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Koonowla Shiraz 2005

Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
  • RP90
  • JH90
14.5% ABV
  • RP91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Reasonable winter rains followed by a very dry and cool summer allowed the vines to achieve full ripeness. The colour is deep red with purple hues. There are hints of spice, tar, rich oak and forest fruit on the nose. This wine has a soft palate and is fruit driven with delicate tannins and a long juicy finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Shiraz was aged in 30% new American oak for 18 months. Opaque purple-colored, the nose offers up cedar, pepper, game, bacon, and blueberry. Layered, savory, and dense, this nicely balanced Shiraz will evolve for 2-3 years and perform at its best from 2010 to 2018.
JH 90
Australian Wine Companion
A slightly oaky bouquet, but fresh blackberry fruit and fine, savoury tannins on the finish.
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Koonowla

Koonowla

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Koonowla, Australia
Image of winery
South Australia was founded in 1836 and the pioneering families of these early settlers quickly spread north to create Clare Valley, which remains one of Australia’s most productive regions for wool, grain, and wine production. Koonowla was established there shortly after by Colonel Barker, who began a farming/grazing enterprise but sold in 1892 to John Tothill who, with great vision, planted the first vines, built a fine winery for commercial wine making, and produced wines with a thriving export trade to England. Koonowla became one of the six original wineries in the Clare Valley and continued to develop until a tragic fire in 1926 destroyed much of the stock and cellars. It continued with vitaculture as a major business activity for another twenty years, but slowly reduced the area under vines to make way for the economic boom developing from grain and wool production. Finally, in 1985, 8 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted, heralding the recommencement of Koonowla wines as a bottle label. Koonowla's current owners are Andrew and Booie Michael, who purchased in 1991 to expand their interests in the district. They immediately set to restoring the homestead and establishing new plantings – many of which are now in full production – to cover the same area that was originally planted in 1896, plus another 120 acres. This makes Koonowla one of the largest and most technologically current privately-owned enterprises in the district.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is often misunderstood by consumers. It is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute critters on the label, though both can certainly be found here. It is impossible to make generalizations about a country this physically massive, but most regions are concentrated in the south of the country and experience either warm, dry weather, or more humid, tropical influence. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing and there is a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

SSZS1KOOSH05_2005 Item# 110043