Clare Valley

Eldredge RL Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Clare Valley, South Australia

eldredge rl

Drunk July 2015

The winery

Eldredge Vineyards cellar door opened in December 1994 after many months of renovating an 80 year old stone cottage. In 1993 45 hectares was purchased in the Sevenhill Ranges in the heart of the Clare Valley to plant Shiraz and Sangiovese.

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Situated on the Spring Gully scenic drive route in the Clare Valley, located directly west of Sevenhill, on the boundary of the Clare valley at 440 metres above sea level overlooking the Blyth Plains, with vineyard rising to 530 metres at its highest point.  Eldredge wines are produced from 100% Clare Valley fruit

Owner, Director, & Chief Wine Maker – Leigh Eldredge

Owner, Director, & Chief Wine Maker – Leigh Eldredge

The owner and wine maker at Eldridge is a graduate from the prestigious Roseworthy College (Adelaide University) in 1991 and with 15 years experience working vintages for Leasingham, Stanley and Annie’s Lane Quelltaler.

In the 2004 Great Australian Shiraz Challenge, out of 264 entries and judged by the highly credentialed and experienced panel of James Halliday, John Duval, and Stephen Henschke, the Eldredge Vineyards 2002 Blue Chip Shiraz was awarded a Gold Medal beating such highly acclaimed names such as Kilikanoon, Wolf Blass Grey Label, Fox Creek and Grant Burge among others. 

James Halliday has named Eldredge Vineyards as one of his ‘Australia’s Top Ten Dark Horse Wineries’ in the 2014 edition of the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion:
“Leigh and Karen Eldredge established their vineyard and winery 20 years ago in the Sevenhill Ranges at an altitude of 500metres above Watervale. Over the years they have had conspicuous success with one or two wines, but have now produced a suite of lovely wines from the 2010 and 2012 vintages, All keenly priced.” The 2012 Eldredge Blue Chip Shiraz has achieved cult status as one of the Clare Valley’s most sought-after Shiraz, rated 94 points in the Halliday Guide, it will cellar brilliantly for a decade.

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The wine

The RL refers to Leigh Eldredge's Father in Law Ray Louis Hilton who loved his red wine. 

A blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec and shiraz matured in American and French oak. Deep crimson in the glass with blackberry and cherry on the nose and palate with fine tannins and a long finish with hints of spice and eucalyptus. The fruity acidity reminds me of an Italian Sangiovese, with the Shiraz and Malbec added great depth with the 14.8% alcohol not overpowering the RL if it is served at the correct temperature. The wine can be cellared for 8-10 years but is very good now 5 years on. My favourite wine from the estate is the Blue Chip Shiraz but this is certainly worth trying. 

Bought Australainwinecentre.co.uk £18

Kilikanoon Killerman's Run 2010, Shiraz Grenache, South Australia

Drunk October 2013

The winery

Winemaker Kevin Mitchell purchased the Kilikanoon property in the heart of South Australia’s picturesque Clare Valley in 1997 with a vision of creating his own brand. The first Kilikanoon branded wines were from the 1997 vintage and released in 1998. The wines were Shiraz (soon to become the Oracle, Mort’s Block Riesling, Prodigal Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, with all the grapes coming from the 2 vineyards owned by Kevin and his father Mort.

Mort Mitchell has been a defining influence, having planted and lovingly tended for decades Kilikanoon’s Golden Hillside suite of contiguous vineyards, including the famed Mort’s Block, home to Kilikanoon flagship wines like Oracle Shiraz and Mort’s Block Riesling. The vines are now around 40 year of age. Kevin’s love of terroir comes from years of playing and then working in these vineyards as a child alongside his father.

From these humble beginnings with about 2000 dozen bottles produced from the 1997 vintage, Kilikanoon has grown its production to over 50,000 dozen in 2012. This has been done without any change in the philosophy of hand crafted wines, but has been made possible by the gradual acquisition of estate-owned vineyards throughout South Australia’s finest wine regions. In addition to its vineyards in the Clare Valley, which now total over 150 acres or 60 hectares, the Kilikanoon group, through its owners, partner winery Seppeltsfield and the Watervale Private Trust, a small group of wine-loving investors owns vineyards in the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, and the northern district of the Southern Flinders Ranges. In total over 3000 acres or 1200 hectares. The group sells excess production to a number of Australian wineries

This rapid growth required some help. Kevin’s main partners in Kilikanoon since 2001 have been two well-known Australian classical musicians, Nathan Waks (Principal Cellist with the Sydney Symphony and also Managing Director of Kilikanoon) and John Harding (concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras), along with Bruce Baudinet (Kilikanoon Chairman) and head of Oracle Funds Management and their families. This has kept Kilikanoon a small family run company, with Board meetings often taking place under the arbour at the Kilikanoon cellar door…

 “This is one of the most brilliantly run wineries in Australia” from Robert Parker Jnr’s Wine Advocate, who has regularly scored Kilikanoon’s wines up to 98 points, and the coveted 5 red stars from James Halliday’s authoritative Australian Wine Companion. 

In late 2007 Kilikanoon and partners acquired Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s most revered and historic wineries, established in 1851 and the home to one of the world’s finest collections of barrel-aged fortified wines, including the unique unbroken collection of Vintage dated 100 year old Para Tawny (port) dating back to 1878, when the first wines were laid down, not to be bottled for 100 years. 

The wine

Low yielding grapes from several vineyards were selected from a range of South Australian vineyards to produce this Kilikanoon Killerman's Run.

The wine was deep red in the glass with an intense nose of cherry and oak. 

The palate appared very over powered by tannins on first drinking....the dryness was intense, though this moderated on subsequent drinking the next day with a good pasta meal where the fruit of Cherry and Plum was more evident. Hmmm....not sure what to make of this one, certainly not one of my favourites perhaps because the natural tartness of grenache hasn't been overcome by the shiraz. 

Kilikanoon has a reputation as an excellent producer, now I must try another one of their wines and hope for better luck next time.

Bought Philgas and Swigot