Kangarilla Road McLaren Vale Zinfandel 2004
The 2004 vintage was a longer season than usual with cool conditions during ripening— the coolest January in 12 years. The winter of 2003 produced excellent rains locally giving even budburst and healthy vine canopies from verasion to harvest. As a result aromas and flavors were full and generous.
Before creating the Kangarilla Road vineyard and winery, Kevin O'Brien was a winemaker educated at the highly regarded Roseworthy College in Adelaide. He spent 12 years in the wine industry managing wine companies, as well as two years as the international manager of the Australian Wine Export Council. Today, Kangarilla Road's reds display rich varietal character with finesse, structure and balance not always exhibitied by wines from McLaren Vale. Aside from the winery's Shiraz and cabernet, it can boast of one of the few successful zinfandel plantings in Australia.
Kangarilla Road is a fairly new brand on the Australian wine scene, but the grapes come from vines planted in the 1970's. For several years prior to 1997, Kevin and Helen O'Brien had been seeking a high quality McLaren Vale vineyard to purchase. When they were lucky enough to find the old-vine Cambrai vineyard, they jumped at the chance to purchase it. The winery's first complete vintage as Kangarilla Road was in 1998.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône Blends, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured it’s title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the states’ diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, which sourced a journey to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.