Cabernet Sauvignon

Battle of Bosworth White Boar 2010, McLaren Vale, Australia

Drunk @ home November 2015

Organic logo

The winery

The Battle of Bosworth winery is located in Willunga, to the south of the McLaren Vale township. Edgehill Vineyard was established in the early 1970’s by Peter and Anthea Bosworth. Willunga itself was settled in approximately 1837 and Bosworths have been growing grapes in the district from the late 1840s. Son Joch Bosworth took over the management and day to day running of the vineyards in 1995.

Traditionally a region of mixed agriculture from the earliest Pioneer days, Willunga grew wheat, sheep, stone fruits and barley, as well as dairy cattle and almonds. Almonds were an important part of the local economy in the 1950s and 1960s, but Willunga was unable to compete with the Riverland region’s unrestricted access to water for irrigation and cheap land for almond growing, and the industry fell into decline. Many of the commercial almond groves became derelict as a result, and Edgehill Vineyard was established on one such property.

The wine takes its name from the original Battle of Bosworth, fought on Bosworth Field, Leicestershire, England in 1485. Here the last of the Plantagenet Kings, Richard the III, was slain by Henry Tudor, becoming the last king of England to die in battle. His death ended the War of the Roses. The roots of the family’s battle were planted in the early 1840’s with the first Bosworth vineyard in McLaren Vale. 

Grown on their own roots, in some of the world’s oldest soils, McLaren Vale’s benign climate is ideal for growing grapes organically. The wine's label has the yellow Sour Sob (Oxalis pes caprae), usually considered a weed, but encouraged in there vineyards to out-compete other weeds in winter and spring which then forms a natural weed mat in summer. Conversion to organic viticulture began in 1995 and they now have some 190 acres of 20 years and older Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Mourvèdre vines (and some Graciano and Touriga Nacional) which are fully certified ‘A’ grade organic by Australian Certified Organic (ACO), a process that takes four years.


Joch Bosworth is the owner and founder of the Battle of Bosworth and Spring Seed Wines. He was raised in  McLaren Vale and following successful study at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales in viticulture he spent a season working for Robert Mondavi in the Napa, he then went on to do a vintage or harvest in Oregon, at Willamette Valley Vineyards.

Returning home, Joch was drawn east of the border to Goona Warra, a small Victorian winery in the Sunbury wine region, where he worked for several years. After three years as resident viticulturist and winemaker (including some practice at making Grappa in the lab) Joch returned home to Edgehill Vineyard in 1995 to take over the reins from father and founder, Peter.

Joch’s commitment to organic principles in the vineyards began with an increasing sense of discomfort about using synthetic chemicals on his soils and at the same time, that using natural, old fashioned farming techniques was utterly feasible in a climate as benign as McLaren Vale’s.

Vineyards and Soils

The vineyards are located in the southern foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges which form the eastern boundary of the McLaren Vale region, and are some 7km due west of the sea. The vineyards are approximately 130m above sea level.

Soils comprise predominantly Urrbrae silt loams from the Quaternary period. They are variously red brown to chocolate brown clay loams with slate/ quartz gravel over red brown, very stony and well-structured clay with up to 50% soft carbonate. This all means that the soils are very well-drained and at the same time have excellent water holding properties. Supplementary drip irrigation from underground water is used in the vineyards when required.

Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vines are all trained to a two wire vertically shoot positioned spur pruned trellis. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines are LC10 and LC 14 and Shiraz a mixture of 1664 and a very old and unknown McLaren Vale clone. Vines are approximately twenty years old. The Chardonnay plantings are made up of the I10VI clone and the Viognier a mixture of Montpellier and HTK. Rows are approximately 3.35m wide in the vineyard and space between vines about 1.8m Vine densities average at about 664 vines per acre across all varieties.

The wine

Organic 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Picking date 11th March 2012
pH level 3.61
Total acidity 6.95
alc/vol 15.0%
bottling date 22nd November 2011

2010 Vintage in McLaren Vale

There was just about average annual rainfall over the year, which resulted in healthy crops of Shiraz and Cabernet. Unseasonably warm November weather interfered with the chardonnay during flowering and  resulted in small crops of this variety. The weather then remained almost perfect for the rest of vintage. The general consensus amongst winemakers in the Vale is that 2010 marks an exceptional year for both red and white wines.

