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A Remarkable 41 Year Old Karrawirra Claret from 1973
Friday, 24th January, 2014  - David Farmer

The Karrawirra brand was created by the Kies family in the late 1960s and is now a main stream brand of Glug. In 2013 a Glug customer Alan Ramsey was given a bottle of Karrawirra Claret 1973 by a neighbour and it seems likely that it had lain in a Canberra cellar since purchase well over 20 years ago.

I was delighted to drink the wine with Alan and another Glug supporter Paul Johnson a week ago. Old bottles are pretty much a gamble but the level was good so our hopes were high. The cork crumbled easily and it took a delicate touch to extract it bit by bit. This is what I found: "Pale red-tawny colour; fragile sweet bouquet, warm climate nuances with faint leather and old wood; unexpected liveliness on the palate with the last rays of sweet fruit giving enjoyment and held its own rather well for several hours. A remarkable experience."

My knowledge of how wines were made back then suggests the grapes were picked earlier than today so it started life with medium weight at best and lower alcohol. It is most unlikely the experiments and profound technical, even revolutionary changes that had been started by Penfolds would have worked their way down to a small winery like Kies and this wine suggests they had not.

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