Monday 3 August 2009



david ellis

THE Clare Valley's Kirrihill has released a new Clare Valley Regional Wines label with a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Shiraz for those looking for early-drinking, affordable reds.

Inspired by winemaker Donna Stephens, who joined Kirrihill's team just in time to work the 2008 vintage, the new range draws on fruit from targeted vineyards in several of the Valley's sub-regions to showcase its renowned regional characteristics.

The 2008 Kirrihill Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, made jointly by Donna with side-kick Marnie Roberts, captures classic Clare plum, mulberry and dark cherry on the palate, coupled with aromas of blackcurrants and violets.

Nicely priced at just $14.99, this is a real-value buy-now, drink-now red for next you chuck a steak on the barbie.

ONE FOR LUNCH: Another Clare Valley maker, Tim Adams admits to a relatively new-found zeal for Pinot Gris – a variety he says has long held a fascination for him (although his wife and daughter reckon it's more midlife crisis.)

So when he decided he'd have a go at planting this Alsace variety, he didn't do as most do and stick in a few experimental vines to assess their worth over several vintages: with wife Pam Goldsack and friend Grant Crawley they devoted 2ha of their Sheoaks Vineyard to Pinot Gris in 2001 – and triple this (6.5ha) in their Ladera Vineyard three years later.

Their adventurous spirit has certainly paid off: the Tim Adams 2009 Pinot Gris ($23) has nice pear, peach, lychee and passionfruit flavours, and a crisp acidity, all attributes that make it ideal to share with Thai, Vietnamese and other Asian dishes that have a hint of chilli to them.



[] GOOD one to open with a good steak at the next barbie

[] FASCINATION – or midlife crisis? Whichever, it's a great drop

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