Padthaway Shiraz

The rugged and aptly named, Limestone Coast, lies about halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide in Southern Australia. For a long stretch in the 19th and early 20th century, its reputation as a treacherous combination of fractured escarpments and hidden reefs and shoals was borne out by the long chronicle of wrecked ships that had misjudged their sailing or steaming courses. Just inland, however, its far more placid agricultural regions have been diligent in productively diversifying their traditional farming of cereals, pasture seed, vegetables, and livestock grazing. As of the 1960’s, they’ve also embraced the stepped challenges and rewards of grape growing and winemaking — so much so that they now produce 20% of South Australia’s total output.

Padthaway is an emerging, less-renowned member of the six sub-regions lying within the Limestone Coast boundary; directly competing with the international profile of neighbouring Coonawarra: rightfully and highly regarded for the qualities of its benchmark bottlings of Shiraz. The Potawurutj Aborigines coined Padthaway’s name (‘good water’), referencing the underground aquifer system and the abundant surface supply. When the forbearers of the Bryson’s and other Europeans arrived in Padthaway during the 1850’s, the bio-diverse landscape of an ancient seabed was still extensively covered by shallow reservoirs of freshwater and so became known as ‘Mosquito Plains.’

Among many desirable attributes in this terroir, including sun-drenched exposures in daytime offset by the cooling coastal breezes at night, are the prized Terra Rosa soils. Often associated with the Mediterranean basin generally, and Italy in particular, this composition of ancient weathered limestone results from the residual clay and non-soluble rock becoming oxidized; yielding the characteristic reddish colour; imbuing the soil with essential minerals and proper drainage for the vine’s root system. Punctuating 190 hectares on the Bryson Estate are outcrops and clusters of unusual, bulbous granite rock formations; providing an evocative namesake and brand graphic for their baseline range of wines: the Jip Jip Rocks.

Spanning 5 family generations, over a 165-year history, the Bryson farming clan has made a significant contribution to Padthaway winemaking, having invested the last 50 yrs. in refining the cultivation of premium-grade, red and white wine varieties on their own Phylloxera-free rootstock. Clearly, all the vineyard management details matter to the dedicated trio of Bryson brothers — they’re also at ease with the sentiment that what ends up in the bottle is ‘serious fun’!

After spending a year in a combination of new and 2nd use, American and French oak barrels, this week’s DéClassé featured varietal bottling of Shiraz was finished by blending batches from the 2016 vintage. With another year spent in the bottle, it’s ready to go now, though will develop even more balance if left on your rack for several more years. If you like your dry reds on the somewhat wilder and heftier side, with some youthful fruitiness and acidic vibrancy still at the forefront, then you should rush to the LCBO’s Vintages section to get ahead of the anticipated crowd of in-the-know fans!

JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ 2016
VINTAGES/LCBO — Product #673897 | 750 mL bottle
Price $16.95
14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in South Australia, Australia
By: Morambro Creek
Release Date: March 17, 2018

Tasting Note
Along with the dominant Currant, earthy Cherry, and Mulberry flavours, this fairly fulsome red also incorporates subtle mocha and clove notes.  The spiced aromas and toasted influence of oak are pronounced, though deftly integrated into the wine’s supple and layered body. Try serving with marinated flank steak, smoked ham hock and braised cabbage, hearty stews or mature cheeses.

Padthaway Shiraz

The Limestone Coast lies about halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide, and its agricultural regions have been diligently diversifying their traditional farming of cereals, pasture seed, vegetables and livestock grazing. As of the 1960’s, they’ve also embraced the stepped challenges/rewards of grape growing and winemaking — so much so that they now produce 20% of South Australia’s total. Spanning 5 family generations, over a 165-year history, the Bryson farming clan has made a significant contribution to the shift, having invested the last 50 yrs. in refining the cultivation of premium-grade, red and white wine varieties, on their own Phylloxera-free rootstock. Clearly, all the vineyard management details matter to the dedicated trio of Bryson brothers; they’re also at ease with the sentiment that what ends up in the bottle is ‘serious fun’!


