Dead Ringer: colloquial for ‘resemble exactly’. As our renowned Angelus bell rang in the 2004 vintage, the international ‘naming police’ targeted Wirra Wirra about the nomenclature of our flagship cabernet sauvignon (whose name is shared by the aforementioned bell and an ‘old world’ chateau). As good lawabiding bell ringers we acquiesced when challenged and the wine is now known as the Dead Ringer.
About the Vineyard
Wirra Wirra sources fruit from a combination of owned vineyards and premium McLaren Vale growers. The blend of individual vineyard and sub-regional characteristics is the key to the resulting style. Blended from a diverse combination of old vine McLaren Vale sites - typically low in vigour, producing modest yields of intense fruit. Soils range from red clay and limestone to deep sands over ironstone base.
Harvested at optimal tannin and flavour ripeness. The parcels for these wines are picked in small batches reflecting the different vineyard blocks, crushed and destemmed to two-tonne stainless open fermenters. Each ferment was tasted twice daily once fermentation commenced to determine the level of hand plunging and maceration required during fermentation. At the required level of tannin and fruit extraction the ferment was basket pressed with winemakers making the ‘press cut’ at the first sign of tannin hardness. After pressing, each component is transferred directly to an individually chosen selection of new and seasoned French oak barrels where it completes malolactic fermentation. Following MLF and approximately every four months thereafter wines are racked and returned. After 14 months of oak maturation the individual vineyard components were barrel selected and blended. The completed Dead Ringer blend was allowed to integrate in tank for a further three months. Lightly egg fined and minimally filtered prior to bottling in October 2014.
Colour is deep claret with a bright red rim. Bouquet of pungent red currant, blackberry and tobacco leaf . The darker fruits are infused with briary and leafy notes and with fresh cedar nuances. The palate is layered and concentrated with red currant and blackberries, the long and chiselled palate has a medium bodied style with salivating acidity and fine sandy tannin structure. The wines brightness and natural structure will allow it to age gracefully for decades.
Saltbush lamb backstrap with celeriac gratin.