"The spectacular 2004 Shiraz Covenant, essentially declassified fruit not used for the Shiraz Oracle, spent 22 months in 80% French and 20% American 300 liter hogsheads. In fact, Kilikanoon does not use any small barrels, preferring the larger 300 liter vessels. Perhaps that accounts for the glorious levels of fruit and subtle oak influence in even the more expensive cuvees that are aged in 100% new oak. The dense, plum/purple-hued, full-bodied Shiraz Covenant exhibits notes of tapenade, blackberries, asphalt, truffles, and roasted meats. With a gorgeous texture as well as good opulence, vibrancy, and definition, it can be consumed over the next 7-10 years." -Wine Advocate
The fruit for the "Covenant" Shiraz was handpicked from four dry-grown premium vineyards located in the Leasingham district of the Clare Valley. Traditional methods of vinification were used through the winemaking process, fermentation taking place in small open vats and gently processed through a basket press. The wine spent twenty-four months maturation in French and American oak hogsheads before careful blending and bottling.
Intense, inky / crimson red with distinct youthful, purple hues. Lifted sweet plum and berry fruits combine and integrate with the menthol, char and smoky oak characters. A great example of a full-bodied Clare Valley Shiraz, the palate being richly layered and textured. Chocolate and plum fruits create sweetness with classy French and American oak integrates and supports providing seamless length and flavor persistence. Cellaring potential of at least 12 – 15 years.
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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Known for its Rieslings, the wines of Clare Valley are distinctive. The Riesling here is dry, dry, dry. Delicate yet firm, these wines won't remind you of Germany or Alsace - they have a character all their own. The lime and mineral flavors, paired with zesty acidity, make the wine perfect for summer sipping or pairing with seafood.
Since this is still Australia, let's not leave out Shiraz... Clare Valley does produce red wines and they are well made and tasty. Despite the fairly warm temperatures, the acidity in Clare Valley red wines are typically higher than wines produced further south. Good structure is a key characteristic, making Clare Valley wines ideal for pairing with food.
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.