312 products

Old & Rare

    • 94
    1998 Best's Great Western Bin 0 Shiraz
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $150. 00 Bottle
    $1800.00 Dozen
    ABV: 13.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Opaque crimson, brick red colour, showing some signs of bottle age. The wines still holding up well, with years of bottle life left. Aroma of spice, blackberry and liquorice are overlaid by plum and cedar. The palate has excellent weight and depth of flavour, with cedar, spice, stewed fruit and white pepper emerging on the back palate. The white pepper characters began to evolve on the back palate and continues to grow running right through to the aftertaste, which lingers for some time.
    Alc/Vol 13.5%
    RATING: 94/100
    VALUE: XXXXX/5

    First Tasted: November 2000
    A spectacular Great Western Bin O and arguably the best ever. The International demand for this wine has exploded to the point that domestic stocks have been dramatically reduced, and our major headache with this wine will be how to allocate the stocks.Outstanding opaque purple crimson mauve colour. The magnificent colour heralds an exceptional nose and palate. A superb sniff, with aroma of plum, spice, blackberries, vanilla and subtle earthy end notes. The palate flavours are very concentrated and totally mouthfilling. Strong flavours of spice, earth, ripe blackberries, vanilla, plum and exceptionally peppery back palate, with again exceptional palate length. Perfect balance, velvet smooth tannins with a perfect aftertaste that lingers for minutes of spice and blackpepper.
    RATING: 98
    VALUE: XXXXX

    • 97
    • 97
    2007 Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernets
    Margaret River, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $225. 00 Bottle
    $2700.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 8 - 10 Years (2017-2019)
    ABV: 14%
    Closure: Screw Cap

    Cullen rate this wine as one of the great Diana Madeline’s that they’ve produced. Made from a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the wine was matured for 14 months in high quality French oak barriques

    An essay in sophistication and elegance.

    Deep opaque purple crimson red colour with purple mauve hue. The nose presents a very refined sniff with aromas of cedar, cassis, tobacco, truffle and spice end notes. Medium weight palate, refined with an underlying core of ripe fruit – flavours of blackcurrant, cedar, cigar box, mulberry, liquorice and truffle all seamlessly integrated. Superb complexity and depth of flavour with excellent persistence. Very fine grained dry tannins which give the wine a tightly knit structure, ideal for long term cellaring. Perfectly balanced. Very long cedar, blackcurrant, liquorice, cigar box and truffle aftertaste.
    Cellar 8-10 years (2017-2019)
    Alc/Vol: 14.0%  Collectors Cabernet

    Other Reviews....
    This is as close to perfection as one can imagine in terms of structure, texture and its complex fruit flavours. Great now, greater still in another 10 years, and who knows how long thereafter. Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot. Screwcap.
    14% alc.   Drink 2032   
    97 points
    James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion

    • 96
    • 95
    2002 Mitolo G.A.M. Shiraz
    McLaren Vale, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $120. 00 Bottle
    $1440.00 Dozen
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Stelvin

    Frank Mitolo is the largest onion and potato grower in the Southern Hemisphere and has recently turned his attention to wine with great success. Mitolo has engaged the services of Colin Glaetzer's son, Ben Glaetzer as winemaker. G.A.M. represents the first initial of each of the Mitolo children's first names - Gemma, Alex and Marco.
    A big red. Very deep crimson colour with deep crimson hue. Superb nose with aroma of violets, spice and black pepper followed by a mocca end note. The palate is mouthfilling, displaying that wonderfully concentrated McLaren Vale Shiraz character. Flavours of spice, black cherry, vanilla and violet infusions are meshed with liquorice and plum. Excellent length and depth with smoky oak appearing. Fine grained tannins with very long aftertaste of black cherry, vanilla, plum, liquorice and spice.
    Alc/Vol: 14.5%

    Other Reviews....
    Produced from 26-year old vines and aged in French oak (80% new), the 2002 Shiraz G. A. M. reveals tremendous fruit purity, but it does not yet reveal secondary nuances. The inky blue/purple color is accompanied by aromas of ink, camphor, graphite, blackberries, and blueberries. While it possesses tremendous purity as well as an enormous full-bodied texture, it is neither heavy nor overbearing. This stunning Shiraz may be even better than the 2002 Savitar. Time will tell.
    95-97 points
    Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (The Wine Advocate #148)

    • 96
    2004 Mr Riggs Shiraz Magnum (1500ml)
    McLaren Vale, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $250. 00 Bottle
    $3000.00 Dozen
    ABV: 15%
    Closure: Diam Cork

    Re-tasted on 09/10/2015
    Outstanding depth of colour displaying an inky black core with a deep dark red black tinged hue. Showing good intensity ripe blackberry, liquorice and dark plum aromas emerge from the glass with underlying vanillin cedar, leather and spice notes. Rich, voluptuously textured and velvety the palate features mouthfilling flavours of ripe blackberry, liquorice and dark plum all caressing the palate. There’s still plenty of fruit here with the tertiary characters just starting to move in. Soft supple mouthfeel with underlying nuances of vanillin cedar, earthy leather and spice. Velvet smooth tannins. Superb depth with a very long silky aftertaste of blackberry, liquorice, dark plum, earthy leather and spicy vanillin oak.
    Alc. 15%

     

    Tasted on 24/11/2005

    Ben Riggs is a big bloke who is very much at home on a footy field or a basketball court, giving as good as he gets, so one almost intuitively expects that the Mr. Riggs will be as big in stature as the man himself, however, this is not the case. Mr. Riggs Shiraz is about refinement, elegance and force.

    The wine is a total saturate of black purple with black purple hue. The nose is more refined and perfumed than the Penny’s Hill – violet top notes, followed by cedar, spice and blackberry – a wonderful sniffing experience. The palate has elegance and force with explosive flavour power waves. Mouthfilling, with flavour of spice, blackberry, violet infusions, vanilla and white pepper. A wine of exceptional length and depth. Perfect tannin structure, with very long spice, blackberry, vanilla aftertaste. Very Limited stocks.
    Alc/Vol: 15%
    99 Points

    Other reviews...
    The blockbuster 2004 Shiraz was aged 18 months in French oak (40% new). It is a wine of great intensity, with an opaque purple color as well as a gorgeous nose of camphor, graphite, blackberries, tar, and charcoal. Rich, super-pure fruit cascades over the palate of this opaque purple-colored, full-bodied, voluptuously-textured Shiraz. Consume it over the next 6-7 years.
    95 Points
    Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate # 161 (Oct 2005)

     

    Other reviews... Clean, rich fruit aromas; lush red and black fruits with a juicy twist giving lively mouthfeel and a delicious finish; amazingly light on its 15° alcohol feet. Drink by 2015. Tasted 2005.96 points - James Hallidays Wine Companion

    • 95
    • 94
    2002 Mr Riggs Shiraz
    McLaren Vale, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $120. 00 Bottle
    $1440.00 Dozen
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Tasted 11/11/2003: 2002 is possibly the greatest vintage to date from McLaren Vale. A big statement that can only ultimately be tested by the quality of the wine in the glass. BEN RIGGS has evolved an omnipresence with his wine making talents. His expertise is sought in Italy, Napa Valley, Greece, Bordeaux & Southern France where his wines have a distinct Riggs ‘finger print’. With twenty Australian vintages to his credit, Riggs has developed an exceptional skill for winemaking and blending. His signature wine, Mr.Riggs, has that very rare quality of a ‘double flavour wave’ that is experienced in only the very finest wines. The wine has been matured in 80% French oak and 20% American oak.
    Opaque black crimson purple colour. Perfumed nose of violets, spice, cedar and plum. The palate is mouthfilling, displaying the ultimate trilogy of class – elegance, refinement and power. Flavours of violet infusions, chocolate and honeycomb bar followed by plum, white pepper and spice. Perfect balance with fine dry finish. Then at the moment when one imagines the taste sensations are complete, another wave emerges, with strong flavours of chocolate, vanilla, dark cherries, raspberry and white pepper. A superb wine which has that special Ben Riggs quality imprinted all the way.
    Alc/Vol: 14.5%

    Other Reviews....
    Concentrated, opulent blackberry fruit encased in a delicious wrapping of dark chocolate; has chewed up the French oak in which it was aged; fine ripe tannins; power with finesse. Drink by 2022.
    95 points
    James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion

