The dense purple-colored 2004 Shiraz Oracle ratchets up the fruit and glycerin levels, yet remains pure, elegant, and well-balanced. It offers beautiful aromas of blueberries, blackberries, acacia flowers, and spicy oak. Full-bodied, powerful, cleanly textured, long, and heady, I would not be surprised to see it evolve for 15-20 years.
--Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
Saturated violet. Explosive, wild aromas of blackberry liqueur, cassis, licorice root and espresso. Boasts impressive weight and power on the palate, the dark berry flavors wonderfully sweet but also focused and firmed by solid tannins. Awfully primary right now but possesses superb concentration of fruit and fine-grained, well-managed tannins. Finishes long, on a note of sweet licorice.
--Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar
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.
View all Kilikanoon Wines
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.