Australian winery McGuigan Wines takes a friendly approach to bottling

Easy appeal

McGuigan Wines’ winning proposition is in making fruit- forward wines that are decidedly approachable, easily likeable and not difficult to comprehend. The Australian winery, founded by the McGuigan brothers in 1992 in Hunter Valley, has vineyard holdings that extend across South Australia, from Barossa Valley to Adelaide Hills and the Eden and Clare valleys, as well as into Victoria and New South Wales. This allows the winery to produce a wide variety of wines that it bottles under labels such as Shortlist, Private Bin, Black Label and Personal Reserve, to name a few. At a wine pairing dinner at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur’s Thirty8 restaurant hosted by Neil McGuigan, the wines featured showcased the winery’s distinctive style.

Canapes of freshly shucked Irish oysters, poached lamb loin and focaccia were served with Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014, which tantalised with its sweet notes of passionfruit and honey, and Private Bin Merlot 2014, an easy-drinking red tasting of raisins and raspberry. The zippy and citrusy character of Bin 9000 Hunter Valley Semillon 2015 proved to be an ideal companion to the starter of blue swimmer crab on a bed of yellowtail tuna tartare with marinated avocado.

Composed of shiraz, grenache and mourvedre, Shortlist Barossa Valley GSM 2012 has a semi-dry pro le characterised by soft tannins and hints of savouriness – just what was needed to cut through the sweetness in the braised five-spice duck.

Meanwhile, Farms Shiraz 2012, what Neil calls “the big red”, is brawny and concentrated, with intense flavours of blackberry, black olive and spice, a velvety mouthfeel and lingering finish. This full-bodied red predictably complemented the well-seasoned roasted black Angus beef sirloin with chimichurri.

Ending the evening on a sweet note was Signature Moscato 2015, which has delightful pineapple and floral flavours underlined by a surprising spritz. The dessert wine elevated the coconut ice cream with caramelised pineapple, and afforded a delicious contrast to the cheese platter of French brie and Swiss gruyere. “The idea for this evening was to build on the flavours and intensity of the wines,” says Neil. He certainly succeeded.

McGuigan Wines

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