    Aged in 80% French oak and 20% American (of which 60% is new), this barrel sample (to be bottled in November) was immensely impressive. There will be 400 cases of this dense inky/purple-colored Shiraz. It offers a gorgeous nose of licorice, melted road tar, blackberry liqueur, and sweet black currants. There is dazzling palate persistence, tremendous texture, and full body, but the wine is neither heavy nor out of balance. The finish lasts for 45+ seconds. With thrilling density and richness yet good equilibrium, it will drink well for 10-15 years. 
    94-96 points
    Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate

    • 96
    1996 Penfolds Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon
    Barossa, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $799. 00 Bottle
    $9588.00 Dozen
    ABV: 13%
    Closure: Cork

    Other reviews... Medium to full red-purple; a paradigm of everything Cabernet Sauvignon should be: the fragrant cassis/redcurrant fruit and perfect oak integration of the bouquet is followed by an intensely flavoured yet elegant wine on a very long palate flooded with cassis and redcurrant fruit, and crowned with fine tannins on the finish.
    96 points James Halliday, James Halliday's Wine Companion

    • 96
    • Not gift boxed
    1996 Penfolds Grange
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $899. 00 Bottle
    $10788.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 15 - 20 Years (2016-2021)
    ABV: 14%
    Closure: Cork

    Note: Bottles have minor creasing on the front label from the production line.

    Penfolds Grange is Australia’s greatest red wine which was first developed by Max Schubert, with the 1951 vintage. Today, this wine, which has long become a curio, still commands extraordinary prices at auctions, with recent sales of just under A$50,000 a bottle recorded. In the past two decades the great Grange years are (without any argument) 1996,1990, 1986 – with 1998 being the ‘Vintage of Last Century.’ This makes the 1996 exceptionally desirable as an investment piece and a necessary addition to any serious cellar.

    We have little doubt that your last holiday cost many times more than a bottle of Grange, or even a 6 pack of Grange, and at the end of the day what is it that you have? Fond memories, a collection of happy pics, and an overburdened credit card. Grange offers all that, plus – it has become a tradeable commodity – a highly desirable and saleable wine that will continue to escalate in value over the next 10-30 years.

    The dedicated wine collectors will argue, that wine for investment is an athema – and should only be purchased to consume. We have no argument with either case, - collect to drink or invest, either way, happiness will come to you in time.

    Penfolds Grange is a National Living Treasure and an International Wine Icon. The 1996 Grange is far too young to drink at this point in time, but it must be tasted to determine its potential. To be fair, the wine was not rested and opened just a day after it arrived - a tough call by any measure. The wine is monumental in its structure and clearly built to last the next 30 years - it is also very much in the traditional mould of Grange and certainly reflects top quality fruit from a Great Vintage.

    The below tasting notes were made at the 50th Anniversary Dinner of Penfolds Grange at Magill in South Australia on November 26th 2001. They were written in less than ideal tasting conditions. The pomp and ceremony of the occasion and low level lighting, together with the constant chatter on the table, all made a less than perfect tasting environment. I am sure, many of the wines would have scored a point or two higher under perfect tasting conditions and, thus the notes are to be read with this proviso in mind. - Nick Chlebnikowski

    A great contemporary Grange. Opaque crimson colour. Aroma of violets, spice, vanilla, confectionary, blackberry and plum. Mouthfilling palate – a total concentrate with flavours of blackberry, blackpepper, vanilla, oak and plum in great abundance. Very youthful. Fine grained, firmish tannins, yet perfectly balanced.
    Cellar 15-20 years (2017-2022)
    Alc/Vol: 14.0%

    First Tasted: May 2001

    Totally opaque colour with deep crimson hues. The nose is initially rather closed and as the wine reaches room temperature, the aroma slowly unfold. Concentrate of blackberry, vanilla and blackpepper aromas begin to evolve. This wine is in no hurry to display its virtues. The palate is tight and clearly made of very solid 'foundations'. No immediate sex appeal here, just the promise of a great experience sometime down the track. Coax the wine and the plum, spice and strong blackpepper flavours begin to evolve. Outstanding marriage of fruit and oak, nothing is obvious, yet nothing is missing. The tannins are fine, very firm and totally necessary for the degree of concentrated fruit. Slowly as the wine warms, so the length of the palate increases, and an exceptionally long aftertaste manifests itself. This is a great Grange. Solid, concentrated, very firm, yet still yielding enough flavour and structure to demonstrate its deserved status as Australia's greatest red wine. Cellar 15-30 years.

    RATING: 96/100
    VALUE: XXXX/5

     


    Notes Sourced from The Rewards of Patience - Fifth Edition (2004):
    Outstanding vintage
    Drinking Window: 2006 – 2040
    Deep crimson-purple. Decadently rich, gloriously exuberant wine with rich ripe blueberry/darkchocolate/musky plum/meaty aromas. A very rich, sweet concentrated palate crammed with musky plum/mocha fruit and balanced with savoury, cedar oak and abundant ripe chocolaty tannins. Classic Grange.
    94% Shiraz, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Magill Estate (Adelaide). Superb winter rainfall replenished soil moisture levels. This was followed by mild and dry weather conditions resulting in a vintage of exceptional quality.

    • 99
    • 99
    • Not gift boxed
    1998 Penfolds Grange
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $999. 00 Bottle
    $11988.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 20 - 25 Years (2023-2028)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    This is Australia’s flagship wine, admired, envied and despised, almost unprocurable and certainly over hyped to the point of hysteria. It has become an international wine icon, and the major Australian investment piece. Every mum and dad wants a bottle of Grange in their investment portfolio, in anticipation of making a quick (or medium) return on investment. Released at $400 per bottle, this wine escalated dramatically in price, reaching between $700-800 per bottle shortly after release. The 1998 vintage is legendary, being regarded as the vintage of last century. So, how good is this wine? The wine is exceptional and certainly lives up to its reputation as Australia’s No. 1 wine.

    Opaque black crimson colour. Superb nose with that distinctive aromatic marker that is Grange. Perfumed notes of violets, ripe plum, cedar and spice emerge over a distinctive American oak background. The palate flavours explode and delivers flavours of great length and depth. Mouthfilling with flavours of confectionary, ripe plum, American oak, cedar, dark chocolate, liquorice and violet infusions. Perfect balance despite the firm tannin backbone. This is a monumental wine built to last.
    Cellar 20-25 years (2023-2028)
    Alc/Vol: 14.5%


    Notes Sourced from The Rewards of Patience - Fifth Edition (2004):
    Outstanding vintage
    Drinking Window: 2010 – 2040
    Deep crimson-purple. Beautifully perfumed and exotic musky plum/blackberry/blackcurrant aromas with plenty of malty/meaty/apricot complexity. Opulently rich and seductive plum/apricot/blackfruit/meaty flavours with toasty/malty/savoury oak and fine velvety sweet tannins. A superbly balanced, sumptuous wine with all the hallmarks of a great, long-living Grange.
    97% Shiraz, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, Magill Estate (Adelaide) and Padthaway. A mild early growing season was followed by very hot, dry weather with virtually all dam water reserves exhausted. An exceptional vintage.

    Other Reviews...
    The 1998 Grange will be legendary. A blend of 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, it tips the scales at a whopping 14.5% alcohol. The inky/purple color is followed by an extraordinarily intense nose of creme de cassis intermixed with blueberry and floral notes. As the wine sits in the glass, aromas of meat, plums, and cola also emerge. It is a seamless effort with sweet tannin, well-integrated acidity, sensational extract, and layer upon layer of blackberry and cassis fruit that stain the palate and fill the mouth. Its harmony, freshness, and remarkable length (the finish lasts nearly a minute) suggest an all-time classic. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.
    99 points
    Robert Parker - The Wine Adovcate

    • 99
    • 97
    • 98
    • Not gift boxed
    2002 Penfolds Grange
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $899. 00 Bottle
    $10788.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 15 - 20 Years (2022-2027)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Grange is both Penfolds and arguably Australia’s most famous wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. The 2002 vintage is produced from a blend of 99% Shiraz and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged for 15 months in new American oak hogsheads.
    A spectacular Grange – that needs decades to fully express itself. Totally opaque, black purple colour with black purple hue. Superb nose – perfumed with violet, spice top notes. The palate is structured in such a way as to slowly release its flavour compounds over many decades. Flavours of vanilla, spice and liquorice allsorts – followed by a black pepper back palate. Perfect balance. Very long aftertaste of spice and black pepper. A collectors Grange.
    Cellar 15-20 years (2022-2027). Bottle number 74197 tasted.
    Alc/Vol: 14.5%

