2013 Paracombe, Shiraz, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
The wildfires in Australia have been devastating and indiscriminate over the past few months and have led to tragic loss of life, property and businesses, as well as of ancient forests and wildlife. It is the most destructive wildfire season Australia has ever seen. It is hard to try to understand the impact these fires have had in my world, the wine trade.
Some of the most saddening losses have been in the idyllic Adelaide Hills. On 20 December alone, one third of the region’s wine production (more than 1,000 hectares) was wiped out, along with 84 homes, including several historic buildings. Fundraising for those affected is taking place, as well as much needed initiatives to drive monies into local fire services. We can help, here in the UK, by buying their precious wines. If we all make an effort to keep this economy going, as best as we can, then replanting and rebuilding will follow and we can hope that this beautiful part of the world will grow back stronger and more resilient.
With this in mind, please check out my 100 Best Australian Wines Report, on my website, for a great selection of Hills wines and also my featured wine this week – an incredible, fully mature, super-smooth and mesmerising shiraz. Slippery, heady, luxurious and complete, this wine and its silky, mellifluous, unoaked 2017 chardonnay (£19) sibling will be sure to place this region in your heart forever.
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)