Yabby Lake Red Claw Shiraz 2008
The first chapter of this exciting Australian wine story started in 1992 when the Kirby family planted its first vineyard at Red Hill on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. Intimately involved in the Mornington Peninsula region for decades, it was only natural that founders Robert and Mem Kirby would plant their first vines in the area.
In 1998, after much searching and careful planning, the Yabby Lake Vineyard was established in the sub-region of Moorooduc.
One year later, a rare and special parcel of land on the ancient Cambrian soils of Heathcote was planted with the sole objective to grow and craft one wine - a single vineyard shiraz.
Around the same time, the family also purchased the original Mount Helen Vineyard in the Strathbogie Ranges.
The Kirby family began working with viticulturist Keith Harris and soon engaged Larry McKenna to oversee the early vintages. Renowned Mornington Peninsula winemaker Tod Dexter was employed in 2004, applying his specialist knowledge of the region.
In 2008, after a decade of careful planning of the family's wine interests, Robert and Mem handed control of the family's vineyards and established labels to their children Nina and Clark.
Though Syrah originated in the Rhône Valley of France, Australia is home to the oldest Syrah (called Shiraz here) vines on the planet. Found in Australia’s Barossa Valley, where phylloxera has never threated viticulture, these ancient vines are between 140 to 175 years old!
Having brought fame and merit to the country’s wine scene since the early 1950s, namely via the debut of Penfolds Grange, today Syrah (Shiraz) claims rank as the most widely planted grape in Australia. In fact, the amount of land dedicated to Shiraz in Australia is now almost equivalent to what it is in France. Australian Shiraz has its own personality with flavors and aromas of intense blackberry, fruitcake, menthol, tobacco leaf and umami. Conveniently one can find great Australian Shiraz at a variety of price points but the very best will be dense, gloriously complex and capable of long aging.