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All quirks aside, when AJ Hoadley gets down to business, he can produce some majestic wines. La Ciornia is simply stunning. A single vineyard Shiraz from a block that AJ describes as, "A site with more granite - it’s quite ugly and flat - a bit sandier and with more ironstone." Sometimes the idea of a site being communicated through wine can feel a little abstract, but here it is as clear as day. This is a wine of fine detail and purpose. He explains the inspiration wonderfully here: "The inspiration for La Ciornia comes from my time spent working in Barbaresco, 2002-2003. The local Piedmontese varieties encompass the extremes of red winemaking (in terms of site expression, colour, tannin, aromatics, acidity, using oxygen constructively) so you need to think creatively and have a steady nerve to get results." In his 94 point review, Mike Bennie praised this release for its, "Fine silky texture, cool acidity, medium weight and with good concentration. Wow. It just sucks you in from the start." This is a wonderful, idiosyncratic expression of Great Southern Shiraz which we can't recommend enough.
What it Tastes Like
Sweet beautiful luscious, fruit. So seductive. This is a killer wine. Poised, classy and elegant but with epic tension and presence. Ink and boot polish. Spices galore. Long ribbons of silken tannin strung through the wine. It's savoury and fine but with some serious intensity. Phenomenal example of Great Southern.
94 points. "This wine used to be produced from fruit from Kalgan River vineyard but is now taken from something called Franck vineyard about 20 kilometres away. One thing that has struck me about visiting Great Southern is distances between vineyards/wineries. Immense, it feels at times. Discovery. It’s naturally fermented, sees some time in new oak, but mostly used wood. Seeking spice. Lovely fragrance – red fruits, cinnamon, anise, green herbs, touch of briar. It’s supple, succulent, shows some flesh of sweet fruit but begins a tightening mid palate that finishes in a light pucker and some more sweet fruit. Fine silky texture, cool acidity, medium weight and with good concentration. Wow. It just sucks you in from the start. Slides and glides in the palate, feels rich but fresh, spicy but approachable. Super shiraz." - Reviewer (Publication)
La Ciornia The inspiration for La Ciornia comes from my time spent working in Barbaresco, 2002-2003. The local Piedmontese varieties (the well-known Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, and the more obscure Freisa, Grignolino and Pelaverga) encompass the extremes of red winemaking (in terms of site expression, colour, tannin, aromatics, acidity, using oxygen constructively) so you need to think creatively and have a steady nerve to get results. Also, being an important culinary centre, most often the focus is on how the wines will function in context with food – rather than aiming for maximum ripeness/fruitiness/extraction. When I first came to Denmark and tasted the 2007 shiraz from this vineyard in barrel, I immediately had the desire to get hold of that fruit and see what I could do with it, aiming for a slightly divergent style – a shiraz that my Piedmontese friends would love to drink – relatively strict and unadorned, expressing the vineyard character. So, the name Ciornia (meaning ‘dark’ or ‘black’ in Russian) carries the 19th Century Romantic sense of being drawn by a fatalistic necessity to act decisively… ideally people will sing the song ‘Oci Ciornia’ when they are drinking it. From ‘Oci Ciornia’ (Dark Eyes) by Hrebinka: Oh, not for nothing are you darker than the deep! I see mourning for my soul in you, I see a triumphant flame in you: A poor heart immolated in it. Perhaps more significantly, in Piedmontese dialect, ciornia is a term for an attractive woman. A very attractive woman. It’s also a pretty bad pun on Cornas, that hotbed of potent shiraz-making on the Rhône.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Alcohol: Drink Until:
About the Producer
Few winemakers bring as much creativity and flair to their label as the mercurial Andrew Hoadley. With a mischievous, child-like joy, he has set about crafting La Violetta, one of the most fascinating wine ranges in Western Australia, and indeed, the country.
His wines are inspiring, each a creation all of its own. With a mix of single vineyard, single varietal wines and some exotic blends, these some of the most thought-provoking wines in the West.
The Great Southern is the largest wine region in the country. Though more and more, the label “Great Southern” is becoming redundant. It is the sub-regional exploration of terroir which is distinguishing this region. From Frankland River to Porongorup, from Mount Barker to Denmark, the detailed and stylish wines emerging from these sub-regions are some of the most intriguing in the country. No longer a “poor man’s Margaret River”, whether you love Riesling, Cabernet, Shiraz or Pinot, this stunning cool climate region will blow you away with the value and refinement inherent in everything it produces. And the good thing is, it is only getting better.
Long held up to the rest of the world as Australia’s flagship red variety, the mighty Australian Shiraz has undergone something of a renaissance over the past two decades. While our robust styles of Shiraz from powerhouse South Australian regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale may have put Australian wine on the map, Shiraz from our cooler regions are giving the variety a new look. Wines from Canberra, all parts of Victoria, the Adelaide Hills, and the Great Southern, are all delivering wines of finesse and spice set to a lighter framework. The tapestry of Australian Shiraz is richly diverse, and will only continue to develop and mature into the future.
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