If you’re wondering why St Hallett rings a bell, it’s because the wines are associated with one of the most famous wine regions in Australia – Barossa. And what is the Barossa most famous for.. ? It’s Shiraz, of course.
This winery is famous for its old vines, a diversity of fruit, and great, incredibly drinkable vintages.
We met Senior Winemaker, Stuart Blackwell at a recent event – Stuart Blackwell’s outstanding achievement with St Hallett Wines and commitment to the Barossa over the past 30 years was recognised by his peers and the ‘Barons of the Barossa’ who awarded him “2003 Barossa Winemaker of the Year”
Old Block is the premium leader of the lot, employing old vine grapes from Lyndoch and Eden Valley. Then comes the Blackwell range from Greenock, Ebenezer and Seppeltsfield. The geographical, geological and climatic diversity of the Barossa is amazing, and it shows, in its wines. St Hallett also has two successful white wines, with its Eden Valley Riesling and Poachers Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. Faith Shiraz possesses a generous palate that is the hallmark of Barossa Shiraz.
And since we heard that St Hallett was named ‘Winery of the Year’ in 2004 by international publication Wine & Spirits, we were naturally eager to try the wines, at the recent wine dinner at Cristallo, at the Pacific Regency Hotel, KL.
Canapes were served and this was paired with the first wine, the Poacher’s Blend 2013. Poacher’s Blend embraces the spectrum of aromatics and fresh, tropical fruit flavors typical of Semillon and early picked Sauvignon Blanc in the Barossa as well as a hint of citrus from the Riesling. This paired nicely with canapes of Smoked Chicken Avocado, Seared Tuna as well as Buffalo Mozzarella Cherry Tomatoes.
Appetizer – Seared Scallops and Prawn with Ruby Red Grapefruit, Orange & Frisee Salad, Piquillo Coulis , paired with the Faith Shiraz 2012
I was surprised that they chose to pair the appetizer with a red, but it actually worked. This Faith Shiraz was vibrant, fruit driven with obvious notes of raspberry, cherry and spice, probably coming from vineyards in the southern part of the Barossa Valley and pepper from its Eden Valley component. It complemented the prawn and scallops and was a delicious pair.
Soup – Kaffir scented Lobster Bisque, Coconut Foam, Dill Emulsion paired with the Faith Shiraz. The soup was rather salty, but the wine managed to take the edge off the saltiness. This was an all right pair.
Poultry – Farm Free Range Almond Chicken Roulade with garlic & thyme, Silken Pumpkin Puree, Sous Vide Baby Vegetables, Cafe Au Lait Sauce, paired with the Blackwell Shiraz 2012.
We had the pleasure of meeting, Stuart Blackwell, winemaker since 1973, who was responsible for turning St Hallett’s Barossa Shiraz into an iconic wine. Named in honor of Stuart, this Reserve Shiraz is big, fruity with a dense, inky colour. Each parcel of Shiraz is individually matched to one of a selection of American oak barrels in which the wine spends two years maturing and gaining considerable depth. This was an excellent pair for the tasty Farm Free Range Almond Chicken Roulade.
Red Meat – Grilled Tenderloin of Black Angus Beef, Pommes au Fondant, Fricassee of Wild Mushroom, Glazed Baby Onions, Morel Jus and Truffle Scented Oil
Cooked a juicy medium rare, the steak was definitely my favourite dishes of the night
Paired with the St Hallett Old Block, it turned out to be my favourite food-wine pair for the night as well. Derived purely from low cropping old vines of 60 to over 100 years of age, the Old Block Shiraz showcased the harmony to be found between Barossa’s two valley sub-regions. The warmer sites in the Barossa Valley gave this wine a rich foundation, while the cooler Eden Valley added an unusual minerality and structure to the wine.
Dessert – Chilled Strawberries, Passion Fruit and Mango Soup in a Pavlova bowl
Am not a huge fan of the Pavlova, but since this was a tiny one, and nice and tart (from the passion fruit sauce), it actually ended dinner on a lovely note. Well, we are definitely big fans of St Hallett Wines – my only complaint was that we didn’t get to try the Reisling, but perhaps, next time, or when we visit the Barossa Valley for ourselves in the near future.Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone 03-2332 7777
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