Not to be confused with the 60’s Aussie band *’The Groop’, a new name in wine – The Group also comes from a diverse background with individual expertise. (If you like your nostalgic music trivia obscure – you’ve come to the right place.) About 100 South Australian grape-growing families have combined their skills to present a full-flavoured range of quality wines.
This new premium brand hopes to support the grower’s livelihoods and facilitate a sharing of ideas and wine-making knowledge.
Late 2019 saw heart-breaking bushfires severely affect the Adelaide Hills. Shortly after the pandemic created a whole new series of challenges to many of Australia’s winemakers including the closure of cellar-doors and subsequently little to no retail sales. Good Aussie know-how has come to the fore once again in many innovative ‘pivots’ by the local wine industry including the formation of The Group.
Renowned chef, restaurateur, and 4th generation farmer, Matt Moran is the Brand Ambassador. He explains, “Grower Wines by The Group represents an exciting movement in the Australian wine industry. The Group’s collaboration with a grower-owned collective paves the way for the hard-working growers and supports the local, real people behind the label.”
What’s in a name?
And what does a collective of wine-growers name each wine in their launch range?
Each of the wine’s names and labels in The Group is inspired by a collective noun.
The 2019 Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir is The Shadow (jostling jaguars). The 2018 McLaren Vale Grower Blend is The Fever (swirling stingrays) while The Siege 2019 McLaren Vale Shiraz features battling herons. Here at TML, we tasted the exceptional The Quiver (twisting cobras) and the unforgettable (wine and name) 2017 McLaren Vale Shiraz The Murder (clamouring crows).
These black and white labels are sublimely simple but should be handy when you’re in a rush at the bottlo and remember that stunning red with the stingrays. What might be next? The Conspiracy Cabernet Sauvignon (lemurs) or The Prickle Pinot (porcupines)? *A collective of wines must, of course, be a pleasure.
The Quiver 2019 McLaren Vale Grenache
We saved this for roasted lamb racks and vegetables. The characteristic ‘berryness’ and cherry blossom aromas also make this a beautiful wine to simply savour by itself. This old vine beauty grows in sandy soils on Dave and Jen Wright’s Wylpena Vineyard at their small, family-owned Dog Ridge Wines. They produce boutique wines from 90 premium acres in McLaren Vale.
The Murder 2017 McLaren Vale Shiraz
Brian Cameron is a third-generation McLaren Vale wine grower. (His grandson Brad is now also making wine in McLaren Vale). Their wines tell the story of this historic region. Only 45 minutes south of Adelaide, McLaren Vale stretches to meet the coast at Sellicks Beach. This is shiraz country.
The cooling ocean breezes add something to this dark, inky delight. The dark fruit gives it a softness for drinking on its own but also makes it extra food-friendly.
The Group core wines (The Murder 2017 McLaren Vale Shiraz, The Shadow 2019 Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir, The Quiver 2019 McLaren Vale Grenache, The Fever 2018 McLaren Vale Grower Blend) are available exclusively in Liquorland and First Choice Liquor Market Stores now. The Shadow Pinot Noir and The Murder Shiraz will also be available in 375ml at select Liquorland stores. The Siege 2019 McLaren Vale Shiraz will be available at select Liquorland stores from mid-September.
*Here at TML we think the collective noun for wine should be known as a ‘pleasure’.
*The first lineup of The Groop included Peter Bruce who at the time claimed to be a member of an early incarnation of the British hit band Dave Clark Five. The Groop later included the much-celebrated songwriter and vocalist Brian Cadd.