The 2004 vintage was an exceptional year for reds; dry, cool weather produced wines that delivered power, finesse and complexity at much lower alcohol levels. In short, ripeness without sweetness, power without the heavy cloying hand of overripe fruit and alcohol. Warner Vineyard Shiraz is the outstanding red wine of the vintage. Superior in every way to those trail blazing shirazes from 2001 and 2002. This wine breaks new ground.
Color: Deep, intense, vibrant with magenta to black hue.
Bouquet: Brooding; aromas of black cherry. Sechzuan pepper, spices, smoked meats, briary forest floor notes and graphite erupt from the glass. Aromatically stunning.
Palate: Powerful and savory; tightly coiled with fine savory tannins and acidity working in with the graphite characters to produce a tensile wine. An explosion of flavors at the end; black cherry, pepper, smoked meats and briar notes concluding with a lone dry savory finish.
"Bright-hued violet color. Explosive and utterly captivating on the nose, showing pure cassis, blueberry, wild strawberry, cola, sassafras, espresso, mace violet and magnolia. The palate displays a full range of shiraz (or syrah) flavors: blackcurrant, blackberry, candied cherry and plum, cured tobacco, smoked meat, roasted coffee-you name it. Sweet as can be but there's superb focus and energy, too. Finishes sweet, lush and long, with fine-grained tannins slowly emerging to provide grip and structure."
-International Wine Cellar
The vineyard was established by Rick Kinzbrunner, a mechanical engineer who became interested in wine in the early 1970s and spent the next ten years traveling to winegrowing areas overseas, learning as much as possible. After a brief stint in New Zealand, he studied at the University of California at Davis and worked at some of the most respected wineries in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, namely Stag's Leap, Simi and Matanzas Creek. In Europe he worked a "stage" with the Moueix group, co-owner of the fabled Chateau Petrus.
After returning to Australia in 1980 to take up a position as assistant winemaker at Brown Brothers Milawa, he purchased land near the old Everton Hills Vineyard, and in 1982 commenced planting the classic varieties Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a small amount of Pinot Noir which was followed in 1986 by another acre. In the last five years, further plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have occurred, with a small amount of Roussanne.
The winery overlooks the vineyard and is constructed of local granite blocks and hand-made bricks. The wines are hand-crafted; in the case of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using traditional Burgundian methods, and the Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc according to classical Bordeaux techniques including long maceration. Only top quality French oak is employed.
The first release of Giaconda wines was in 1987 with the 1986 Chardonnay and the 1985 Cabernet blend. The wines have been keenly received by winemakers, retailers and enthusiasts alike. The wine press has accorded them many accolades and placed them at or near the top in a number of masked tastings.
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From stickies to Pinot Noir, Victoria is varied in its wines. The southernmost state of Australia, Victoria is third in wine production, after South Australia and New South Wales. The state is home to the cool-climate Yarra Valley, Yarra Valley, a producer of quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well the warmer regions of Rutherglen & Glenrowan. These two areas are hot and dusty and famous for their sweet, fortified stickies.
Lots of coastline gives Victoria a cool climate, appropriate for growing grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Many new regions are discovering their growing potential – especially with these grapes. Inland gets warmer, and some of the best fortified wines are made here,as well as some good Shiraz. Victoria also makes the most Sparking Shiraz.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.