    Other Reviews...
    Last but not least is Australia’s most famous wine, the 2002 Shiraz “Grange”. The 2002 version was sourced from 77.5% Barossa Valley and 22.5% from McLaren Vale. Included in the blend is 1.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It spent 17 months in 100% new American oak. Opaque purple, it gives off an ethereal bouquet of violets, saddle leather, blueberry, blackberry, pencil lead, and chocolate. This is followed by a full-bodied wine with tremendous concentration, multiple layers of flavor, ripe tannins, and great balance. Thick and rich, with a 60-second finish, it will slowly blossom over the next 15-20 years and provide pleasure through 2050. It is a legend in the making! Penfolds, arguably Australia’s most famous winery, continues to perform at a high level under the leadership of Head Winemaker, Peter Gago.
    Drink 2007 - 2050.
    98 point
    Jay Miller - Wine Advocate #173 Oct 2007

    Starred in the October 2007 Rewards of Patience tasting, just as it did when first released. A wonderful bouquet of a multitude of dark fruit aromas, the palate with impeccable texture and balance; a seamless array of blackberry, spice and licorice flavours, oak perfectly pitched. Destined to become of the great Granges.
    Drink Now-2042 with Wagyu beef
    97 points     
    James Halliday’s Top 100

    • 94
    1998 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $650. 00 Bottle
    $7800.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 8 - 10 Years (2009-2011)
    ABV: 13.5%
    Closure: Cork

    An outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and more approachable than the 1996 Grange which was tasted along side it, as part of a tasting of the Penfolds Super Premium Red wine releases. Opaque, crimson colour with a black heart. Superb aromas. TheCabernet is obvious from the first sniff - sophisticated, very refined, yet surprisingly open at this stage. Aromas of cedar, blackcurrant, tobacco and violets, with just the faintest trace of leafy Cabernet as an end note. The palate is tight knit, with dusty Cabernet dry tannins perfectly matched to the classy blackcurrant, cedar and liquorice flavours. On the back palate the leafy character reappears but is handled as a complexing layer of flavour, rather than the usual mischievous fault that it can be. Outstanding length and depth of flavour. Very concentrated, with exceptionally long aftertaste of cedar, tobacco and blackcurrant. A Classic 707 from the Greatest Vintage of the last century.

    RATING: 94/100

    VALUE: XXXXX/5

    • Not gift boxed
    2005 Penfolds Grange Shiraz
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $899. 00 Bottle
    $10788.00 Dozen
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork
    Notes sourced from Fosters:
    Grange is arguably Australia's most famous wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.

    Penfolds Grange displays fully ripe, intensely flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world's great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy.

    Vintage Conditions:
    2005 saw a solid budburst and fruit set, followed by favourable growing conditions. Harvest was early by about two weeks but temperate conditions allowed for steady, continuous ripening. Warm, dry conditions prevailed during the harvest period producing grapes of exceptional flavour and structure.

    Tasting Note:
    A blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon this wine was matured for 18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. Deep, dark garnet colour. The nose is a tightly wrapped projection from the glass of dark-berried Barossa fruits coupled with a myriad of barrel ferment complexities. Thereafter, a burst of honey-cured jamon / pancetta aromatically thrust above, with a rich mix of generously basted roasted meats, peat & nutmeg anchored beneath.

    Upon sitting / air these characters descend, revealing beguiling elements of freshly turned volcanic earth and an innocent suggestion of oldgrowth forest floor underlay. On the palate the flavour pool primarily highlights Satsuma plum conserve alongside rhubarb / aniseed / fennel, with liqueur chocolate shyly awaiting mid-palate. Oak absorbed and hidden, not so the muscular tannins, power / extract. Nevertheless balanced, firm, polished.
    PEAK DRINKING 2012 to 2030.
    14.5% Alc

    • 97
    • 97
    1996 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $650. 00 Bottle
    $7800.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 5 - 15 Years (2004-2014)
    ABV: 13.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Other Reviews….

    Full red-purple; concentrated, ripe, cassis and blackberry fruit leaps from the glass, with oak present but trailing behind. The palate is as rich, ripe, succulent and concentrated as the bouquet suggests, redolent with cassis, and long, lingering tannins.
    97 points
    James Halliday – Halliday Wine Companion

    • Not gift boxed
    2003 Penfolds Grange Shiraz Magnum (1500ml)
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $1999. 00 Bottle
    $23988.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 4 - 30 Years (2012-2038)
    ABV: 14.4%
    Closure: Cork
    Notes Sourced from Penfolds...
    Grange is arguably Australia's most famous wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia. Penfolds Grange displays fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes in combination with new American oak. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world's great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy.

    The 2003 vintage was sourced from vineyards located in Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale and Magill. Made from a blend of 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine was matured for 15 months in new American oak hogsheads.

    The 2003 vintage was initially warm and dry, becoming milder later in the season. These conditions prompted an early start of harvest with the fruit reaching optimum ripeness evenly. The vintage produced Shiraz with dense colour, impressive varietal characters and soft tannins.

    Deep red colour. The nose is captivating, complex and complete. Unravelling aromatics unfurl with air - blue fruit notes entwined with barrel ferment and maturation elements; nothing singular, always in tandem. Sweet soy, cola and quince paste high notes escape from an ethereal layer (aniseed, fennel and fresh treacle ginger pudding) wafting above. The palate displays dark and liqueur chocolate, laced with Moroccan spices. An underlying tar/graphite blackness is lifted by derived fruit/quince pie flavours - a few years earlier they may have been more brashly varietal and elemental. Pronounced tannins sweep across the palate, although they are certainly part of the wine, never obtrusive. Long, layered and compelling, this wine is at the spicier end of the Grange spectrum.
    Drink 2012 to 2038
    14.5% Alc

    Other Reviews...
    To be frank, I agonised over the inclusion of this wine, which is not in the same class as the 2002 or the forthcoming '04, '05 and '06 (a brilliant trio). But it is Australia's iconic red wine, and will improve out of sight over the next 20 years. Deep and bright colour; density and structure; the fruit is rich, but not spongy or dead. Ultra careful selection.
    Drink 2015-2030 (leave it in the cellar)
    95 Points
    James Halliday – The Australian Top 100 – 2008

    • 99
    • 100
    • 100
    • Not gift boxed
    2008 Penfolds Grange
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $999. 00 Bottle
    $11988.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 15 - 20 Years (2028-2033)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    The 2008 Penfolds Grange is a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon with ageing taking place in new American oak hogsheads for 19 months. Spectacular super saturated inky black purple colour showing impenetrable depth with very deep black purple hue. The aromas explode out the glass – perfumed scents of liquorice, dark chocolate, ripe blackberry and dark plum are overlaid by mocha and subtlety toasted vanillin oak nuances. A sniffer’s paradise!
    Opulence, power and decadence grace the palate with super concentrated flavours of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate bullets and dark plum which interplay with mocha and spicy vanillin oak. Firm structured tannins are the order of the day, necessary to handle the power and richness of the fruit providing the wine with a somewhat chewy finish. Exceptional persistence with magnificently long aftertaste of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, mocha and spicy vanillin oak.
    Cellar 15-20 years plus.
    Alc 14.5%

    Other Reviews….
    Deep purple-black in color, the 2008 Grange puts forward a very complex nose packed with aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves and cinnamon with nuances of minced meat, anise, potpourri and whiffs of dried mint and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, taut and very spicy in the mouth, it shows touches of sandalwood and Chinese five spice complementing the layers of dark fruit flavors. It is framed by firm, grainy tannins and a refreshing acid line before finishing very long with aniseed and lingering blackberry preserves notes. This is clearly a wonderfully opulent and a magic vintage for this label. Drink it from 2018 to 2035+.
    100 points
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

    An utterly majestic Shiraz, sleek and seamless, brimming with ripeness on a framework that allows for grace and expressive-ness in equal measure. The intensity of fresh blueberry and plum fruit holds attention until the nuances kick in, offering glints of exotic spice, coffee, cocoa, bay leaf and mint. Shows tremendous presence without a lot of weight, the tannins present but not even close to getting in the way. A great wine now, with plenty of room to grow. Drink now through 2040
    100 points
    Wine Spectator

    • Not gift boxed
    2000 Penfolds Grange Hermitage
    Barossa Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $850. 00 Bottle
    $10200.00 Dozen
    ABV: 14%
    Closure: Cork

    Penfolds’ renowned 2000 Grange is only the fifth vintage to be made from 100% Shiraz (the others being 1951, 1952, 1963, and 1999). It is also, atypically, 100% Barossa fruit. While it is not considered to be one of the great Granges, the 2000 exhibits outstanding potential, and is much more accessible than usual. One of the top wines I tasted from this vintage (which has had to take a back seat to subsequent years), its dense ruby/purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of blackberries, cherries, chocolate, and earth. With decent acidity, ripe, silky tannin, superb intensity, wonderful equilibrium, and a more open-knit, softer, accessible style than usual, it can be drunk now or cellared for 15-16 years. While this is no wimpy wine, it is an ideal example for readers who are unwilling to invest the patience required for the big, blockbuster Granges.
    93 Points
    Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate # 161 (Oct 2005)

    Notes sourced from Southcorp

    Grange is both Penfolds and arguably Australia's most famous wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between shiraz and the soils and climate of South Australia.

