Well, winter has definitely crept into Brisbane now and the need for soul-satiating winter red wines is here. For this pack, I have focused on a few of South Australia’s celebrated varietals and highly respected producers to deliver a fuller bodied red wine (and a cheeky fortified) pack for you to have at home by your fire pit (or heater). I do look forward to these cooler months in Queensland, and these wines work so well with Blackbird Bar & Grill's beef selection on our inferno wood grill. Hopefully you’ll be able to replicate a little bit of Blackbird Bar & Grill at home!

- Marcel Thomson, head sommelier Blackbird  Bar & Grill

Dear friend of Blackbird Bar & Grill, welcome to your sofa!

A little bit about my pack… 

This vintage wine has come straight from the Osborn family’s cellar (who have owned d’Arenberg for four generations since 1912). It is now hitting its straps at 8 years old. This is unashamedly big and structured with lots of savoury tannin and spice that is now softened a bit by age. The winery is an icon of McLaren Vale and continues to reinvent itself, most recently with ‘The Cube’—a four story (and ludicrous) art gallery-come-tasting room in the shape of a Rubik’s Cube.


Tasting notes: classic, old school McLaren Vale shiraz. Blackberries, plum, chocolate and liquorice. It’s full-bodied, but time in-cellar has mellowed this wine slightly.

d’Arenberg ‘The Laughing Magpie - Museum Release’ Shiraz/Viognier - McLaren Vale

Neil Jericho has had a long and illustrious career as a winemaker for some big names, including Brown Brothers and Taylors. His own eponymous label is created with his family (his son is also following in his footsteps as a winemaker), and he’s hand making wines on a much smaller scale than where he has spent most of his career. His vast experience has resulted in a fantastic range of wines that represent fantastic value for money. This GSM is a favourite of mine – light, bright, juicy and fresh. 


Tasting notes: 87% old vine grenache gives us the red berry fruits and velvety plushness to the palate, the 10% shiraz gives us structure and width to balance the primary fruit of the grenache, and the dash of 3% Mourvèdre weaves in a unique spice character.

Jericho Grenache / Shiraz / Mourvèdre - McLaren Vale

The Coonawarra and cabernet are synonymous in Australia; and the Zema family have been at it for over forty years. They are undeniably traditional and nearing fanatical in their meticulous work in the vineyard. They made their first vintage in an old tin shed in a second hand milk tanker as the fermenter. Today they have a state-of-the-art winery and always age their wines before release. This wine had a year in-oak, and then five years in-cellar before release. Traditional Coonawarra.


Tasting notes: primarily cabernet sauvignon with some merlot, cabernet franc and malbec. Violets and red berry fruit, fine cedary oak and long savoury tannin.

Zema Estate ‘Cluny’ Cabernet Blend – Coonawarra

This wine continues the long legacy of blending these two varieties together in the Clare Valley. Some of this region’s most collectable and historically best wines are a blend of cabernet and malbec. This is unashamedly full-bodied, with lots of chalky tannin and rich cigar box nose from two years in French oak. 


Tasting notes: Full-bodied and bursting with blackberries, violets, vanilla and bush leaf. Balanced with grippy tannins to cut through hearty cuts of meat. Perfect with roast lamb.

Tim Adams Cabernet Malbec – Clare Valley

The Glaetzers are some of the earliest recorded viticulturists in the now famous Barossa Valley, the first of the family arriving from Germany in 1888. Nearly a century later, Colin Glaetzer founded his winery and has since passed the reins on to his very talented son, Ben. This is sourced mostly from the northern Ebenezer sub-district, and the Bishop name is the surname of Ben’s mother and Colin’s wife; it is an ode to all that she has done to help the Glaetzer winemaking dynasty to continue and succeed. 


Tasting notes: boysenberry, blackberry and baking spices. Flavours are long, the feel is plush and enough structure to age if you misplace the bottle, but are looking utterly delicious in drinking right now.

Glaetzer ‘Bishop’ Shiraz - Barossa Valley

Wayne Dutschke makes a superb set of rich red wines from vineyards in the lower Barossa region of Lyndoch. For lovers of big Barossa wines, you should definitely give these a go. However, my favourites from the lineup Wayne produces (in tiny quantities) are his fortified wines. For me, there is something deeply ingrained about a port and sitting by the fire, and this is a really unique wine. It spends most of its time aging in old barrels (10 years on average) and then gets moved to barrels that used to house Bourbon shipped all the way from Kentucky. The wine picks up the beautiful, sweet vanilla character of Bourbon.


Tasting notes: showing nutty butterscotch flavours and sweet dried fruits, and that hint of sweet Bourbon spirit. Sweet, rich and luxurious but balanced with good acid. Random and nonsensical banter usually follows after a glass or two.

Dutschke Bourbon Barrel Tawny Port - Barossa Valley 

Do you love one or more of these wines?

RRP $220

1x d’Arenberg ‘The Laughing Magpie –

     Museum Release’ Shiraz/Viognier 

1x Jericho Grenache / Shiraz / Mourvèdre

1x Zema Estate ‘Cluny’ Cabernet Blend

1x Tim Adams Cabernet Malbec

1x Glaetzer ‘Bishop’ Shiraz

1x Dutschke Bourbon Barrel Tawny Port


Blackbird Bar & Grill Discounted
Pack Price $160

Includes 6 wines as suggested by Marcel.

i. Shipping flat rate fee of $6 across the Brisbane region.

ii. Retail Sales (process and delivery) are conducted by Hotel Carrington Liquor License 205917. Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (penalty exceeds $6,000) or for a person under the age of 18 to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $500). Ph (07) 3844 8958

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