Penny’s Hill Footprint PHV Rows 9-14 Shiraz 2004

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Here we are back in McLaren Vale so soon. Penny’s Hill is a little producer that has pushed a niche for itself in the Vancouver market – a well deserved one – with their rich good value red dot shiraz. This is their high end bottling made from a small number of rows from their top vineyard site.

Before I get into the wine, I have been wondering recently how many professionals have a desire to give up their usual careers and pursue wine not just as a hobby, but as a full fledged ‘job’. I’ve considered this. However, I am yet to be convinced, despite certain urges, for the following reasons:

1. I ultimately want to have a positive social impact with my work, and while wine does produce an abundance of happiness, I don’t feel that I could make any special impact in this respect in the wine business.

2. I am afraid that if wine were to become a career it would lose its pizzaz and poetry. And, in the end, that’s the entire reason I’m into it.

3. I prefer to be able to afford to buy the good stuff for my personal enjoyment rather than having sips at tasting events – which no doubt once you become successful is no longer a concern.

I’m curious to hear any readers’ opinion on this issue.

Now, back to my personal non-professional enjoyment of the Footprint shiraz. This has a rich concentrated almost southern rhone-like nose with some earth, cherry, wood and a little mushroom. The palate, however, is purely Australian and very McLaren – big creamy rich plum, cassis, cherry, and vanilla. I get a mushroomy note on the long and full-bodied finish, but maybe I’m on crack. This is certainly a fruit bomb, but a dang good one with great length, fine ripe tannins, and intense but not abrasive concentration. Needs 5 more years.

Very Good+ to Excellent [I think this will be great with age]
$65 at Steamworks Liquor Store


  1. Edward
    November 26, 2008

    I’m with you, although I love wine and drinking and thinking about grapes, it remains largely an escape (though an increasingly expensive one) and a distraction from what I consider my normal life and role.

  2. J. Song
    November 26, 2008

    I’ve harbored desires to have my own wine-related business, but not as much having a vineyard (though that would be cool) as having a wine shop/bar/cafe/bookstore/restaurant. Or some permutation thereof.

    Losing the magic might conceivably happen if you had to taste and write about wine as a job; however, I’m sure there will be those utterly transcendent wines that make you believe again. And, I’m sure that going on a “business” trip to Provence will still have that “pizzaz and poetry”!

  3. Shea
    November 27, 2008

    Fair enough! I suppose if you aren’t tasting all day and night that you could avoid palate burnout.

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