    Penfolds Grange displays fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and textured shiraz grapes in combination with new American oak. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world's great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy.

    The 2000 Penfolds Grange is an excellent example of the Grange style transcending a most challenging South Australian 2000 vintage. The 2000 vintage is sourced entirely from the Barossa Valley, (40% Kalimna) and is produced from 100% Shiraz. The wine was aged for 18 months in new American oak hogsheads.

    Vintage Conditions: As in most south-eastern districts, some rain fell between Christmas and New Year, followed by very dry and very hot conditions until March. Crops were down by 20-40% producing parcels of 'Grange' quality in the Barossa.

    Tasting Notes: Deep (bright) red crimson colour. On the nose smoky barrel fermented notes hover above a complex base of black liquorice, tobacco, black pepper, exotic spices and plummy, berried fruits. A mouthfilling, generous and expansive palate, as expected of this marque. Dark chocolate and plum fruits court a deceptive play of substantial ripe tannins and, at this relatively early stage, provide for a more powerful Grange stamp on the palate than on the nose. Oak plays a supportive role and is perfectly integrated and absorbed. This is a wine of admirable balance and poise, with trademark mid-palate richness.
    14% Alc/vol.

     

    Other reviews......

    Good depth to the colour; seamless blackberry fruit and vanilla/cedar oak; abundant power and concentration; sultry blackberry, dark chocolate and spice; persistent but balanced tannins. Exceptional outcome for an ordinary vintage; obviously strict selection criteria used.

    Rating 96

    Drink 2025
    "James Halliday - 2006 Australian Wine Companion"

    • 91
    1996 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $165. 00 Bottle
    $1980.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 8 - 10 Years (2007-2009)
    ABV: 13.5%
    Closure: Cork

    A great example of Bin 389. A blend of 50% Cabernet and 50% Shiraz which has been matured for 14 months in American oak, 25% of which was new wood. Opaque vibrant, crimson purple colour - a visual delight. Magnificent lifted nose of violets, blackcurrants, vanilla and toasted oak with a blackberry spice end note. The palate reflects the nose with generous flavours of ripe plum, blackcurrants and liquorice - full bodied and supported by very fine, assertive, yet well balanced tannins, which linger into the aftertaste. Long liquorice, blackcurrant, chocolate and toasted oak aftertaste. A Classic.

    RATING: 91/100

    VALUE: XXXX/5

    • 98
    • Not gift boxed
    1990 Penfolds Grange Hermitage
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $1200. 00 Bottle
    $14400.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 15 - 20 Years (2015-2020)
    ABV: 13.8%
    Closure: Cork

    Other Reviews....

    Blackberry, blueberry, spice and dark chocolate aromas. Full body, deep and powerful. Just a baby. Layered. Goes on for minutes. Drink or hold.
    98 points
    James Suckling

    Destined to be one of the greatest Granges. A beautifully weighted and concentrated bouquet, with seamless fruit and oak; masses of dark cherries and plum. In the mouth a superb wine; while the fruit is opulent, it is not excessively so; indeed there is a touch of near austerity to the fine tannins to give the wine both character and balance. The iron fist in a velvet glove.
    97 points
    James Halliday's Wine Companion


    Notes Sourced from The Rewards of Patience - Fifth Edition (2004):
    Outstanding vintage
    Drinking Window: Now – 2040
    Deep crimson. Immensely concentrated, beautifully perfumed wine with deep, dark, chocolate/spicy/mocha/malty aromas. A very rich, ripe, supple palate with deep blackberry/chocolate/liquorice fruit, malt/vanilla oak nuances and satin smooth tannins. A superbly-balanced wine. A very great Grange vintage with tremendous finesse and understated power.
    95% Shiraz, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and Coonawarra. Voted ‘Red Wine of the Year’ by Wine Spectator magazine in December 1995. A very great Australian vintage with a perfect warm, dry, growing season and harvest.

     


     

    Notes sourced from Southcorp Wines

    Regional sources: Kalimna (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, Clare Valley & Coonawarra.

    Grape varieties: 95% Shiraz & 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Alcohol: 13.8% Total acids: 7.1 grams per litre. pH: 3.36

    Growing season/vintage: A totally trouble-free growing season enabled grapes to ripen perfectly. Vintage conditions were also ideal, enabling fruit to be harvested and processed without compromising quality in any way.

    Comments: The 1990 vintage was the kind that winemakers only expect to see once or twice in an entire career.

    "The 1990 is without doubt a classic Grange."

    Tasting notes: Deep, fresh, purple colour. Very intense, concentrated plummy nose showing perfect fruit ripeness and stylish oak in fine harmony. A sumptuous wine to taste, amazingly complex at three years old, loaded with fruit and tasting of coffee, cedar, vanilla and dark berries. A very great Grange. Drink 2005-2025+. (Huon Hooke, 1993)

    Beautifully weighted and concentrated wine combining intense, perfectly ripe, plummy aromas with smoky vanillin oak. Already the wine is complex and harmonious, with ripe, savoury, smoky, coffee and plum-like fruit, integrated oak, fine tannins and length. This is a superbly balanced and opulent wine showing restrained power -- "an iron fist in a velvet glove". Destined for greatness. (Rewards of Patience, 3rd ed., 1994)

    Perfectly ripened fruit. A singularly great wine. (Ultimate Grange Experience, Nov. 1994)

    Dark berry scented, masses of integrating new wood, as rich and heady as newly-laid tar. (Tim White, Aust. Financial Review, Dec. 1994)

    "Medium-full red/purple. Deeply concentrated, with strong, plum/prune/liquorice aromas and touches of aniseed and exotic fruits - all underpinned by well-seasoned oak. Palate is deeply set with spicy, plum/mocha/liquorice fruit, sweet spicy oak, and ripe but fine, velvety tannin structure. Long and flavoury finish. Perfectly tensioned and balanced. May outlive us all! Drink between now and 2030." (Southcorp Wines, The Rewards of Patience, Fourth Edition, March 2000)

    1990 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $599. 00 Bottle
    $7188.00 Dozen
    ABV: 13.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Other Reviews….

    Dark and inviting, with a supple core of wild berry, mint and currant flavors that are rich and elegant, finishing with a long, smooth aftertaste. Retasted because of significant bottle variation; two of four bottles were clearly superior in separate tastings.
    92 points
    Wine Spectator

    • Not gift boxed
    2004 Penfolds Grange Shiraz
    South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $899. 00 Bottle
    $10788.00 Dozen
    ABV: 14.3%
    Closure: Cork
    Notes sourced from winery.
    Grange is arguably Australia's most famous wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia. Penfolds Grange displays fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes in combination with new American oak. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world's great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy.

    'The wait for this Grange release has indeed been worthwhile - arguably the finest vintage since Mother Nature's endowment of a number of stellar 1990s vintages. Just how good a vintage only time will tell, but all current indicators auger (very) well. Certainly stylistically in the mould of the wonderful 1990 & 1996 vintages.'
    Peter Gago - Penfolds Chief Winemaker

    VINTAGE CONDITIONS Above-average winter rainfall led into a promising vintage, characterised by mild conditions up until February, followed by warmer weather conditions throughout March and April. Penfolds' South Australian vineyards fared well, producing wines of elegance and intensity.

