Christie Kiley on September 7, 2015 0 Comments If you’re anything like me, you are always on the lookout for unique collector’s wines to stock up on for social gatherings or to hoard in your cellar as a trophy. Sometimes the truly unique collector’s wines are hard to come by. If you are open to a recommendation and need to fill in some spaces in your collection, why not try the Mollydooker 2011 Carnival of Love Shiraz? This wine has a special history and wonderful label art–it is sure to be a special addition to anyone’s collection. The History of Mollydooker Just thirty minutes from Adelaide sits one of Australia’s most reputable wine regions: McLaren Vale. If you happen to be in the area, I highly recommend a visit. What could be more enjoyable than views of the rolling hills of the grapevines of Adelaide just a few minutes from the beach? In such an environment, it is easy to understand why the community here is youthful and artistic, as there is much to inspire. It is this very region which inspired the founders of Mollydooker and where they have 116 acres of their three vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. Their vineyards are located along the Seaview Ridge where the vines thrive in ancient soils in their Mediterranean climate home. The McLaren Vale is also the home to some of the most iconic wines in all of Australia. The story begins with Sparky Marquis, whose father was a rather successful professional photographer. One day he told each of his five kids in a small family meeting that whomever might educate themselves in viticulture would inherit his winery and vineyard. All the boys went off in their own direction and it was only Sparky’s sister who jumped at the opportunity. Sparky later on would reminisce on how his father enjoyed drinking wine and decided to come back to the family business. While he pursued his future wife, he made use of the time he spent waiting for her by studying canopy management. His hard studying earned him the top spot in his class. The couple finally wed in 1991 with only about $1000 between them both. They knew they wanted to start their own business, so to get things going, Sparky and his wife started working as winemakers at her parent’s vineyard in Fox Creek. Here they founded a winery and introduced a vineyard watering program which yielded better fruit. After they received their winery license, the couple won the prestigious McLaren Vale Bushing King and Queen trophy for Best Wine in Show. Since then, they have gone on to win many other accolades for their wines and as professional winemakers. Because their vineyard watering program worked so well for them, they decided to help their fellow grape-growing friends with a virtual winery. This was very successful, but their success was a necessity for them to grow. They were able to convince Sparky’s parents to sell their vineyard and winery and join the team. After a few years and several obstacles, they got back on their award-winning status in 1999 and have continued since then, even winning 99 to 100 points with acclaimed wine critic Robert Parker. These two really love what they do and they want to continue making great wine for years to come. It shows in their artistic flair on each their wine bottles and how they cultivate their wines sustainably. Their passion has truly thrived and it all started with some determination, love and $1,000. The Mollydooker 2011 Carnival of Love Shiraz Grown in the sustainable Gateway vineyard of McLaren Vale, the premium selected grapes were fermented and later aged in barrels of 100% new American oak. It is no surprise this wine is a collector item. It has won many local awards in Australia and earned 94 points with Wine Spectator and 93+ points with the Wine Advocate. The Mollydooker 2011 Carnival of Love Shiraz is a full-bodied, full-sensory wine with layers of richness and elegance of blue fruit, baker’s chocolate, fresh ground coffee and fresh summer berry jam. All of this combines in aromatics and flavor with a finish of sweet anise and tobacco. It may be a fuller wine in many aspects, but this Shiraz finishes light with a nice balance of acidity to compliment the velvety tannin. It is the perfect wine to finish out the summer with family barbecues or to set aside for another time when you want to treat yourself. The Mollydooker 2011 Carnival of Love Shiraz is drinkable up to around 2018.