLaren Vale. A medium weight Shiraz, the style of The Gaffer is soft, flavoursome, and fruit driven. Distinctive McLaren Vale characteristics shine through with a spine of sweet, soft, warm tannins whilst on the palate is crunchy, bright, red berries.
SAM KIM - WINE ORBIT
It is fabulously fruited and instantly appealing on the nose showing Black Doris plum, blackberry, warm spice, cedar and cocoa characters, leading to a wonderfully flavoursome palate that is richly fruited and generously textured, finishing persistent and delicious. At its best: now to 2025.'