A legendary wine meets a legendary footballer. The collaboration seems simple enough right? Wrong. The tale of Claymore Wines and Liverpool Football Club’s, particularly Ian Rush’s, unity runs beyond simply their extraordinary qualities.
The story begins with founder of Claymore Wines, Anura Nitchingham and his undying admiration for Liverpool FC. Moving to Liverpool at just 16 and faced with the dark, damp and industrial city, Anura found solace and a second family in the football club. Idolising the players, he found his inspiration through listening with fervour to the magic of each game. Key to this magic was Ian Rush and his 346 goal tally, a true legend of the time and the game. The partnership between club and winery that ensued is a perfect storm of boyhood dream and aligned values. In the words of Anura himself, “Claymore’s relationship with Liverpool FC runs deep … whether it's football or wine, passion is the key and I’m sure there will be a successful meeting of minds through our partnership with the club.”
As expected, the wine always comes first at Claymore and as was the case with this Shiraz. While football is the passion that drives Ian, for winemaker Marnie Roberts it’s seeing people taste and love her wines. Something magical happens when the right palette meets the perfect fruit and Marnie’s flawlessly tuned palette uncovered something incredible. Allowing the grapes to guide her, she put the “hand grenades of acid, sugar and amazing flavour profiles” on skins for 25 days, instead of the usual 10, to allow for the full flavour to be extracted. Marnie then transferred it to the oak it deserved and the result has seen consistently beautiful barrels.
Once the opportunity for the Liverpool and Ian Rush synergy came along, this bold wine finally had the platform worthy of its merits. With only 1000 bottles available, the prospect of getting Ian Rush’s signature on the bottle was immense. A full-bodied Shiraz with dominant dark fruits and savoury flavours made for a powerful wine to honour a true legend.
What better way to celebrate and release such a bottle than with a cocktail bash at Waymouth Street’s The Gallery. The winery put on quite a night with a constant service of canapés, a wonderful range of Claymore’s best, and of course, the Signature Series ‘Ian Rush’ Shiraz itself. We nibbled on the likes of smoked kingfish, soft shell crab and arancini balls, which perfectly accompanied the service of Claymore Sparkling, Riesling, Rosé and Shiraz. The casual cocktail service made for a delightful evening for fans of both wine and football alike to mingle amongst each other, rub shoulders with Ian himself and of course learn the history of, swirl, sniff and most importantly, taste the Shiraz.
The Signature Series ‘Ian Rush’ Shiraz is available for purchase here now. With only three barrels of the good stuff on offer, you’ve got to get in quick for a bottle (or six)!.
Where? Claymore Wines, 7145 Horrocks Highway, Clare Valley
When? Monday – Friday. 10AM – 5PM.
Photos via Ben Neale.