Private Tasting: Barossa Valley Shiraz

By Kori ~ December 23rd, 2009.

2005 Schild Estate Shiraz and 2005 Kilikanoon Testament ShirazRecently, we had what turned out to be a Barossa Valley (Australia) Shiraz showdown in one of our private tasting dinners pitting the 2005 Schild Estate Shiraz against the 2005 Kilikanoon Testament Shiraz. We liked both of these wines but all four of us preferred the Schild. In fact, we thought it was outstanding, and with a QPR of 5 bangs for your buck, it is a great buy as well! It’s rare to find a wine of this quality under $20. Unfortunately, though, it may be difficult to find this wine at that price any longer. It is mostly sold out. Both of these wines are excellent and paired well with Mom’s dinner of pot roast, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, Southern biscuits, and pineapple. For a more complete description of how we set up these private tastings, please refer to How We Taste.

In the spring of 2005, we had the pleasure to travel to Australia and visit a number of wineries there. We fell in love with the country, their wines, and the Barossa Valley in particular. While the Barossa Valley is quite versatile in the number and quality of wines it can successfully produce, it is best known for Shiraz.

Schild Estate has a long history in the Barossa Valley. Ben Schild settled there with his family in 1952 and transformed the land into a mixed farm, focusing on sustainable viticulture. When he died just four years later, his son Ed took over the property and has become one of the largest independent premium grape growers in the region. Their focus on quality in the vineyards has translated into quality in their wines. Schild Estate has been the recipient of numerous accolades from wine media over the years.

Kilikanoon Wines, founded by winemaker Kevin Mitchell in 1997, is located in the Clare Valley of Australia but sources fruit from several regions throughout Australia, including the Barossa Valley. Kilikanoon currently produces over 40,000 cases per year. In 2001, Kevin took on partners in Kilikanoon including two well-known Australian classical musicians, Nathan Waks and John Harding, along with the head of Oracle Funds Management, Bruce Baudinet.

2005 Schild Estate Shiraz (Barossa Valley, Australia): Deep, dark red and very aromatic. Earth, beef jerky, grape fruit-rollup, and pencil eraser come through on the nose; blackberry, toasted nuts, spice, pie crust, and some black pepper on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Wine Exchange (California), $17.99; Available elsewhere, $23 to $30

2005 Kilikanoon Testament Shiraz (Barossa Valley, Australia): Dark purple in color. Aromas of prunes and cinnamon lead to flavors of plums, blackberries, raspberries, and spice. Fruit-forward, medium to full-bodied, and medium tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a long finish. Improves with food.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: K&L Wine Merchants (California), $24.99; Available elsewhere, $31 to $38

Filed under: Australian Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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