Brisbane boy Shane Harris came by recently. He had a swag of wines under his arm and a smile on his face. There was much to taste too.

Shane is Pertaringa’s senior winemaker and brand ambassador – a property in the eastern hills of McLaren Vale, South Australia owned by Geoff Hardy and Ian Leask.

Pertaringa Adelaide Scarecrow Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (USD 20); 13%, +++; this is a relief to sniff, not more cut grass but worked sauvignon, some has been fermented on solids giving nose funkiness and mouth texture; rip-roaring to start then the steely sauvignon acidity rasp to remind us its sauvignon.

Pertaringa Scarecrow Sauvignon 2010

Pertaringa Adelaide Stage Left Merlot 2007 (USD 22); 14.5%, +++; mulberry nose and mulberry fruit cake flavours, is well rounded so succulent now, drying out on the palate as bottle age comes into play. Plump, warm area wine, drink it now.

Pertaringa Stage Left Merlot 2007

Pertaringa McLaren Vale Understudy Cabernet Petit Verdot 2007 (USD 22); 15%; +++1/2; smells cedary, that must be the oak in sync, is medium bodied and easy to thrash around the mouth, juicy cabernet in its easy going role, 40% petit verdot puts in a little more spine to the wine. I think “understudy” means playing second fiddle to shiraz!

Pertaringa Understudy Cabernet Petit Verdot 2007

Pertaringa McLaren Vale Undercover Shiraz 2008 (USD 24); 15%, ++++; deep colour, it even broods in the glass because it looks so good, has a massive nose too, sweet smelling, this is mighty good, Shane has kept it contained during making, it’s sculptured not hugely tannic or overblown, just complete and tight tannin threads, great wine.

Pertaringa Undercover Shiraz 2008

Pertaringa McLaren Vale Over The Top Shiraz 2008 (USD 41.50 ); 15%; ++++1/2; this is meant to be the brand’s best shiraz; essentially a bigger wine than “Undercover”, shows more new oak yet has a delicious palate, it’s a loveable wine, in your face too as McLaren Vale goes.

Pertaringa Over the Top Shiraz 2008

How are the wines travelling? Well the 2007 year was a tough one to make reds, a small production too, while 2008 was the year of the 10-day heatwave (temps above 40 oC); the 08 wines here not appearing to suffer, most being picked before the heat came (as they say). The wines however have turned out fine.

Peter Scudamore-Smith is a Brisbane-based Master of Wine, winemaker and educator

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