Padthaway is an emerging, less-renowned member of the six sub-regions lying within the Limestone Coast boundary; directly competing with the established international profile of neighbouring Coonawarra: rightfully and highly regarded for the qualities of its benchmark bottlings of Shiraz. The Potawurutj Aborigines coined Padthaway’s name (‘good water’), referencing the underground aquifer system and the abundant surface supply. When the forbearers of the Bryson’s and other Europeans arrived in Padthaway during the 1850’s, the bio-diverse landscape (ancient seabed) was still extensively covered by shallow freshwater and so became known as ‘Mosquito Plains’.

Among many desirable attributes at work in this terroir, including sun-drenched exposures in daytime offset by the cool coastal breezes at night are the prized Terra Rosa soils. Often associated with the Mediterranean basin generally, and Italy in particular, this composition of ancient weathered limestone results from the residual clay and non-soluble rock becoming oxidized (rusting); yielding the characteristic reddish colour; imbuing the soil with essential minerals and good drainage for the vine’s root system. Punctuating 190 hectares on the Bryson Estate are outcrops and clusters of unusual, bulbous granite rock formations; providing an evocative namesake and brand graphic for their baseline range of wines: the Jip Jip Rocks.

This week’s DéClassé featured varietal bottling of Shiraz was finished by blending batches from the 2013 vintage, after spending a year in a combination of new and used, American and French oak barrels. With another 15 months in the bottle, it’s ready to go now, though will develop even more balance if left on your storage rack for several more years. If you like your dry reds on the plush side, with some youthful fruitiness and acidic vibrancy still at the forefront, then you should rush to the LCBO’s Vintages section ahead of the anticipated crowd — and buy a bunch!

Jip Jip Rocks

JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ 2013
VINTAGES/LCBO – Product #673897 | 750 mL bottle
Price $16.95
14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in South Australia, Australia
By: Bryson Family
Release Date: Feb 20, 2016

Tasting Note
Along with the dominant currant and earthy cherry notes, this fulsome red also incorporates subtle flavours of mocha and clove. Lightly spicy on the nose, the oak influence is deftly incorporated into the wine’s supple body. Try serving with marinated flank steak, smoked ham hock, hearty stews or mature cheeses.

Viognier Alert

With a 160-plus-year history, this is Australia’s oldest family owned winery being
founded in 1849 by English brewer Samuel Smith in Barossa Valley. Located in
South Australia’s most famous wine-making region, the winery’s name Yalumba
roughly translates to meaning “all the land around” – in one of the local aboriginal
dialects. Originally, a mere 30 acres of vineyard has grown in diversification and
scale, drawing on the output from choice parcels around the town of Angaston,
also known as’ German Pass’: pioneered largely by German immigrants in the
mid-nineteenth century. 50yrs. onward, the Smiths began development of the
flourishing viniculture that now marks the South Australian region as a whole.

The Viognier grape and its resulting varietal wine, is one of the great stories of
recovery and reemergence from near-extinction. In the early 1960’s, only about
80 acres of vine plantings were still active world-wide, all in a cluster in France’s
Northern Rhône Valley. This week’s DéClassé featured vintner was one of a small handful to re-establish the variety in the Eden Valley in the late 1970’s. Arguably,
in spite of a new-found popularity on its own along with its use as a very common blending component with other varieties such as Marsanne and Grenache Blanc, bolstering texture and deepening colour – it remains a niche variety. 

It’s a very difficult grape to grow with consistency, offering highly variable yields
from season to season. Since it’s thick-skinned, it also requires a lot of sunshine
exposure to bring it through to maturity, though not too much, as this results in
an overly ‘hot’ alcohol content. This week’s recommendation strikes the balance
just right: some steelyness, refreshing, while also fuller-bodied and fulfilling.

Get off the bandwagon of the current stars of often less-characterful, white wine
such as the inexpensive versions of Chardonnay and the like. Get a bottle and try
this fairly well-chilled and while it’s young, before heading back for another.

Yalumba Viognier

YALUMBA THE Y SERIES VIOGNEIR 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #624502 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 16.95
14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in: South Australia, Australia
By: Negociants International
Release Date: Oct. 25, 2014

Tasting Note
This bottling is classically typical of the variety. Light, floral aroma and flavour
with notes of stone fruit such as apricot and hints of peach, pineapple and spice
blended into a supple, textured body. Enjoy this somewhat bigger white as apéritif
or with seafood, salads and white-sauced pasta.