On Thursday the 30th of March, Mr. Riggs held our first Masterclass. The timing was impeccable for my birthday the following day! It was a really enjoyable night that paired together current wines and matched food by our Head Chef Ben Sommariva.
First we tasted both the 2016 Mr. Riggs Watervale Riesling, paired with Cured Ocean Trout alongside the 2015 Mr. Riggs Mrs. McLaren Vale Viognier, with Brandade.
Secondly we tasted the 2015 Mr. Riggs The Magnet McLaren Vale Grenache with Chargrilled Quail alongside the 2015 Mr. Riggs Montepulciano d'Adleaide with Morcilla.
Thirdly on offer was the 2014 Mr. Riggs The Gaffer McLaren Vale Shiraz with Jamon alongside that we had the 2013 Mr. Riggs McLaren Vale Shiraz with Beef Cheeks and Soft Polenta.
Finally to end our night we had on offer the 2016 Mr. Riggs Sticky End Viognier with Blue Cheese and the 2014 Mr. Riggs The Elder Fortified Shiraz with Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Bark.
A fantastic night that we hope to do more often. Below I have attached some photos of our Masterclass.
If you are intested in holding a private Masterclass please contact us on 08 8383 2050 or email@example.com.
Ben (Mr.) Riggs.
This year our entries to the China Wine & Spirit Awards Best Value 2017 resulted in a suberb outcome.
I'm very proud to let you all know that not only were we awarded a Double Gold Medal for our 2013 Mr. Riggs McLaren Vale Shiraz, we also received the Trophy for McLaren Vale Wine of the Year.
We are ecstatic at this result and the many others we received, and we are so happy to be sharing this wonderful news with you! Below are our awesome results:
Mr. Riggs 2013 McLaren Vale Shiraz + McLaren Vale Wine of the Year
Mr. Riggs 2014 Scarce Earth Shiraz
Mr. Riggs 2015 Cold Chalk Chardonnay
Mr. Riggs 2015 D'Adelaide Montepulciano
Mr. Riggs 2015 Piebald Syrah
Mr. Riggs 2015 Ein Riese Riesling
Mr. Riggs 2015 The Ring In Shiraz
Mr. Riggs 2015 The Truant Shiraz
Mr. Riggs 2016 Watervale Riesling
Mr. Riggs NV Battle Axe Sparkling Shiraz
Mr. Riggs 2015 The Magnet Grenache
Mr. Riggs 2015 Mrs. Viognier
The Adelaide Hills is one of South Australia’s favourite wine region, not only because it is so close the CBD, but because of the quality of wines from the region. Better known for its Chardonnays, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines, our key interest this month… Riesling.Here we discuss the regions history and a little about our Adelaide Hills Riesling “Ein Riese”.
(Image Sourced from: http://www.adhills.com.au/tourism/adhills/wineries/map.html)
Traditionally the Adelaide Hills was home to the Peramangk people, and the lower foothills the Kaurna people. And in 1802 Mount Lofty, the highest point in the Adelaide Hills was named by Matthew Flinders. Between 1836 and 1839 many European settlers arrived, establishing Adelaide Hillsvillages, such as Stirling, Crafers and Hahndorf. In 1836 the first South Australian vineyard was planted in North Adelaide, however John Barton Hack, the owner, pulled the vineyard and replanted in Echunga Springs. In 1843 Hack sent a case of wine made from the vineyard to Queen Victoria.
We source our grapes for our “Ein Riese” from Scott and Kerry Hicks vineyard, Yacca Paddock. Located in the Kuitpo region of the southern Mount Lofty ranges in the Adelaide Hills, Yacca Paddock is approximately 360 metres above sea level and on average 2.5 degrees cooler than McLaren Vale. It is planted on very old podsolic soils over an ironstone/gravel base. The Ein Riese is made as an off-dry German Style Riesling, “Ein Riese” is German for “a giant”. Perfect for this Riesling and perhaps one of Ben (Mr.) Riggs favourite creation.
Clare Valley Riesling, or more specifically Watervale Riesling. Such few words that can immediately make you think "world class wine". The reputation of Clare Valley is outstanding among wine destinations. Being one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, the Clare Valley has so much history to it. But for us it’s all about Watervale, a little town south of Clare, where we source our fruit for our Watervale Riesling.
So for those interested, here we have compiled some information regarding the history and terrain of Clare Valley and Watervale.
