Clos Clare Cemetery Block Shiraz, Clare Valley
The two-hectare Clos Clare vineyard takes up one corner of the famous and much larger Florita vineyard in the Watervale district of the Clare Valley. Clos Clare is mainly planted to Riesling but there is also a patch of Shiraz planted in the mid-1990s across the road from the Watervale Cemetery. Since 2007 Clos Clare has been run by Tom and Sam Barry, grandsons of Clare Valley pioneer Jim Barry.
The grapes for the Cemetery Block Shiraz are hand-picked, de-stemmed and fermented at low temperatures in vessels with 'heading-down' boards. The wine is then matured in used French oak hogsheads for 12 months. The wine typically displays aromas of blueberries and mulberries combined with notes of chocolate and mint.
"Love the simplicity of the winemaking here, and the results. 15% whole bunches added to the ferments, 8 days on skins then pressed to 2500l foudres for 11 months. Still bright, with a purple rim. Fresh black fruits, brown spices, a hint of twiggyness and fine chalky tannins. Great balance and interest here. Many could take a lesson."
95 points, Wine Companion (February 2019)
"Blackberry, honey, mint, spice. Full-bodied, supple, sweet dark fruit set with mint and rosemary, grainy tannin, meaty and dried herb perfume to close. Good."
91 points, The Wine Front (April 2019)
The Clare ValleyThe Clare Valley is located two hours north of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty ranges. The region was settled by John Horrocks who encouraged his servant James Green to plant the first vines in 1842. Climate in the Clare Valley is continental with hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall that necessitates supplementary irrigation. Soils in the valley are predominantly red brown loams over shale, permitting excellent drainage. Many of the best vineyards are located at higher elevations of 400-500m on sites that take advantage of the cool breezes that funnel up the corrugation of hills from the south. The Clare Valley is renowned for its zesty fruit-pure Rieslings particularly from the sub-regions of Polish Hill and Watervale. The region also produces intense age-worthy sturdy reds from Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.