A visit to Piggs Peake cellar door is always memorable. The warmth of the welcome, the fun and passionate vibe that permeates the cellar door, and the wines…
Not only the boldness in style, complete with quirky names, but the sheer breadth of the wines on offer at this small Hunter Valley winery. While the cellar door is low key, the wines certainly are not.
These are not wines that you can find in your ‘local’, but are mostly available direct from the cellar. The popular wines can be hard to find with them selling out to the extensive and passionate Lucky Swines Club (cellar door club) members. So, here is a quick run down of this vintage.
The Piggs Peake whites
Piggs Peake Wiggly Tail Marsanne 2018– This is always one of my highlights when visiting Piggs Peake. It is not often to find a Hunter Valley Marsanne and the vineyard where these grapes are sourced was planted in 1973 – over 45 years ago. The classic apple, pear and cashew nut aromas have been lifted with a hint of viognier. It is dry, a few months in oak has fleshed out some gentle curves. The flavours have some additional ginger spice and nuttiness on the finish. This is a wine that works well in the cellar. I am still sparingly drinking 2009. Sparingly, because I don’t have many left.
Piggs Peake Sows Ear Semillon 2019 – Old vine Hunter Valley Semillon from vines that are close to a century old. This vintage is a pretty one with some peach and lemon citrus. The higher acid is still soft and sherberty and balanced by a satisfying fruit weight. The extended length has a savoury edge. Of course, this is a semillon that cellars well.
Piggs Peake Silk Purse Verdelho 2019– Verdelho has somewhat fallen out of fashion to Sauvignon Blanc and Prosecco and this is a shame because Hunter Valley ‘does’ Verdelho very well. The Silk Purse has some lush guava and pineapple tropical fruit with some lemon citrus to keep it all in line. It is a dry style, ripe and round. Definitely a grape variety that needs to be back in Australian’s fridges.
Piggs Peake Pig Latin Fiano 2018– Get to know Australian Fiano, it is well and truly in the mainstream now and it is delicious. These grapes come from the Broke area and it is a bit of a gem. Fruity and floral with the fresh acid softened with a little residual sugar. This is an easy going, feet up on the couch kind of wine. It is a wine that makes friends everywhere you take it!
The sparklings (or Sporkling as they say!)
Piggs Peake Prosciutto 2019 – A sparkling Chenin Blanc from the Hunter Valley. This is a lighter fizz with plenty of green apple tart and floral notes. It has been made in the aperitif style and is very refreshing on a warm afternoon.
The Piggs Peake reds ….
Piggs Peake Pignatello Barbera 2017– Barbera sourced from the cooler vineyards of Cargo Road, near Mount Canobolas. Its cherry fruit is detailed with sage, liquorice and cola and enriched with nutmeg. I think this wine needs food to show its best at the moment, I might leave it to rest for a good few years to come together a bit more.
Piggs Peake Gilty Pleasure Lagrein 2018 – Lagrein is not the rarest grape variety in Australia, there is a growing number to be found. This one is from the Cargo Road vineyards. It is densely ruby hued, with some velvety tannins supporting the cherry and spice fruit. I will be very interested in seeing where the team take this wine in the future.
Piggs Peake House of Sticks Shiraz 2017– Just one of Piggs Peake’s numerous shiraz expressions. This wine is a blend of McLaren Vale and Orange regions. Its nose offers up ripe blackberries and black cherry, nutmeg and earth and its fruit is forward and up front. Enjoy with a moussaka or a big plate of lasagne.
Piggs Peake Pygmalion Petit Verdot 2015– This may be one of the last vintages of this wine which would be such a pity. I have enjoyed my Pygmalion moments in the past. This vintage has a pinch of pepper that heightens the blackberry, bitter chocolate, earth, nutmeg and toast flavours. It is full and bold in proportion with the fruit weight to balance it out. Enjoy this one with a venison pie or a buffalo burger with all the trimmings.
Piggs Peake House of Bricks Shiraz 2016– This is full bodied, rich and smoothly mouth filling. A bold red for those loving the richly oaked and lush style. That spicy chocolate follows through with peppery, black berry fruit in the centre of the palate. One of the Piggs Peake regular ‘sty’ mates and in a well loved, well judged style.
Piggs Peake Trevor Mctinpig Shiraz 2017– This is Piggs Peake’s Hunter shiraz topped with a glug of viognier (~4%). It is fuller body with a powerful elegance. The black pepper, black plum and berry fruit has a dusty earth and spice note. Here the fruit is bright, long and lush. A classic Hunter style.
Piggs Peake Pressed Ham Tempranillo 2017– One of the highlights is to see Tempranillo strut its stuff. If you listen to Steve, there might be some Grenache (and maybe some shiraz) added to lift the aromatics. It certainly is perfumed and has a floral note drifting over the plum fruit and more earthy nutmeg. A more elegantly styled red, that ends with a long savoury note. A style that means the glass needs to be refilled often.
Piggs Peake Werewolf 2018– Steve quietly told us (well, not so quietly) that he thinks that this might be one of the best Werewolfs so far. It is an amiable blend of Cargo Road, Orange zinfandel and McLaren Vale shiraz. A voluptuous wine where the black berry, plum, thyme and earth has a peppery boost. It goes without saying that there is a reason it is called Werewolf. As I have said before, don’t attempt the Werewolf if you are scared by larger than life wines! Given that it is bold, it is also dangerously more-ish!
Piggs Peake Deliverance – A powerful wine indeed! A shiraz with just a small top up of viognier. It is rich with pepper, black berry cherry fruit and liquorice. Its generous proportions are shaped with a plush, velvety structure. The boldness of the fruit is smoothed out and, for the big red lover, irresistible. I think this will be a showstopper!
And for sweeter tooth …..
Piggs Peake Pigbrusco– Violets, cherry ripe enhanced by a sprinkle of herbs are round in the mouth. The tannins are soft and shapely, the fruit fills the mouth. It is made to drink chilled, both in temperature and its temperament. Drink it with some salumi or spuntino.
Piggs Peake Suckling Pig Shiraz 2018– This is one of those wine gems that you will find at Piggs Peake and not many other places. It boldly goes into dessert territory. It is NOT a fortified shiraz, it has just 10% alcohol, meaning the ferment has been stopped to leave oodles of drippingly ripe shiraz sweetness in the wine (around 80g/L). In the glass, it is opaque and brightly purple hued. In keeping with this intensity, the plum and chocolate coated liquorice (Darrell Lea style) has more than a whiff of violet perfume. Plump and full bodied, it finishes with a chocolately flourish. And yes…. you probably don’t even need to eat dessert, just drink it!
Want to read more about Piggs Peake? Click here!
You can watch winemaker Steve Langham talk about some of these wines in the video below ……
PLUS! Get you can also get a peak at cellar door on WinemusingTV….
Visit piggspeake.com for more information about the winery, events and where to get the wines.
This article was first published on 16th May, 2019. And updated on 16th August, 2019.