    Produced from a blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon this wine was matured for 16 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. Dark, deep red colour. The nose is enticingly fragrant, yet at once 'Grange' -elements of cola, bay-leaf, malt, Indian spices & nougat. An ethereal oriental lift of glazed Peking Duck is interspersed with fermented black Chinese tea. Oak at one with the wine, other aromatics unite to create a continuum of spice & fruit. Impressive. The palate is seamless redefined. Classic Grange structure - tight, defined & balanced, with 'slatey' / sandy tannins. Saturated fruits - blackberry and concentrated Satsuma plum skin. A darkened flavour theme of chocolate, liquorice and fermented black Chinese tea mask any overt presence of new oak, courting a long, effortless finish. Intense, powerful vs. composed, polished – an enviable counter-balance.
    Peak drinking: 2016 to 2050.
    Alc/Vol: 14.3%

    Other Reviews...
    The 2004 vintage was outstanding in Barossa, McLaren Vale, and Magill, the regions where the grapes were sourced for the marvelous 2004 Grange. It contains 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged for 16 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it displays a superb nose of wood smoke, Asian spices, incense, game, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Medium to full-bodied, satin textured, with deeply layered, succulent blackberry, plum, and chocolate flavors, it has the structure and complexity to merit extended cellaring of a decade and more. The winery estimates a drinking curve of 2016 to 2050; I-d be a bit more conservative on the long end of the range. It will ultimately be seen as one of the great vintages of Grange.
    99 points
    Dr Jay Miller - The Wine Advocate


    Saturated purple-crimson colour; has an amazing depth to the bouquet, oak and black fruits already seamlessly woven; the longer you spend inhaling the aromas, the more you learn about the wine within, in much the same way as a Grand Cru red burgundy. The palate delivers all that the bouquet promises, and then some; it has absolutely perfect proportions to the river of flavours running through blackberry, Satsuma plum, licorice and spice; the tannins are quite active, but totally balanced and ripe. Cork.
    14.3% alc. 
    Drink 2054    Date Tasted Mar 08
    Rating 98 points 
    James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion


    • 97
    2007 Vasse Felix Shiraz
    Margaret River, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $69. 99 Bottle
    $839.88 Dozen
    Cellar: 4 - 5 Years (2014-2015)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Screw Cap

    Tasting Note (tasted 5/08/2010):
    This Shiraz contains an 11.5% Malbec component and was matured for 18 months in a combination of new American, French and Hungarian oak barriques. Opaque saturated black dark red colour with very deep dark red black hue – outstanding colour. The nose leaps out of the glass delivering a powerful aromatic profile of blackberry, dark plum, confectionary, blackpepper and spice. The palate is equally impressive displaying a rich and generous flavour profile but at the same time possesses a degree of refinement that’s rarely present in many South East Australian counterparts. Flavours of ripe blackberry, plum and liquorice are all seamlessly integrated and are followed by some blackpepper and spicy cedar characteristics on the back palate. Super fine tannin structure with very long (bordering on exceptional) aftertaste of liquorice, blackberry, blackpepper and spice.
    Alc. 14.5%
    97 points

    • 98
    1998 Yalumba The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz
    Barossa Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $199. 00 Bottle
    $2388.00 Dozen
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Other reviews...

    An awesome wine, only made in the greatest vintages, is the limited production 1998 Shiraz/Cabernet The Reserve. A blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Shiraz aged 22 months in small foudres as well as French Bordeaux barrels, is truly great stuff. A black/purple color is accompanied by gorgeous aromas of sweet saddle leather, blackberries, creme de cassis, melted licorice, camphor, and graphite. Full-bodied and pure with a massive, layered mouthfeel, this striking 1998 should drink well for 20-25 years.
    98 points
    Robert Parker - Wine Advocate #148 (Aug 2003)

    • Reduced
    1998 Barossa Valley Estate E&E Black Pepper Shiraz
    Barossa Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    Reduced from $150.00
    $99. 99 Bottle
    $1199.88 Dozen
    Closure: Cork

    Tasted 8/01/2001
    A classic E&E, which reflects both the exceptional quality of the vintage and the consistent performance of the brand. Totally opaque, black crimson colour. Magnificent nose, with intense aromas of vanilla, violets, cedar, spice, ripe plums and dark chocolate. The palate is mouthfilling, generous with wonderfully ripe Barossa fruit. A concentrate of flavours – plum, cedar and spice are counter pointed by careful use of oak, and supported by fine dry tannins. Perfect balance, outstanding length, with an aftertaste that persists for minutes. Cellar 5-8 years. Stocks are extremely limited.
    93 points

    Other Reviews…..
    Beautifully expressive, this is a wine of many layers that interweave intriguingly as they play out their cherry and raspberry fruit against exotic spice and minty, earthy nuances. Impressive for its harmony and supple structure. This is just coming together, but it feels like it has many years ahead of it.
    95 points
    Wine Spectator

    • 98
    2002 Barossa Valley Estate E&E Black Pepper Shiraz
    Barossa Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $150. 00 Bottle
    $1800.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 3 - 4 Years (2008-2009)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork
    A magnificent Shiraz displaying a real sense of refinement.The Barossa Valley Estate winery was established in 1985 by a group of Barossa Valley grape growers as a cooperative effort to make and market premium wine. Today it is a part of the Global BRL Hardy / Constellation Group. Winemaker STUART BOURNE manages to produce a consistent, powerful Shiraz that has been described as the "quintessential Barossa Shiraz." A magnificent Shiraz that displays a real sense of refinement. Opaque black crimson colour with deep crimson hue. Aroma of violets and liquorice allsorts, followed by cedar, spice and nuances of coffee and chocolate. Mouthfilling, refined palate profile with very fine tannins. Flavours of vanilla and white pepper appear on the back palate. Fine, dry, persistent tannin structure. Cellar 3-4 years (2008-2009) Alc/Vol: 14.5%

    Other reviews... Ripe black fruits with obvious mocha/vanilla oak; full-bodied blackberry and sweet chocolate flavours; good texture and weight; round, ripe tannins. Drink by 2017.
    95 points - James Hallidays Wine Companion
    • 97
    1997 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $250. 00 Bottle
    $3000.00 Dozen
    Closure: Cork

    Four thousand five hundred and sixty bottles of this extraordinary wine were made from the 1997 vintage - that's a total of 380 dozen available for the entire world. The Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz is an International Wine Icon. The vines were established in 1869 by Henry Best and 130 years later the wine enters the new Millennium as one of a wine lover's most desirable possessions.Each November we anxiously await the release of this wine and with each successive vintage our expectations reach new levels, and yet in the back of our minds we have a nagging tall poppy syndrome - Viv Thomson surely can't produce a better wine than he did last year? He has to falter some time! Viv is too smart to be complacent, and as each vintage is blessed with spectacular fruit, he manages to create its perfect bottle expression. However, when nature turns against him as it did in 1999, there was no Thomson made - severe frosts saw to that.The 1997 Thomson is an expression of Shiraz fruit concentrate.

    TASTING NOTE: This is almost the perfect wine. When tasted, it achieved the remarkable score of 99.3 out of 100, the highest ranking wine in memory at the time. Opaque crimson colour with mauve edges. Exceptional nose of violets, blackpepper, spice, liquorice allsorts, confectionary, vanilla and an aniseed end note. Totally mouthfilling. Concentrate of Shiraz! Flavours of blackpepper, spice, liquorice and blackcurrant, filling every cavity of the mouth. On the back palate the blackpepper flavour explodes and carrys through the after flavour in an exceptional long aftertaste that lasts for 5 minutes and more. Velvet smooth tannins. Perfect balance. AN AUSTRALIAN TREASURE AND A WONDERFUL PIECE OF HISTORY.

    Other Reviews....
    Deep, bright purple-red, it has seductive sweet cherry fruit, a hint of spice and finely balanced oak on the bouquet; the concentrated yet smooth and velvety palate has perfectly balanced tannins and oak.
    97 points
    James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion 

    • 97
    2001 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz Magnum (1500ml)
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $399. 00 Bottle
    $4788.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 8 - 10 Years (2012-2014)
    ABV: 14%
    Closure: Cork

    This is one of the Great Wines of the world, and now clearly established as a major investment piece. Produced from old vines, planted in 1866, this wine is a national treasure. Production is minuscule and limited to around 350 cases per year when produced - the wine is only made in great years, with no Thomson being produced from the 1993, 1999 and 2000 vintages. The Best’s Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz has established itself as one of Australia’s great shiraz alongside the likes of Henschke Hill of Grace, Penfolds Grange Hermitage and Clarendon Hills Astralis.

