"The Aberfeldy is described by some as the Clare Valley's Grange and I don't quarrel with that."
writes Australia's premier wine journalist James Halliday in his latest Australian Wine Companion.
Penfolds Grange, generally rated as Australia's best wine, retails at around £500 per bottle. These days it is increasingly targeted at the Chinese market and to "collectors" in the more affluent markets. It is commonly acknowledged that Clare Valley Shiraz is a regular component of the Grange blend.
Tim Adams The Aberfeldy, a 100% Clare Valley Shiraz, which was first produced in 1989, has become one of Australia's top Shiraz. Over the years it has maintained its regular position in the Langton's classification of the Top 100 Australian wines. It remains great value at just £30 per bottle, still attainable for us mere mortals who want to enjoy top class Shiraz at an affordable price, rather than collect it like stamps.BUY the 2012 Aberfeldy NOW!
The Aberfeldy is produced using fruit from some of the best vineyard sites in Clare, ranging in age from 50 to 100 years old. These vineyards have been phylloxera-free and ungafted, unlike many of their equivalents in the old world. This has enabled the vines to mature into their naturally-sculptured forms with thick, gnarly trunks. They have very low yields and produce wines with high intensity of flavour. Planted generations ago, when dry-farming techniques required careful site selection, these vines have truly withstood the test of time.
Now, to emphasise what a bargain The Aberfeldy is today. Penfolds to mark their 175th anniversary, have last month released a special Bin 111A Clare Valley Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016 at £800 per bottle. The larger portion of the fruit is from the Clare Valley, reinforcing the reputation of Clare Shiraz.
While Penfolds have an unrivalled position in the history of Australian winemaking, it seems that their marketers are getting carried away
. or is Tim Adams being too generous?
Surely it won't be very long before the elevated profile of Clare Valley Shiraz causes it to be re-evaluated (and with reviews like the one above from James Halliday and the one below) and the pricing of The Aberfeldy and other single vineyard Clare Shiraz come up for review.2012 Tim Adams The Aberfeldy 14.5% 6x75 £180.00
The Aberfeldy has a vibrant magenta hue with aromas of cherry, plum, dark berries and chocolate accompanied by the oak derived characters of clove, nutmeg and vanilla. The palate is full bodied with dark berry conserve flavours, balanced oak and firm tannin generated from a warm, dry, low yielding vintage. The wine has persistent length of sweet fruit and oak, with power, elegance and great finesse."I often think of The Aberfeldy as the Clare Valley's Grange. Aside from the fact that it's from a single region and much less than one tenth of the price. It's a flagship wine that's easy enough to enjoy now, or much later. Blackberry, dark cherry, cloves, sage, coconut, dark mint chocolate, spice - it's all go. Full-bodied, lush smooth tannin, silky feel with rich fruit, backed with toasty spiced oak. 94 points."
Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, 20 Oct 2015