Wine making

White Boar is an Amarone style red wine. Amarone is made in Italy and the grapes are harvested when ripe and dried on racks for several weeks before fermentation, making a very rich and flavoured wine.

Shiraz and Cabernet grapes were dried on the vine (after cutting the cordon) to achieve the same effect but with higher risks for approximately 12-14 days. The drying process concentrates flavour, sugar and acid. Grapes were then hand-picked and fermented in old oak. Tasting Notes

This 2010 Battle of Bosworth “White Boar” was a superb wine, especially as Amarone is one of my favourite Italian wines and the organic credentials of the wine was a welcome added bonus. It was deep red in the glass with the nose and palate showing intense, concentrated flavours and big alcohol at 15%. The nose was cherry and plum with spice, chocolate and vanilla from the oak. On the palate it was very rich, exhibiting similar characteristics to the nose, with fine tannins and balanced acidity. The finish was strong and very long with spice and heat enduring. Perfect with a casserole.

Eldredge RL Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Clare Valley, South Australia

eldredge rl

Drunk July 2015

The winery

Eldredge Vineyards cellar door opened in December 1994 after many months of renovating an 80 year old stone cottage. In 1993 45 hectares was purchased in the Sevenhill Ranges in the heart of the Clare Valley to plant Shiraz and Sangiovese.

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Situated on the Spring Gully scenic drive route in the Clare Valley, located directly west of Sevenhill, on the boundary of the Clare valley at 440 metres above sea level overlooking the Blyth Plains, with vineyard rising to 530 metres at its highest point.  Eldredge wines are produced from 100% Clare Valley fruit

Owner, Director, & Chief Wine Maker – Leigh Eldredge

Owner, Director, & Chief Wine Maker – Leigh Eldredge

The owner and wine maker at Eldridge is a graduate from the prestigious Roseworthy College (Adelaide University) in 1991 and with 15 years experience working vintages for Leasingham, Stanley and Annie’s Lane Quelltaler.

In the 2004 Great Australian Shiraz Challenge, out of 264 entries and judged by the highly credentialed and experienced panel of James Halliday, John Duval, and Stephen Henschke, the Eldredge Vineyards 2002 Blue Chip Shiraz was awarded a Gold Medal beating such highly acclaimed names such as Kilikanoon, Wolf Blass Grey Label, Fox Creek and Grant Burge among others. 

James Halliday has named Eldredge Vineyards as one of his ‘Australia’s Top Ten Dark Horse Wineries’ in the 2014 edition of the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion:
“Leigh and Karen Eldredge established their vineyard and winery 20 years ago in the Sevenhill Ranges at an altitude of 500metres above Watervale. Over the years they have had conspicuous success with one or two wines, but have now produced a suite of lovely wines from the 2010 and 2012 vintages, All keenly priced.” The 2012 Eldredge Blue Chip Shiraz has achieved cult status as one of the Clare Valley’s most sought-after Shiraz, rated 94 points in the Halliday Guide, it will cellar brilliantly for a decade.


The wine

The RL refers to Leigh Eldredge's Father in Law Ray Louis Hilton who loved his red wine. 

A blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec and shiraz matured in American and French oak. Deep crimson in the glass with blackberry and cherry on the nose and palate with fine tannins and a long finish with hints of spice and eucalyptus. The fruity acidity reminds me of an Italian Sangiovese, with the Shiraz and Malbec added great depth with the 14.8% alcohol not overpowering the RL if it is served at the correct temperature. The wine can be cellared for 8-10 years but is very good now 5 years on. My favourite wine from the estate is the Blue Chip Shiraz but this is certainly worth trying. 

