The brothers Pike seemingly can do no wrong. They get in right with immense consistency, even in the more challenging vintages. The vines are tended to by Andrew, the grapes are transformed into great wine by Neil. Neil makes wines that are simply difficult not to enjoy. For the serious wine drinker, they offer plenty of depth of character, structure and complexity. For the wine drinker who just wants a great bottle of wine at a reasonable price, they deliver every time. The easy going nature of the Pike brothers is clearly reflected in their wines.
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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.