Reilly's Grenache Shiraz 2002
Rhone Red Blends from Clare Valley, Australia
"Alluring and seductive is the kirsch liqueur-dominated, sexy 2003 Grenache/Shiraz Old Bushvine (75% of the former and 25% of the latter). This medium to full-bodied red should be consumed during its first 2-3 years of life."
-Wine Advocate 87-89 Points
Reilly's began operations in 1993 as a small producer of fine quality hand-made wines. The wines are made on Reilly's premises at Mintaro in the Clare Valley using grapes from their non-irrigated vineyard. The 75-year-old vines are located just outside Watervale and depend solely on rainfall, yielding limited quantities of small delicious berries. The grapes are hand-picked and fermented in open vats, prolonging contact of skins and juice. The fermented wine is then hand basket-pressed. This is a slow process proving last "pressings" which contribute to creating fine wines of intense color and flavor. The wine is then stored in French and American Oak hogsheads for one to two years.
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About Clare Valley
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.
Notable Facts 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
and Barossa Valley
. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley
, while the smaller, southern state of
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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
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.