Here’s a wine that I know will brighten up a dour pub list. The Wirra Wirra Church Block 2017 is another reminder that making good $25 wine isn’t hard. You just have to overdeliver.
As ever, this red is sourced from McLaren Vale fruit. This year it’s 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Shiraz and 9% Merlot, which is close to the standard blend ( I think). Years ago I did a blending game at Wirra Wirra where we had to put together a Church Block blend. Our team (led by me, it was my fault) went light on the Merlot and came second as a result. Screw you McLaren Vale Merlot!
Now, back to this ’17. In my mind, the Cab component seems particularly dominant this year, with a whiff of cedar and dark berries. Between that and the richness of the Shiraz it’s makes for a chunky, substantial red that is a little rough edged (and plenty of acidity), but long and genuine. You come away satisfied by the saturation, the McLaren Vale width and the real tannins. It’s a lot of wine at a very fair price. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14.5%, $25. Would I buy it? Worth a few glasses as a start.