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Lisa McGuigan at Gaucho.
Guest post by Des Carroll:
Stylish, bold, aesthetically pleasing, and that is not just the wine bottles. Lisa McGuigan , like her wines, is a vibrant, intense and passionate, larger than life Australian winemaker and her new to the UK self-titled wine brand exploded onto the UK Market as part of London Wine Week, with its official launch on Thursday May 23rd.
Lisa is a fourth generation winemaker and has decided to cut a dash and go it alone with her own take on some reasonably new wine blends to the UK shores, but also some Aussie classics up her sleeve too.
Bored with dreary packaging and labelling, Lisa has designed each bottle from the new range, to jump out and shout “buy me” to the consumer. Lisa’s take on her wines is that they should look as good as they taste, and should be up there as the latest “fashion accessory”. “Why stop at a handbag when you can have you bottle of wine looking just right too”. An aside to this is that in 2010 over 70% of wine in the UK purchased, was purchased by women, so why not make the bottle appealing?
The initial UK launch features the entry level “Wilde Thing” Range which has a Chardonnay / Pinot Grigio blend (not a blend seen in the UK very often) and a Cabernet Shiraz. Moving a step up, the “Silver Collection” encompasses a Chardonnay and a Shiraz. All Lisa’s wines come from South Australia. Let me run through with you the individual offerings now.
The Wilde Thing Collection will have a retail price of £7.
The Chardonnay / Pinot Grigio Label is quite an interesting wine. It is a 70:30 blend, quite light, not too oaky. It has the characteristics of a Chardonnay but much lighter. This has been achieved by the use of a “Wilde” ferment, (cultured yeast) which in turn means less sulphites are needed to clear the wine. Although, lighter than a pure Chardonnay and less oaky, it does have a fruity aroma and palate. Apple, pear, peach even a slither of kiwi fruit. The upshot of all this is it is a great spring / summer wine and can just as easily be drunk with some great seafood or as a quaffing wine on a night out or an evening in.
The Cabernet Shiraz Label is a well known blend. The Cabernet, as is usual holds back the Big Bang and robustness of the Shiraz, but the Shiraz gives the Cab Sav some teeth. This produces the signature smooth wine, with blackcurrant aromas and taste, which is equally at home with BBQ food (Lamb & Chicken) or some spicy foods.
The Silver Collection will have a retail price of £9
The Chardonnay Label is quite oaky (what has happened to unoaked Chardonnay?) none the less a nice wine, melon, peaches and some floral nose. This I believe has to be drunk with food, food such as smoked salmon, cerviche, or prawns with a citric accompaniment come to mind. It’s a good wine that is not too over powering, yet at the same time leaves a pleasant taste on the palate.
The Shiraz to me encompasses all of the good things about an Aussie Red, and at a very reasonable price. It’s big, it’s bold, it screams “I’m and Aussie Red, and if you don’t like me, tough.” However it is delicious. At £9 I would suggest a veritable bargain. Obviously Steak is the ideal companion, or even Lamb, but I’d be happy drinking this one by itself or with a block of cheese.
Overall it was a great evening’s introduction to the fabulous Lisa McGuigan and her wines. The event was perfectly orchestrated and managed and flowed seamlessly.
My two wines to taste / savour – Wilde Thing Chardonnay Pinot Grigio, Silver Collection Shiraz!
Lisa McGuigan UK Wine Launch was held at Gaucho Charlotte Street
For more information, go to the Lisa McGuigan website