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Australian red Rhone varietal under £10

Find out who won the regional trophy for under £10. And the winner is...

2009 Bird in Hand, Two in the Bush Shiraz, Mt Lofty Ranges

If Two in the Bush is an irresistible choice of name for Bird in Hand, so this shiraz is equally irresistible, taking the ‘under £10 Shiraz’ trophy in a hugely important category that’s much fought over, both within and outside Australia.

Based at Woodside in the ineffably pretty countryside of the Adelaide Hills, Bird in Hand winery, named after a local goldmine that operated in the 1850s, is run and owned by the Nugent family, who planted the north facing vineyards at four hundred metres above sea level in deep, red schist soil formed from metamorphic rock.

Until relatively recently, South Australian Shiraz has been more or less the powerful preserve of the likes of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.

Demand for a more elegant style of Shiraz has catapulted Adelaide Hills, with its higher altitude vineyards and cooler climate, to the fore, led by wineries such as Petaluma and Shaw and Smith.

Bird in Hand’s Two in the Bush Shiraz is in this cooler climate tradition, an elegant style that benefits from the altitude and cool nights of Bird in Hand’s Woodside location.

Winemaker Andrew Nugent lives and works on the picturesque property, where he works with consultant Kym Milne MW, while his brother, Justin Nugent, travels the globe extolling the virtues of Adelaide Hills in general and Bird in Hand in particular. 2009 was an excellent vintage in a warm, dry year – a product of the drought that, as we’ve seen from our TV screens, has broken with a vengeance across much of Australia.

Two in the Bush is the third tier in a range, above which is Bird in Hand itself, and at the top of the tree, as it were, the ultra-premium Nest Egg range.

Written by Anthony Rose

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