"The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Killerman's Run could be inserted in a tasting with $75-100 Napa Cabernet Sauvignons and easily hold its own. This beautiful 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in old 300 liter French hogsheads for 22 months before being bottled with neither fining nor filtration. Its dense purple color is followed by a sweet perfume of creme de cassis, tar, blackberries, oak, and cedar. It should drink well for at least a decade." -Wine Advocate
Founded in 1997 by Kevin Mitchell, Kilikanoon is a boutique Clare Valley winery with an international reputation for producing regionally expressive, terroir-driven wines. The
Kilikanoon property, featuring a circa 1860s stone cottage housing Kilikanoon tasting room, was originally settled by early English migrants who named it after an historic old mansion in
Cornwall. On purchasing the property in the 1990s, Kevin Mitchell inherited 30 year old Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Riesling vineyards, many of which were planted by his father, Mort, in the 1960s. Fifteen years on, with the addition of partners Nathan Waks, a principal cellist with the Sydney Symphony, and Bruce Baudinet, Managing Director of Oracle Estates, Kilikanoon is rated by US and Australian critics as one of the Clare Valley's outstanding wineries, producing bracingly intense and long-lived Rieslings, along with powerful, yet
balanced, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.
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The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Right next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
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.