Clayfield Grampians Shiraz 2004

This wine’s a ripper and pleasingly distinct from its 2005 counterpart. The latter’s style (and alcohol level) prompted MA-rated strong language and drug references in my tasting note, but I suspect this won’t call for such colourful descriptions. This is more University professor than the tits-out-in-the-back-of-a-ute-at-SummerNats 2005

But who said intellectuals can’t be sexy? Big handfuls of white pepper and spice on the nose, along with the sort of deep berry fruit that immediately signals impressive concentration (if the dark, dense colour weren’t enough). It’s a very stylish aroma profile, as much for the balance of its expressiveness as any particular element. There’s a decent amount of cedar oak too, noticeable and still a bit raw, yet very well matched to the fruit character. 
In the mouth, a wonderfully sensuous experience. The entry swells elegantly with dark berries and spice, plus a liqueur-like note that speaks of concentration rather than overripeness. Texturally, there’s a lot going on, and it’s structurally coherent in a way that makes it difficult to know where the acid stops and the tannins begin. No matter — the whole is shaped with a firm, precise hand. There’s such intensity of flavour on the middle palate that it’s tempting to label it full bodied, yet it’s not really, perhaps medium to full at most, retaining a sense of proportion even at its most fruit-dense point. The after palate lightens in tone, with some red fruit poking in, and spice becoming more prominent. Extremely fine tannins carry a residue of flavour through the finish for some time.
The 2005 is drinking well right now, which works out well because this wine is a bit edgy and, I suspect, has its best days still ahead. A very satisfying, generous expression of Grampians Shiraz whose fruit and structure should persist through the development of bottle aged complexity. 

Clayfield Wines
Price: $A65
Closure: Stelvin

5 thoughts on “Clayfield Grampians Shiraz 2004

  1. Quality Grampian’s Shiraz is awesome. Any black pepper in this one? Noticed, looking back on Brisbane Wine Festival, that cool climate shiraz (and spicy, black pepper notes which I love) seemed entirely absent?
    Re MA rating…”Family is just another word for Censorship”- John Water’s ‘Cecil B. Demented’

    • Yep, definitely some black pepper too, amongst many other things. More so on the palate I think. I remember chatting with a viticulturalist in Hawkes Bay and hearing the suggestion that white pepper signals unripeness in Shiraz. Nothing remotely unripe about this baby, though.

  2. Very interesting re white pepper! Always thought it was a terroir thing (and probably still do, but you know I’m an opinionated bugger, but a loudmouth willing to learn too) 🙂

    Thanks and cheers


  3. Summernats is the Summer Nationals car festival held in Canberra each year. Think street machines, chrome pipes, and custom paintwork with lots of simulated flames.

    It’s also well-known for women exposing their breasts at the slighest provocation, an interesting phenomenon that appears triggered by the sound of free flowing exhaust.

    Needless to say, Canberrans regard it with horror.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *