Liliane Osborne
– Tesco Wine Enthusiast

29 Aug 12


Wine made simple

Tim Adams answers YOUR questions

Tim Adams

Talented winemaker and all-round great guy Tim Adams has taken time out to answer your questions. If you didn't manage to get your question to us in time, don't worry you will be able to ask him in person at the Edinburgh and London Tesco Wine Fairs. Tim, your sixty seconds starts, NOW:

Questions from Petit_Verdot:

The Clare Valley is known for its Reisling wines. How would you compare your Reisling to the 'classic' Reislings of say, the Mosel or Alsace, and how would you persuade me to try yours as opposed to 'theirs'?

Tim: Riesling from Clare is almost always dry, less than 5 g/l residual sugar. This in certainly not the style that comes from either Mosel or Alsace, although dry Rieslings from Alsace can be found. The wines of Mosel are typically low in alcohol and higher in sweetness, a style which has developed to cope with the high acidity from a naturally cool area. These wines are no doubt iconic from the great vintages. Riesling from Alsace is often very rich and uncious in the mid palate, often has pressings included and sometimes long, slow ferments which adds middle palate richness.

Riesling from Clare has little or no skin contact and rarely has any pressings included. It is typically bright and fresh with uncomplicated Riesling characters of floral and citrus. It is a great drink as a young wine, but also develops beautifully over a period of time in bottle , typically 5-10 years is common.


Question: The Rieslings in the Clare Valley are normally dry or off-dry - do you make any sweet ones and where can I get some?

Tim: We make botrytis affected Riesling as well. This cant be sourced in the uk at present due to lack of supply. 

Question: In your video you mention Shiraz - the Barossa Valley, which is nearby, produces string powerful Shiraz - how would you compare your Shiraz to Barossa?

Tim: Clare is further north and more elevated than Barossa. Wines of Barossa are rich, intense, often dense wines which I describe as masculine. Clare Valley Shiraz tends towards an elegant style and can lack mid palate weight in comparison to Barossa. Often also, our tannin structure in Shiraz is softer. The Shiraz of Clare often has Rhone like characters of mulberry, spice, and violet flower.

Question: Apart from your own wines what would be your favourite red or white?

Tim: My greatest enjoyment comes from both learning and being surprised at the same time. I love Tempranillo and Sangiovese, but at the same time love the classic varieties. I have a recent (15 years!) passion for Pinot Gris, and so have many great experiences with that variety too. The thing all these have in common is food compatibility.

Questions from spiked:

I'm interested in the 'Botrytis Riesling'… Finding a good Dessert wine is always hard and I can't seem to track a bottle down anywhere

Tim: As per my earlier comments on botrytis Riesling, we don’t have any in the country at present.

Questions: I'd like to ask Tim how long he reckons the 2003 Tim Adams Clare Valley Cabernet (which I recently bought) might still potentially keep/improve if cellared further?

Tim: 2003 Cabernet was split packaged, some under cork and some under screw cap. If you have the screw cap version it will certainly last another 5 years. If under cork I would be thinking about the next nice occasion at which it could be enjoyed.

And finally, a 15 second quick-fire round with question from us, starting NOW! 

Question: What’s your dessert island wine?

Tim: 1990 Dom Ruinart, Magnum of course. 

Question: What’s your most memorable wine experience?

Tasting tokay at Chambers winery in Rutherglen Victoria, 1975, when I was 17 years old. Then wine was pre-phylloxera made by Bill

S Grandfather, he wasn’t sure how old but at least 90 years at that time.

Question: What’s your favourite food and wine match?

Tim: Salmon and Semillon. The salmon smoked and the Semillon barrel fermented and 5 years old at least.

Question: If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you want to be/ do?

Tim: I would be a chef in a very small restaurant with hopefully no need to make a profit!


Time's up! Thanks for all your questions everyone!



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