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JOHN ROZENTALS marvels at a couple of wines dedicated to great Clare Valley grapegrowers.

March 31, 2018 Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Despite the decidedly gruff — if very friendly and delivered with a somewhat boyish grin — handshake, Clare Valley winemaker Tim Adams is, at the core of it, a rather soft-hearted sentimentalist.

You only have to look at his latest releases for evidence — two wines unashamedly dedicated to local vineyards he has long regarded as special, and hence to the people who have created them.

One wine is the Tim Adams 2017 Skilly Ridge Riesling, made from a parcel of fruit harvested from a vineyard previously owned by the Ingham family.

It was planted in 1994 by Clark Ingham, who had followed his dream and moved from the city to create a special vineyard in a special place.

Tim Adams Wines & Mr. Mick
Clare Valley, South Australia
Photo: John Krüger

When Tim and his wife Pam Goldsack bought the Inghams’ Skilly Ridge property in 2014 they liked it so much that they decided to eventually call it home. “It’s a vineyard very close to our hearts,” said Tim.

The other wine is the Tim Adams 2013 Schaefer Shiraz, made from a vineyard planted in 1998 by the late Roy Schaefer in 1998, after finishing years of broadacre farming on the Eyre Pensinula and moving with his family to Clare.

“Roy was passionate about growing things and meticulously managed the vineyard to the point that he almost had a name for each vine,” said Tim

Tim has been purchasing fruit from the Schaefer vineyard since 2011 and in 2015 he and Pam purchased the property.

The release of this shiraz is especially meaningful to Natalie Schaefer, one of Tim’s current office staff. She just happens to be the late Roy Schaefer’s daughter.

But that’s hardly surprising in the Clare Valley. It’s a tight-knit community and that’s just the way things work there.

WINE REVIEWS

Casillero del Diablo Reserva Chardonnay ($14): The South American country of Chile has been producing exciting wines for quite a few years, and this medium-bodied dry white certainly offers exceptional value. Its flavours reside firmly in the stonefruit sesector, though there are hints of nuttiness, too, from maturation in French oak. It’s good for most seafood, but particularly, the Australian distributor suggests, with salmon fishcakes.

Margan 2016 Shiraz ($25): Andrew Morgan is probably just a few years beyond being described at a Hunter Valley ‘young gun any more’, but he is still producing some great wines there. I particular like the tannin structure of this dry red that he’s made from a 50-year-old vineyard near Fordwich. It has excellent medium-bodied flavours and would make a great match for red-sauced pasta either at home or in a local bistro.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Tim Adams 2017 Skilly Ridge Riesling ($29): This is probably a bit fuller and softer than many of Tim’s premium Clare Rieslings but I can still certainly detect that confident, citrusy spine-tingling sliver of acidity in the wine’s backbone. Like most of his young rieslings this will certainly accompany fresh oysters or simply grilled whiting or bream, but I’d suggest it also has the weight to equally match a slightly heavier dish such as flathead with a beurre blanc sauce.

Written by John Rozentals

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