In 2013 a neighbour of Glug customer Alan Ramsey gifted him an old Karrawirra red The Karrawirra Barossa Valley Claret 1973 had lain in the neighbour’s Canberra cellar since purchase well over 20 years before.
Now drinking old bottles is pretty much a gamble. The wine can please but often the years of cellaring disappoint. But having added the Karrawirra label to the Glug stable in 2004 I was delighted to join in the ceremonial opening. It is not often I have the opportunity of trying a Barossa Valley wine with nearly 50 years of age.
The level of this Karrawirra Claret was good, so our hopes were high. The cork crumbled easily. It took a delicate touch to extract the pieces bit by bit. This is what we experienced:
By the 1970s profound technical, even revolutionary changes in how red wines should be made in the warm Barossa climate were in practise at Penfolds and Orlando. Even so change takes time to disseminate across to small wineries. The tasting of this 1973 suggests the new ways had not worked down to the small Keelyn winery in Lyndoch where the Kies family made Karrawirra from the late 1960’s.
The current Karrawirra wines
The current range of Karrawirra Barossa Valley red varieties provide customers with deeper, fuller bodied reds that those of the 1970s. Currently on offer are four wines from the 2018 vintage and the first of the 2019 releases.