2012 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz

Wine Review: 2012 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia

.If Mollydooker stands for left-handed, does that mean the Marquis family makes wine one handed? If they do, they have to be the best one-handed winemakers in the world. Taking the expression, “I could beat you with one hand tied behind my back” to another level. No, really—I  know they use both hands, but for the life of me why they use the Aussie slang for left handed as the name of their winery is beyond me. It does sound catchy and I guess it is better than another animal, tree, creek, river or mountain name.

On the other hand, (pun intended) calling this Shriaz “Carnival of Love” is very apropos. This is the third vintage I have tasted and although each vintage was very different, they have all represented a loud, tawdry extremely entertaining experience that will win you over one seductive sip at a time. It comes from the Gateway Vineyard in McLaren Vale known for producing the some of the finest Shiraz grown anywhere.

One whiff of this wine and it is like the feeling you get at a racetrack when the engines are revving right before the flag drops and you smell the fuel and burning rubber; you know the race is on. The aromas are fruity, spicy and all up in your olfactory receptors. A boysenberry and vanilla swirl of flavors assault the palate in a warm and inviting manner.

Beyond the fruit and vanilla flavors, there is a chewy, sinewy, earthiness to the wine giving it some powerful palate cleansing capabilities. With 100% new American oak aging, it is no surprise the vanilla is as pronounced as it is. This vintage has a bit more acidity to the structure than past vintages adding to the powerfulness of this big boy Shiraz. 4,700 case production.

Rating: Excellent (91) | $75 | 16.1% ABV

 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz


About the Author:

Marc has held almost every position in the food & wine industry and is committed to Celebrating Hospitality with Pride. In addition to being the co-founder and editor-at-large for Enobytes, Marc is a wine blogger contributor to OregonLive.com (Wine Bytes) and writes the Wine Knowledge column in the print magazine About Face. The Contra Costa County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Tacoma Times Tribune and Washington Post have either interviewed or quoted Marc on his viniferous and culinary opinions. Marc has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. While continuing to tenaciously search for what he may finally proclaim as his favorite wine Marc is relentless in his quest for the ultimate food and wine experience.


  1. Mel June 17, 2014 at 4:18 PM - Reply

    “…for the life of me why they use the Aussie slang for left handed as the name of their winery is beyond me…”

    Sarah and Sparky Marquis, the winery owners, are both left-handed, hence the name.

    • MacDaddy Marc June 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM - Reply


      Thanks for the winning answer to the question. We appreciate the comments.

      MacDaddy Marc

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