They’re hardly fashionable, but I do like a good Clare Valley red now and then. Back in the day, and like many wine lovers of my generation I suppose, I cut my teeth on well-priced Clare reds from makers like Annie’s Lane. As a consequence, I have a soft spot for the somewhat rustic character a lot of reds from this region can show. Here we have a single vineyard wine, well priced at $19, from maker Kirrihill.
The nose is gentle and clean, with aromas of old nougat oak, blackcurrant, crushed leaf and some pencil shavings. It’s not especially complex, but it is well integrated and, in profile, quite pretty. It’s also a bit wan, and I wish it had just a bit more bite, less polish, more sex. As it is, the aroma is tentative and too softly-spoken.
The palate is a bit more satisfying thanks to a really attractive mouthfeel that modulates between loose knit tannins and a line of crunchy acid, tossing the wine into various corners of the mouth with a nice sense of liveliness. Flavours take a while to gather steam, peaking on the middle palate with a burst of bright red fruit and sweet oak. Though it’s not a big wine, it feels generous and warm, giving everything it’s got to the drinker.
Not a bad wine then, showing decent character on the palate in particular.