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1998 Sevenhill Shiraz
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- Cellar 8 - 10 years (2007-2009)
- ABV 14.1%
- Closure: Cork
A LINK WITH THE ANCIENTSThe Sevenhill wines are made by the Jesuit Brothers at Sevenhill in the Clare Valley. Monks and wine are very much an integral part of Western Civilisation, and some authorities even claim that the two most important achievements of the Ancient Egyptians were the building of the Pyramids and the invention of Christian monasticism.The real founder and genius of Western monasticism was Benedict of Nursia (c. 407-547). St Benedict, synthesized and harmonised the monastic ideas and divided a monks day into three parts - prayer, study and manual labour, with an emphasis on agriculture which was based upon the hallowed trinity of corn, oil and wine. "The Measure of Drink" was an important consideration to St. Benedict and may enlighten the lives of contemporary wine lovers. "Each man has his own gift from God, one this and another that. We are therefore hesitant in deciding how much others should eat or drink. Keeping in mind the weakness of the less robust, we consider that half a pint of wine is sufficient for everyone. But in a case where the locality or work or heat of summer may make a larger allowance necessary, the Abbot must decide, taking care that there is no excess or drunkenness."With the Abbots generous proviso, all that one now needs to do is plead a special case, for a larger allowance shouldn't be too hard tocome up with a credible spin! The Society of Jesus was founded in the sixteenth century by the Basque soldier Inigo de Loyola to become the spearhead of the Counter Reformation. As schoolmasters, the Jesuits shaped the entire ruling class of Catholic Europe, as confessors, they directed Kings and Emperors, as missionaries they roamed from Ireland to Russia and from India to Texas. In China they converted the last Ming Emperor and became astronomers, clockmakers, mathematicians and gardeners to his Manchu successors.In Australia, the Jesuits arrived in the Clare Valley in 1848, three years later built a slab hut in the valley at Sevenhill and in 1852 began to plant vines. The first winemaker was Brother John Schreiner, who secured vine cuttings from a local brewer at Bungaree. Initially the wine produced at Sevenhill was for the use as sacramental wine, however, later red and white wines as well as brandy were produced for lay consumption.We are indeed fortunate that today the good Brothers are producing some exceptional wine for wine lovers. Brother John May, now in his 70's remains at the helm and is one of the wine industries best ambassadors. Many a wine maker would do well to take a lesson in modesty from this great man.
TASTING NOTE: An outstanding Shiraz. The colour is spectacular and heralds a wine of great flavour concentration. Opaque crimson mauve purple colour, which clings to the glass leaving a film of mauve. Superb nose. All that one prays for in a Shiraz. Inky youthful blackberry fruit aromas are layered over by aromas of blackpepper, plum, liquorice with a confectionary end note. Mouthfilling palate, concentrated blackberry and plum flavours over spice and a peppery persistent back palate. Fine grained tannins in perfect harmony with the fruit and providing a structure that will develop over an 8-10 year period. Very long, peppery liquorice aftertaste. The Sevenhill Shiraz is a historical phenomenon in that it presents a remarkable historic link back to the early beginnings of Western civilisation. The philosophy and history aside, the 1998 Shiraz is an outstanding red and exceptional value for money.