    An exceptional wine, produced from old and rare vines planted in 1866. Totally opaque black crimson purple colour, with purple hue. Superb nose – a wonderful sniff of violets, cedar and spice followed by liquorice allsorts and blood plum. The palate follows the nose with superb length and structure. Refined flavours of blackberry, spice and liquorice allsorts followed by a very spicy white and black pepper back palate. Fine grained tannins, perfect balance, followed by an aftertaste that lasts for several minutes.
    Alc/Vol: 14.0%
    RATING: 97/100

    1996 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $199. 00 Bottle
    $2388.00 Dozen
    Closure: Cork

    1996 BEST'S THOMSON FAMILY SHIRAZ - VITICULTURAL HISTORY ON SALE -

    Region: Great Western, Victoria.Professor J.O. Westwood - a famous entomologist at Oxford University in England, reported the first incidence of Phylloxera in 1863 - Phylloxera Vastatrix, as the aphid is known brings about a slow viticultural death. In July of 1868, a commission was established in the Southern Rhone Valley to investigate the impact of Phylloxera on their vineyards. Around the same time on the other side of the globe, an energetic farmer was clearing bushland and planting shiraz grapes. Henry Best had probably never heard of phylloxera, nor did he imagine that by 1998, those same vines would still be in production - he could not predict the social and economic upheavals that the years ahead would bring - honours, wealth and personal glory were not on his mind - they were transient in any case - so what drove a man to dig holes in the Australian bush - An old drinking song may provide a clue. "None but wine and true friendship are lasting and sure, From jealousy free, and from envy secure; Then fill all the glasses until they run o'er, A friend and good wine are the charms we adore".

    This is one of the country's viticultural icons, produced from vines planted by Henry Best in 1868 - An International viticultural masterpiece.

    Australia is indeed fortunate in that there are a number of 'Grandfather' vineyards still bearing fruit. The gnarled 1868 vines from Best's have lost their youthful vigor. Thick, woody trunks and heavy arms bearing shy bunches of concentrated berries. These old vines can only be eclipsed by the 1860's vines at Chateau Tahbilk which claim to be the oldest Shiraz wines in the world. The accountants, take to their Excel spread sheets and calculate the return on investment that they yield - Grandfathers time seems up! - And in many cases it has been, however, the Bests Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz is in no danger. Only in exceptional years is a tiny parcel of this outstanding fruit is put aside to produce the Best Thomson Family Shiraz. This year a minuscule 300 odd cases of this viticultural masterpiece were produced , the wisdom of time is conferred to only a hand full of wine lovers who enjoy - wisdom by the glass. Great wine has a uniqueness which is based upon it by its terroir - and by its very definition the terroir can only produce a limited quantity of wine. Even more unique in this case is the great age of the vines and the tiny production.Tasting notes: Opaque, deep crimson, with mauve edges. Superb aromas. Spice, vanilla, liquorice, ripe plum, violets and blackberry - intense and refined. The palate meets all expectations. Mouthfilling - with that degree of concentration, only found in old vines fruit. Flavours of spice, plum, blackberry and vanilla fill the palate and continue to encase every possible corner. Exceptional length and depth of flavour. The balance is perfect and the tannins firmer than in previous years - fine, dry and well supported by the volumes of fruit. Very long aftertaste of spice, vanilla and just a trace of black peppers. Cellar 15-20 years.

    • 98
    1999 Best's Great Western F.H.T. Shiraz
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $130. 00 Bottle
    $1560.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 8 - 10 Years (2009-2011)
    Closure: Cork

    FROM ADVERSITY COMES A SPECTACULAR SHIRAZ!!!

    The 1999 vintage from Best’s Great Western was virtually wiped out by spring frosts occurring in 1998. This reduced production of both the Great Western and Thomson Family Vineyards by 80%, and as a result Viv Thomson felt there was not enough fruit to justify production of the either 1999 Best’s Great Western Bin O Shiraz or Thomson Family Shiraz. In previous vintages where Best’s have felt the quality of the Thomson Family Shiraz has not been up to the required standard, they have blended the fruit in with the Best’s Great Western Bin 0 Shiraz. However, the drastically reduced yields combined with ideal ripening conditions produced fruit of extraordinary concentration. Such was the quality, it was decided that no Bin 0 Shiraz or Thomson Family Shiraz would be produced for the 1999 vintage. Instead the entire crop was blended into a new wine, labelled FHT Shiraz, in honour of Viv Thomson’s father – Frederick Hamill Thomson. City folk don’t often experience such heartbreaking events, where a year’s work is decimated, but such adversity is just part of the farming process.

    This is a spectacular wine, and demonstrates that even in tragic situations, there can emerge great joy and a renewal of inspiration and energy Tasting notes: Produced from vines between 30 and over 130 years old. Opaque crimson black colour, with deep crimson mauve hues. Superb nose of confectionary, marzipan, spice and violets. The palate has the power of Thomson Family Shiraz, with an explosive, mouthfilling flavour of blackpepper, vanilla and liquorice allsorts. The palate flavours are exceptionally long with the blackpepper component remaining very prominent. Fine grained tannins. Perfect length and balance. Aftertaste of blackpepper, spice, vanilla and cedar. Cellar 8 – 10 years. (2009 – 2010). An outstanding wine and a must for collectors.

    1994 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $250. 00 Bottle
    $3000.00 Dozen
    Closure: Cork

    In 1866, in the Grampians district of Victoria, Henry Best was clearing and grubbing his small selection, along the Concongella Creek, and exposing and tilling for the first time in history the powdery, sandy loam which overlaid a deep clay sub soil, and in 1867, 1868 and 1869 he planted shiraz - of which only 15 rows remain. At the same time in Europe Alfred Noble patented dynamite, the first trans Atlantic cable was being laid and Siemens introduced the dynamo for generating electricity, Dostoyevsky in Russia published 'Crime and Punishment'and Karl Marx was writing Das Kapital.By the time Henry Best produced his first vintage, Guiseppe Verdi had completed the opera Aida, the Suez Canal was opened and a record was set by the sailing ship Thermopylae - reaching Port Melbourne from England in a record 61 days 11 hours. A little later the four cylinder internal combustion engine was to be invented and Pasteur had discovered 'germs'.Henry Best is toiling - his June 29,1868 diary entry reads "The beginning of Concongella Vineyard 1866" and his work sheet of 1868 reads "Self, Planting vines Hermitage 3. Cheeney Planting vines, John, Planting vines, Weather fine, frost."Historians call the era the Age of Progress and what progress, 129 years later we can reflect on that progress. The 15 surviving rows of history are of breath taking beauty. Production is limited to 350 cases nationally, a part of Australia's history available to only a handful of enthusiasts. What an exhilarating experience, drinking the wine from Henry Best's original planting and re capping on one of the most progressive times in history. A philosophers wine!The Thomson Shiraz is only released in great years - even old vines can suffer from adverse climatic conditions. There was no 1993 Thomson Shiraz. Old vines produce very low yields of tiny berries, which in turn produce dense concentrated wine. IF YOU WERE IMPRESSED BY THE 1994 BEST'S GREAT WESTERN BIN 0 SHIRAZ,THEN THE 1994 BEST'S THOMSON SHIRAZ WILL ASTOUND YOU.EXTRAORDINARY! PRE PHYLLOXERA VINES - AN INTERNATIONAL TREASURE!

    Tasting notes: The colour is dense crimson. The nose is not about to yield its array of aromas in a youthful rush. You have to wait a while and quietly the aromas emerge. Ripe plums, blackberry, confectionary with subtle notes of cedar and liquorice - black pepper aromas are absent. The palate slowly rolls out its flavours building up to an unexpected crescendo of totally encompassing black pepper. Plum, liquorice all sorts, confectionary and spice all form forward palate flavours, but the blackpeppers sneak up in a similar way in that mountain pepper berries sneak up on the palate. The harmony is perfect - the tannins are silky smooth, the aftertaste lingering long in the palate like a repetitive chord from Vivaldi - it just stays and stays. This is a sublime shiraz - Unique, an experience not to be forgone. It is the living expression of an age that drove the 20th century and gave it its momentum. Only 350 cases were produced - We need say no more!

