Church Block was the first wine the late Greg Trott produced under the Wirra Wirra label back in 1972. He took the name from one of the original vineyards, which runs next to the small Bethany Church (est. 1854) across the road from Wirra Wirra’s century old ironstone cellars. Over four decades, the Church Block label has become an Australian favourite.
Grape Variety Cabernet Sauvignon (51%) Shiraz (38%) Merlot (11%) Colour Inky scarlet with a deep plum core. Bouquet A combination of dense blackcurrant and dark plum fruits, lifted spice and cedar, underwritten with peaty, leafy and earthy notes. Palate Juicy dark berries and stone fruits are held in a firm grip of youthful, ripe tannin. Medium to full bodied, the palate is fruit laden and generous, finishing with savoury character and stylish freshness. Drink From release up to 15 years from vintage. Food Match A winter dish of slow braised beef cheek with mushroom ragù. Vegetables grilled on the BBQ are a good option for vegetarians. Vineyards Wirra Wirra sources fruit from a selection of grower vineyards across McLaren Vale, including our own blocks adjacent to the winery. Oak Maturation Combination of French (70%) and American oak (30%) barriques & hogsheads of which 10% is new oak. Vinification Fruit was gently crushed and destemmed prior to commencing fermentation. Early temperatures were maintained at 20-22 degrees Celcius, rising to 25-28 degrees Celcius at peak of ferment. Vessels were pumped over two to four times daily to assist in flavour and colour extraction, as well as spreading heat through the cap and body of the ferment. Nearing completion and having achieved the desired flavour and tannin extraction, pump-overs were reduced to once or twice daily to keep the cap moist. Close to dryness, wine was drained from the fermenter and the remaining skins were pressed via tank or basket press. Wines completed their secondary malolactic fermentation in tank or barrel, with oak selection and maturation times tailored to each wine and grape varietal - fuller-bodied parcels receiving a longer maturation time in oak before blending.
Winemakers: Paul Smith, Tom Ravech and Kelly Wellington
The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.
We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.
Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines.
Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.
Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.
If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.
Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins.
Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.
Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.
Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir.
Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood.
This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.
These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.
We don't stock a wine or spirit that we don't believe in. Our directors taste each and every product in order to ensure the best quality and value is delivered to you.
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