McGuigan Handmade Barossa Shiraz ~$13

I don't know what "Hand Made" is supposed to signify.  I can say that the label on this wine reminds me of a nice single-malt scotch ("Batch 4"?).  Let's leave the thumbprint to one side.

The wine in the bottle is a nice, juicy Shiraz.  There's a reason why Shiraz is Australia's national grape and this McGuigan bottle offers yet more evidence for this reasoning.  It's immediately appealing for its saturated blackberry and raspberry fruit and then nice on the moderate, slightly peppery finish.  There's some backbone to this wine that recommends it to a nice, rare New York strip steak.  At 14.5 ABV the alcohol level is highish, but there's good acidity to maintain a nice balance.

Definitely comparable to the Yalumba Shiraz that Fresh & Easy seems to be phasing out.   


Drinkability: 9/10
Price: 4/5
Total value: 13/15


  1. I like the Yalumba Shiraz better...

  2. I agree. The Viognier in the blend seems to sharpen the flavor for me. The McGuigan is more earthy and juicy (still quite tasty, though). It seems that F&E is dropping Yalumba - I found both the Y Series Viognier and the Shiraz at crazy discount prices recently. I haven't seen either on their shelves since.

  3. Hey ya, we just blogrolled you guys at! :)

  4. Thanks! I've been to Temple of Fresh&Easy often. It's a great read.

  5. One of my neighborhood FE closed a couple of weeks ago and they had all wines 50% off. I picked up quite a few bottles. Unfortunately I picked up only a bottle of this shiraz. I absolutely love it and I kick myself for not cleaning up the whole inventory. If I'll find it on sale I will build a nice inventory. I am a pinot noir type of person, but I could drink this shiraz every single day. Don't ask me to describe its flavor, nuances, etc. I just like it a lot. I subscribed to wines on sale alert only for this one.

  6. We will definitely include the Handmade in the newsletter if it goes on sale!

    I've still got a few on-sale bottles on hand.

  7. It was on a sale that ended Nov. 16th, $10. I missed it, but every time I stop by FE I take a look at the wine section to check if they put it back on sale.

  8. It is on sale, 50% off now.
    I am wondering if this Shiraz could only age for 3 years from '08? After 3 years, will this wine pass its prime time? Is this the reason for 50% sale? The label reads" Enjoy now until 3 years after purchase". A bargain wine for sure.

  9. The "store carefully for X years" seems to be a staple of all F&E wines. It used to be two years; I hadn't noticed any three-year instructions.

    This Shiraz can likely be stored for three years, but I don't suppose there'd be much benefit in that. It's definitely a early-drinking wine and won't evolve much in the bottle.

    Thanks for your comment!


Individual taste matters! What did you think of the wine?