jamie goode's wine blog

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I'm on a bit of a good run with wines at the moment, and I'm enjoying my drinking. Two interesting wines open at the moment, both of which overdeliver in the value for money stakes. These were purchased this week as part of a mixed case from Andrew Chapman. Yes, I know it, I've been buying wine again.

Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2004 Canberra, Australia
Deep coloured, this shows lovely pure, smooth, aromatic red and black fruits. Itís hauntingly pure. The palate is smooth and concentrated with a nice spicy complexity under the fresh dark fruits. Pretty serious stuff: I guess this shows that the purity and aromatic richness of the more expensive Shiraz Viognier from this producer isnít all to do with the Viognier addition, more the quality of the fruit. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£13 Andrew Chapman) 08/06

Churchillís Late Bottle Vintage Port 1999 Portugal
Itís rare that I actually have to decant an LBV, but this unfiltered beauty from Churchill really needs it. Itís sweet, dark, concentrated and spicy with nice aromatics and relatively firm tannic structure. This is pretty serious, and probably has the potential to improve with a few years cellaring. Interestingly, 1999 wasnít a vintage year in the Douro (it was tricky), but the Niepoort and Noval LBVs have also really impressed from this year, too. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£12.50 Andrew Chapman, http://www.surf4wine.co.uk/)


At 1:35 AM, Blogger Edward said...


The 04 Clonakilla was fermented with viognier skins, though the 05 and prior vintages 03 etc are straight shiraz.

I think the 05 is even better if you can track it down. More structured, (but still lovely fruit) than alot of Aussie shiraz at the same price point.

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Stephen said...

I tasted the 04 normal (not Hilltops) Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, and it tasted slightly of currant leaf, was this because it was too young?


At 10:16 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Stephen - could be that it's too young. Could also be a tiny bit of reduction. Or it could be just a hint of greenness (although I didn't pick this up when I tried the Shiraz Viognier back in March a few times).

At 4:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be a different label for export purposes, but the Hilltops wine that we had here in NZ last year was labelled "Shiraz/Viognier". There is not, alas, enough of Clonakilla's top wine to make it over the "ditch" (as we locals call the Tasman Sea.)
Actually, just today I have received a phone message from the importer trying to push 2005 Hilltops "Shiraz/Viognier", as it has apparently already developed a following after just one vintage in the market here.

Paul Tudor
Auckland, NZ


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