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Flat front label of wine

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
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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 not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. 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 are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

SSZS1KOOSH05_2005 Item# 110043