    • 97
    2001 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $150. 00 Bottle
    $1800.00 Dozen
    Cellar: Drink now - 6 Years (2013-2019)
    ABV: 14%
    Closure: Cork

    This is one of the Great Wines of the world, and now clearly established as a major investment piece. Produced from old vines, planted in 1866, this wine is a national treasure. Production is minuscule and limited to around 350 cases per year when produced - the wine is only made in great years, with no Thomson being produced from the 1993, 1999 and 2000 vintages. The Best’s Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz has established itself as one of Australia’s great shiraz alongside the likes of Henschke Hill of Grace, Penfolds Grange Hermitage and Clarendon Hills Astralis.

    An exceptional wine, produced from old and rare vines planted in 1866.


    Retasted 25/07/2013
    The colour of this wine is holding up very well displaying a totally opaque black dark red core with a dark red black hue. Both perfumed and alluring the nose reveals scents of blackberry and liquorice followed by some subtle vanillin oak, confectionary and spice. Concentrated yet very refined the palate marries flavour intensity and elegance delivering a seamless experience of liquorice and blackberry over some vanillin confectionary followed by subtle leather and spice. Velvet smooth perfectly integrated tannins. Excellent persistence with long aftertaste of liquorice, blackberry, vanillin oak, confectionary and subtle leather. Drinking well now this wine can still be cellared a further 5-6 years (2013-2017)
    Alc 13.5%

    First Tasted 02/09/2004

    Totally opaque black crimson purple colour, with purple hue. Superb nose – a wonderful sniff of violets, cedar and spice followed by liquorice allsorts and blood plum. The palate follows the nose with superb length and structure. Refined flavours of blackberry, spice and liquorice allsorts followed by a very spicy white and black pepper back palate. Fine grained tannins, perfect balance, followed by an aftertaste that lasts for several minutes.
    Cellar 8-10 Years (2012-2014)
    Alc/Vol: 14.0%
    97 Points

    • 99
    1998 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz Magnum (1500ml)
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $449. 99 Bottle
    $5399.88 Dozen
    ABV: 14.5%

    This is one of the Great Wines of the world, and now clearly established as a major investment piece. Produced from old vines, planted in 1866, this wine is a national treasure. Production is minuscule and limited to around 350 cases per annum. The wine is only made in great years, with no Thomson being produced from the 1999 vintage due to frost damage of the vines.When we first tasted the early vintages of this wine it was very obvious to us, that in a few years the Best’s Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz would establish itself on an equal footing with other Great Australian wines (such as Hill of Grace, Grange Hermitage, Astralis and the like).

    In a recent re classification of top Australian red wines, we ranked this wine as equal to the very best that Australia had to offer, and asked International and Australian wine lovers to comment. The response has been universal. This is a Great Australian Wine, and amongst the Great wines of the world.A few years ago, this wine made front cover of every Vintage Direct upon release. Today, the demand is such that collectors needs can not be met, and thus a very large part of the stocks are already gone.The Success of the 1998 vintage needs no further elaboration. It was without any doubt the vintage of the last century in Australia, which makes this wine even more collectable.What is the quality that makes this wine so special? The age of the vines is one factor. The rarity of the production is yet another, there are only 15 rows of these pre phyloxera vines left standing. Finally the pure concentration of flavour and remarkable persistence on the aftertaste makes this wine simply extraordinary.

    The historic perspective that accompanies this wine is mind boggling. Cast the mind back some 134 years, and imagine the native country side around the township of Great Western. The paddocks were not cleared. All work is being done by horses and manual labour. Henry Best is grubbing his way over his selection, whilst in Europe, the Great men of the 19th century are establishing there mark on the world. Alfred Noble, Karl Marx, Guiseppe Verdi, Dostoyevsky are creating a legacy that would last for centuries, and unknowingly so is Henry Best. A bizzare parallel. The humble farmer gains a place alongside the geniuses of his age. Contemplate that fact for a moment – then enjoy the wine.

    Outstanding opaque purple, crimson mauve colour. Magnificent nose with intense aroma of vanilla, violets, spice and blackberries, followed by hints of marzipan and liquorice. This is a rare sniff, that finds the aromas resting high in the temples and staying there. On the palate, the flavours are totally mouthfilling, refined elegant and concentrated, with a remarkable degree of persistence. Flavours of black pepper, vanilla and confectionery are seamlessly welded together and enwrapped by velvet smooth tannins. This is a very special taste experience. Perfect balance, with a profoundly long aftertaste, lasting over 5 minutes.
    Cellar 10-15 years (2011-2016)

    • 99
    1998 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz
    Great Western, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    $250. 00 Bottle
    $3000.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2011-2016)
    Closure: Cork

    This is one of the Great Wines of the world, and now clearly established as a major investment piece. Produced from old vines, planted in 1866, this wine is a national treasure. Production is minuscule and limited to around 350 cases per annum. The wine is only made in great years, with no Thomson being produced from the 1999 vintage due to frost damage of the vines.When we first tasted the early vintages of this wine it was very obvious to us, that in a few years the Best’s Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz would establish itself on an equal footing with other Great Australian wines (such as Hill of Grace, Grange Hermitage, Astralis and the like). In a recent re classification of top Australian red wines, we ranked this wine as equal to the very best that Australia had to offer, and asked International and Australian wine lovers to comment. The response has been universal. This is a Great Australian Wine, and amongst the Great wines of the world.A few years ago, this wine made front cover of every Vintage Direct upon release. Today, the demand is such that collectors needs can not be met, and thus a very large part of the stocks are already gone.The Success of the 1998 vintage needs no further elaboration. It was without any doubt the vintage of the last century in Australia, which makes this wine even more collectable.What is the quality that makes this wine so special? The age of the vines is one factor. The rarity of the production is yet another, there are only 15 rows of these pre phyloxera vines left standing. Finally the pure concentration of flavour and remarkable persistence on the aftertaste makes this wine simply extraordinary.The historic perspective that accompanies this wine is mind boggling. Cast the mind back some 134 years, and imagine the native country side around the township of Great Western. The paddocks were not cleared. All work is being done by horses and manual labour. Henry Best is grubbing his way over his selection, whilst in Europe, the Great men of the 19th century are establishing there mark on the world. Alfred Noble, Karl Marx, Guiseppe Verdi, Dostoyevsky are creating a legacy that would last for centuries, and unknowingly so is Henry Best. A bizzare parallel. The humble farmer gains a place alongside the geniuses of his age. Contemplate that fact for a moment – then enjoy the wine.Outstanding opaque purple, crimson mauve colour. Magnificent nose with intense aroma of vanilla, violets, spice and blackberries, followed by hints of marzipan and liquorice. This is a rare sniff, that finds the aromas resting high in the temples and staying there. On the palate, the flavours are totally mouthfilling, refined elegant and concentrated, with a remarkable degree of persistence. Flavours of black pepper, vanilla and confectionery are seamlessly welded together and enwrapped by velvet smooth tannins. This is a very special taste experience. Perfect balance, with a profoundly long aftertaste, lasting over 5 minutes.
    Cellar 10-15 years (2011-2016)

    2001 Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz
    Hunter Valley, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
    $175. 00 Bottle
    $2100.00 Dozen
    ABV: 13.3%
    Closure: Cork
    Notes sourced from Brokenwood

    This is a more typical Graveyard (1994, 1996?) with mid-weight frame and long soft, earthy briar flavours.

    Vinification: Bottled August 2002. 4 day cold soak, 5 day ferment in 2 tonne open fermenters, malolactic fermentation in new oak, 70% French and 30% American.

