Big RED Alert! Paracombe’s Bold Reds & Elegant Whites


In the cool picturesque Adelaide Hills is a myriad of smaller family wineries producing authentic wines that are there for the drinking. Paracombe is one of these wineries that stand out with a range of wines that, in my mind, offer tremendous value with many of the reds being released with some age and perspective.

It is a winery that has a great story to tell. The vineyard was planted after being ravaged by the Ash Wednesday bushfires and Kathy and Paul Drogemuller have a determined hands-on approach to create individual wines that truly qualify as ‘little gems’.

While the reds are very ripe, and sometimes rather high in alcohol, they all show elegance and usually the alcohol just shows as a warmth on the finish. The tannins prove that they are in very good hands. They are soft and finely coating contributing to the very more-ish texture. I look forward to seeing the recent cooler red vintages when their time comes.


Paracombe Holland Creek Riesling 2012 ($20) 12.5% – Juicy pear, lime with a hint of floral. Zesty and fresh with some mid weight pleasure that continues to the finish.  Drink it now and enjoy with a seafood lunch.

Paracombe Pinot Gris 2012 ($20) 13.5% – on first impressions, a classic Pinot Gris style with bronze hues and nutty white peach and ripe pear aromas with some savoury minerality.  It is a drier style, silky in texture with a green apple bite at the back of the palate. Some caramel flavour rounds out the mouth and adds some depth of flavour.

Paracombe Chardonnay 2012 ($21) 13.5% – A fresh and crisp unoaked Chardonnay. The nectarine and cashew characters are fleshed out with dried figs and bread dough.  Silky on entry and plush mid palate, this wine is elegantly styled and food friendly. Plenty of enjoyment at this price.

Paracombe Pinot Noir 2011 ($20) $14% – One sip and you will not be telling anyone about this Pinot lest Paracombe sells out. Particularly at the price of an Aussie orange note.  Red cherry, dried mint and sage are bound together with lashings of cinnamon spice.  The palate is remarkably even-tempered and smooth.  As it opens up in the glass, the flavours swirl and end with a warm flourish.  Click here for a review on the 2008.

Paracombe The Reuben 2010 ($21) 14.5% – Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, and shiraz – a Bordeaux blend with a little visitor from Australia. This is a densely packed, rich ruby red that calls for pot pie or a Sunday roast. Cedar and blackcurrant pastilles come alive with cloves and smoothed out with earthy chocolate. A fuller bodied mouthful with fine coating tannins that give weight and length while keeping it all in balance.

Paracombe Cabernet Franc 2008 ($27) 14.5% – A bold and fully ripe wine plush with prunes, violet, blackcurrant, fresh plums and a sprinkle of cloves.  While the full body satisfies, the silky and fine tannins gained by maturity delivers generously and finishes with dark chocolate and raisins. Enjoy its distinctiveness now or keep for another few years. Click here for a review of the 2006.

Paracombe Malbec 2010 ($27) 14.8% –  A youthful wine made in a big red style.  Although some fresh raspberry does find its way into the preserved cherry, earth, olive and spicy clove bouquet. In this wine, the tannins are grippier and it needs a little more age to pull it into line. Enjoy with food to keep the warm alcohol in check.

Paracombe Somerville Shiraz 2008 ($69) 16.5% – Cola, coconut rough meets blackberry pie in this big, big red.  It is like a full on blast from the past in the midst of a modern revolution of lower alcohol reds. The fruit is fine and is enriched with coconut oak and the fresh acid keeps it flowing along the palate and back to coconut rough at the finish. You could keep this one for another 5 years but I would drink it now.



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