Bought £18

Paul Hobbs Napa Valley CrossBarn Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Napa Valley, USA

Drunk November 2013, Goodman City, London


The winery

The owner and winemaker Paul Hobbs Winery, Paul, grew up on a working farm in upstate New York, Paul experienced first-hand the influence of terroir on the character of fruit, when his father had him taste apples of the same variety grown in different orchards several miles apart from one another. The diversity of flavors and textures made an impression on him and would later influence his approach to winemaking.

First hired by Robert Mondavi for his expertise in oak aging, he then joined the Opus One team before moving on to Simi Winery.

He founded Paul Hobbs Winery in 1991 and Vina Cobos in 1999. Twice named Wine Personality of the Year by Robert Parker, Jr., he continues to be a leading consultant winemaker around the globe.

1969 - Paul Hobbs’s first sip of wine, 1962 Château d’Yquem, served by his father.

1991 - Paul Hobbs Winery is founded.

1998 - Land is purchased in Sebastopol, California, which will become Katherine Lindsay Estate.

2003 - First crush in Sebastopol

2005 Paul Hobbs 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard earns 100 points from Robert Parker Jr.’s, The Wine Advocate.

2010 Wine Spectator ranks Paul Hobbs 2008 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley #6 on the Top 100 Wines 

2012 Robert Parker Retrospective: "Paul Hobbs 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard earns 100 points from Robert Parker Jr.'s, The Wine Advocate"

The wine

The grapes for Paul Hobbs' Crossbarn Cabernet Sauvignon are hand-harvested from select vineyards across Napa Valley. It was aged for 17 months in 15% new French and American oak barrels before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Dark ruby in color with cherry aromas. Plenty of upfront fruit on the palate with blackcurrants, plum with a chocolate note. Balanced, with tannins somewhat offset by acidity but still perhaps could do with some ageing. Good value for a Napa Balley cabernet sauvignon but not best in class.

Tarapaca Gran Reserva 2010, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile

Drunk October 2013

The winery

This is a top class, oak aged Cabernet Sauvignon from Viña Tarapacá in the Maipo Valley. Its founder, Don Francisco de Rojas, travelled to France in 1874 and returned laden with vines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, planting them in the beautiful countryside around his classic colonial style house. In 1992 new owners invested considerably in the vineyards and cellar - adding a new humidity and temperature controlled cellar, with 4,000 barrels for maturing the wines.

The wine

The Tarapaca is a deep red in the glass, aromas are coffee, anise, spice. The wine is smooth and full bodied without being too alcoholic which sometimes is a feature of wines from Maipo, well balanced with a moderate tannin level beautifully balanced by acid. The finish is long with great complexity. Very good indeed.

The Good Doctor's Tonic 2010, McLaren Vale/Adelaide Hills, Australia Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Tannat

Drunk September 2012


The Winery

The Good Doctor's Tonic comes courtesy of RedHeads Studios in Australia.

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RedHeads Studio was set up in McLaren Vale in 2002 by Tony Laithwaite of Laithwaite's fame.  The studio is comprised of young winemakers like Adam Hooper (La Curio), Andrew Pieri (Azzardo), growers like Nat McMurtrie (Pikkara) and the local GP Matt Brown who is responsible for the Good Doctor. These wine obsessed folks, work for mainstream growers during their day jobs then come to RedHeads to experiment in their desire to make wines that are different to anything else on the market.

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The wine

I love the quirky text on the back of the bottle, "Understand the heart of the Good Doctor. By day, the curer of ills. By night, wine-head. The creator of hedonistic liquid delight. This bold elixir is not for the faint hearted. Enticed by the most intense parcels of fruit. It is smooth yet robust, with longevity to reward the brave. It is sure to enliven the senses and invigorate the soul. Enjoy your measure of the Good Doctor's tonic."

The Good Doctor, Dr Brown, has delivered indeed in producing a special red wine. its an unusual blend that it includes Tannat, best known for being grown in South West France and Uruguay. Tannat produces very tannic wines and in warm climates produces good fruit flavors while still retaining lots of natural acid, a good counterbalance to cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.

As the description on the bottle points out, is it long lived with layer after layer of fruity flavours. Black berry on top but with something unusual underneath, almost savoury/bitter. Another great red from Australia and RedHeads which unfortunately now is difficult to get hold of.