Australia’s Clare Valley is a region I’m drawn to. It’s capable of making great Riesling, great Shiraz and great Cabernet Sauvignon – an unusual mixture. Perhaps this is because the temperature here is more moderate than the official statistics (which I heard once were taken from a weather station behind the post office in Clare) indicate. Here are two super – and affordable – examples of Clare Shiraz.
Wakefield Shiraz 2008 Clare Valley (winery is known as Taylors in Australia)
14.5% alcohol. Aged in American oak. Lovely focused meaty, spicy blackberry fruit nose. The palate is rich and vivid with ripe blackberry fruit. Rich yet well defined, and with potential for development. Not subtle, but delicious. 91/100 (£10 Ballantynes, Cheers, Peake, Taste, Vintage Wines, Wright Wine Co)
Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2008 Clare Valley
14.5% alcohol. From vineyards at 450 m altitude. Deep coloured. Intense, vivid nose of blackberry and blackcurrant. The palate is intense and darkly fruited with lovely freshness as well as vivid, pure, structured fruit. Dense and intensely flavoured, but still very fresh. 92/100
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