(Image Sourced from: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/239746380137279053/)
Originally Clare Valley was home to the Ngadjuri Aboriginal People. The Ngadjuri have a rich history of art, as is visible by the many cave paintings around the area, storytelling and stargazing. In 1839 the first European settlement was established. Many of the settlers came from England, Ireland, and Poland. In the 1840's the first vineyard at Sevenhill, a sub-region of Clare Valley, was planted. Watervale’s place in the history of the Australian wine industry is significant. The first five acres of grapes for commercial use were planted by Francis Treloar in 1853. Most of the Clare Valley’s grapes are grown between 400 and 500 metres. The higher altitude of the valley means cooler nights, even in summer. The season starts and finishes earliest in the southern part of Clare Valley. Budburst usually occurs by mid-September and Harvesting in early/mid-March.
There you have it a little information for you about the history and climate of Clare Valley and Watervale.
It's summer so for me that means kicking back and relaxing with my family. Watching the sun set across the vineyards whilst sipping on a beautiful glass of Riesling.
I make two Rieslings that are very different to each other. The Watervale Riesling is typical of Australian Rieslings, using grapes that are not yet ripe, to create a drier taste. The Ein Riese, is typical of German style Riesling and is on the sweeter spectrum. Both are stars in my eyes.
The question then is, what do you pair each Riesling with? These questions have been answered below.
My Mr. Riggs 2016 Watervale Riesling has been given quite the wrap up by the James Halliday Wine Companion, scoring 94 points and landing a spot in their 10 Top Value Rieslings.
It has an overall citrus influence, with a full fruit sweetness, almost like a Granny Smith apple.
In terms of food matching, it goes swimmingly with seafood. (Excuse the pun, I couldn't resist). Natural oysters are my favourite.
My Mr. Riggs 2016 Ein Riese as I said is a German style, and therefore reasonably sweeter than the Watervale, however it too has a crisp finish. It has natural acidity, and is perfectly balanced. This wine is perhaps my favourite to make. It pairs beautifully with tart berries on a hot night.
So if you're after something to drink one night this summer, why not indulge in some Riesling and a beautifully matched food. I’m sure you won't be disappointed!
Ben (Mr.) Riggs.
Recently The General held the Fleurieu Film Festival Launch. Brad and I were asked by the Fleurieu Film Festival team why we were opening up The General Wine Bar & Kitchen. Here's why:
Not long to go now..
We are excited and hope you are too.
Ben (Mr.) Riggs.
For the past 10 years Mr. Riggs has been donating to the Flinders Foundation, this relationship has seen Mr. Riggs donate over $100,000 to the foundation through sales of The Gaffer McLaren Vale Shiraz.
Each October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is during this month that for every purchase of a case of Mr. Riggs The Gaffer Shiraz, with 20% discount and free shipping, we donate the proceeds of one bottle to Flinders Foundation.
In 2016 it is estimated that there will 15,934 women and 150 men diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia.
This results in approximately 1 in every 8 women and 1 in every 719 men being diagnosed by their 85th birthday.
This is a cause close to my heart, after losing my dear friend and brand manager Kym Pilkington to cancer. Through our donations to Flinders Foundation we hope to one day find a cure. Please join us in support of awareness of Breast Cancer and purchase a case of Mr. Riggs The Gaffer Shiraz today.
Ben (Mr.) Riggs
As you may be aware, we are currently working on our new cellar door, The General Wine Bar & Kitchen, in McLaren Flat. This will be our new home, along with our good friends Zonte's Footstep. This collaborative venture aims hope to bring together the locals of McLaren Flat, wine lovers and visitors alike in their enjoyment of good food and good wine. Our cellar door will provide you with a unique wine and dining experience showcasing our passion.
Here are some of the progress shots:
Front Door Entrance
Inside The General Wine Bar & Kitchen
Checking out the new render
I'm looking forward to sharing some more updates with you soon!
*OPENING DATE TBA*
I am pleased to announce the release of my new fortified wines, The Elder Fortified Shiraz and Sticky End Riesling.
The Elder 2013 Fortified Shiraz
Small batch, vintage fortified Shiraz made with fruit from Piebald (my personal vineyard), which is naturally spicy with elegant structure. I added spirit on the skins to stop fermentation, extracts so that there was much more tannin. The spirit broke down the skins, resulting in a fortified Shiraz amazingly structured. My inspiration for making this wine came from loving the Portuguese vintage ports. I prefer more elegant traditional Australian styles, more structured.
View The Elder in our online store here.
Sticky End 2013 Riesling
An Adelaide Hills Riesling. Instead of drying, we froze it to make 'ice wine' - to help get rid of the sugar to then ferment it. Sweet and concentrated, spicy, matched well with any type of dessert.
View Sticky End in our online store here.