    Tasting Notes: Mid density, with purple tints. Hallmark Hunter/Graveyard aromas. Principally of red fruits – cherry and red currant, with briar wood and sweet earthy notes. Subdued oak (surprisingly, as was nearly 90% new), so vanillin in background to red cherry, and mocha. The wines class/pedigree shows in the long savoury tannins and lingering sweet fruit. A refined subtle Hunter Shiraz that, at first, hides it power.
    Alc/Vol: 13.3%

    Other Reviews...
    The dense purple-colored 2001 Shiraz Graveyard, while tight and backward, is very concentrated, pure, medium to full-bodied, and impressively endowed with chocolate, smoke, black currant, and licorice aromas as well as flavors. However, patience is warranted. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2014.
    Rating 90 points
    Robert Paker - Wine Advocate #148 (August 2003)




    The black fruits of the bouquet have touches of regional earth backed by subtle oak; the palate offers much sweeter flavours, mixing blackberry and cherry through to a long finish.
    Drink by 2021
    95 points
    James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion
    • 96
    • 96
    • Reduced
    2004 Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah Magnum (1500ml)
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    Reduced from $1,200.00
    $850. 00 Bottle
    $10200.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2016-2021)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Was $1200, Now $850

    This is a restrained, brooding Astralis. Opaque black purple colour with purple hue.  The nose is perfumed with a degree of restraint, only gradually yielding its splendour.  Aroma of liquorice allsorts, blackberry and violet infusions.  The palate is again refined and tight, showing very good complexity but without the explosive power and super concentration that the 2003 delivered.  Flavours of plum, cherry and stewed fruit emerge.  Very fine grained tannins, well balanced to the fruit.  Very long aftertaste of plum, black cherry and stewed fruit.
    Cellar 10-15 years (2016-2021)
    Alc/Vol: 14.5%

    Robert Parkers Review:
    Clarendon Hills' flagship Syrah is the 800-case cuvee of 2004 Syrah Astralis Vineyard. One of Australia's most prodigious offerings, Astralis is a 20-30-year wine (some of the early vintages, such as 1996, are still babies in their evolutionary progression). Produced from 75-year-old Syrah vines, it coats the mouth with a viscous texture, but never comes across as heavy or over the top. An opaque purple color is followed by an extraordinary nose of graphite, roasted meat, new saddle leather, truffles, violets, and blackberries. Full-bodied with superb purity, great definition, and a refreshing, zesty acidity that buttresses its enormous weight and richness, it is a tour de force in winemaking from Roman Bratasiuk. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2030+
    96-98 Points
    Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #161 (Oct 2005)

    • 99
    2001 Clarendon Hills Romas Vineyard Grenache
    Blewitt Springs, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $150. 00 Bottle
    $1800.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2012-2017)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    The Romas Vineyard is the highest and steepest section of the Blewitt Springs Vineyard and also produces the lowest yields – between 0.5 and 1 tonne per acre. The vines are between 70-75 years old. The winemaking process is essentially the same as for the other Clarendon Hills Grenache wines, except that the barrel composition has changed. 80% of the casks are one year old whereas 20% are two year old French casks. The minor change in composition compensates for the exceptionally low yields but as with the previous Grenache wines, the purity of fruit flavour is superbly expressed.
    This wine is the ultimate expression of Grenache – and is comparable to the finest from any region, anywhere in the world. Totally opaque crimson, purple colour. The nose is superb with wonderfully concentrated aromas of blackberry, spice, blackpepper, violets and just a hint of earth. The palate takes the variety into a realm of its own; total concentrate. It’s hard to even imagine that the humble, often neglected Grenache grape which has for years been blended back with other varietals, can take on such dimensions of flavour. Exotic layers of berries are woven together with flavours of blackberry, blackpepper, spice and liquorice allsorts. The tannins are perfectly balanced and echo the aftertaste of raspberries, exotic plum, blackberries and pepper.
    Cellar 10-15 years.
    Alc./vol. 14.5%

    • 98
    2002 Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $120. 00 Bottle
    $1440.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2013-2018)
    ABV: 14.8%
    Closure: Cork

    This is the wine that Roman refers to as ‘My Latour’ and is not afraid to draw parallels and even admit that is where the inspiration came from. This is the biggest Cabernet – a wine of monumental structure yet displaying a degree of flamboyance.

    Tasting Note: Opaque black crimson colour with deep crimson hue. The nose is relatively tight, but that is almost expected of this wine. Notes of violets and blackcurrant emerge over a subtle spice end note. The palate takes one by surprise, it’s far from being tightly knit, and is explosive with flavour and delivers exceptional length and depth. Flavours of blackcurrant, blackpepper and spice are enhanced by a hint of confectionary and fine dry tannins. Perfect balance, with exceptionally long aftertaste of blackcurrant, blackpepper and spice.
    Cellar 10-15 years (2013-2018)
    Alc/Vol: 14.8%

    RATING: 98/100

    VALUE: XXXXX/5

    Robert Parker's Review
    The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Hickinbotham Vineyard may be the finest Cabernet I have yet tasted from Clarendon Hills. While stunning from barrel, it is even more prodigious from bottle. An explosive bouquet of creme de cassis, melted licorice, new saddle leather, cedar, and Asian spices is followed by a full-bodied, marvelously concentrated effort that tastes like an Australian version of the profound 1990 Lynch Bages. Huge, concentrated flavors inundate the palate. The wine is seamlessly constructed with a brilliant integration of acidity, tannin, and wood. This fabulous, explosive Cabernet Sauvignon should be at its finest between 2008-2020+.
    (Notes sourced from Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #155)
    ROBERT PARKER'S RATING: 95 points

    • 98
    2002 Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Vineyard Syrah (Shiraz)
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $110. 00 Bottle
    $1320.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2013-2018)
    ABV: 14.8%
    Closure: Cork

    The yields from the Hickinbotham Vineyard were down 50% on average due to the poor fruit set. The closely planted vines, at one metre spacings, were planted in 1965. This is a wine that displays great power, whilst still expressing great finesse.

    Tasting Note: Totally black purple colour. The nose is an essay of liquorice, violets, spice and blackberry. The palate explodes with flavour, powerful layers of blackberry, liquorice, spice and white pepper, enhanced by fine grained tannins. Perfect balance with very long aftertaste of spiced plum, black cherry, confectionary and anise.
    Cellar 10-15 years (2013-2018)
    Alc/Vol: 14.8%

    RATING: 98/100

    VALUE: XXXXX/5

    Robert Parker's Review
    The stupendous 2002 Syrah Hickinbotham Vineyard exhibits a saturated purple color as well as an extraordinary bouquet of ink, blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis, smoke, licorice, and espresso. Massively endowed, with great concentration yet tremendous structure and definition, it is an example of what Roman Bratasiuk does so well ... marry old vine power and concentration with extraordinary definition and elegance. It may be the finest example I have yet tasted from this vineyard. While approachable, it should last for 20+ years.
    (Notes sourced from Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #155)
    ROBERT PARKER'S RATING: 97 points

    #Clarendon2808

    • 99
    • 96
    2001 Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Vineyard Syrah (Shiraz)
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $225. 00 Bottle
    $2700.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2012-2017)
    ABV: 14.8%
    Closure: Cork

    Perfumed, the tannins have melded beautifully to the rich opulent fruit and this wine is really beginning to sing as it enters its peak drinking window.

    The Piggott Range vineyard vines are 25-30 years old, and are planted in rock and shale, with only 10-13 mm top soil. The vine roots work hard to establish themselves and force their way downwards between cracks in the rock and shale to find water. The yields are extremely low at one tonne per acre. The Piggott Syrah is matured in 100% new French oak barriques.
    Totally opaque black, purple, crimson colour. Superb lifted nose, even more intense than the previous wines. Lifted notes of plum concentrate, blackpepper, spice, blackberry, violets and earth. A sniffers paradise! The palate overwhelms. This is concentration plus, and its hard to believe that the Astralis could surpass this flavour profile. Concentrated flavours of liquorice, blackberry and spice, with a degree of voluptuousness that is almost too much to handle – a sensuous overload. Roman describes this wine as the complete deal ‘steak, eggs and cigar’, one could add sex to that description as well. Layers of strong liquorice, spice and blackpepper followed by a hint of earth and subtle toasted oak. Fine firm tannin structure.
    Cellar 10-15 years.
    Alc/Vol 14.8%

    Other Reviews.....
    The 2001 Syrah Piggott Range may be one of several Clarendon Hills’ Syrah cuvees that stand toe to toe with its 2002 sibling. A giant Syrah, it boasts an enormously rich nose of black fruits, subtle vanilla, smoke, and a hint of graphite. Extremely full-bodied, thick, and prodigious, it will be at its finest between 2008-2025.
    96 points
    Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate

    • 98
    2012 Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $270. 00 Bottle
    $3240.00 Dozen
    Minimum 6 bottles
    Cellar: 10 - 12 Years (2026-2028)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Magnificent colour displaying an impenetrable inky black core with a very deep dark purple black hue. Powerful aromas of ripe blackberries, dark plum and liquorice are followed by some smoky vanillin cedar, light earth and pepper. Rich, concentrated, powerful and structured the palate delivers mouthfilling flavours of liquorice, ripe blackberries and black cherries over smoky vanillin cedar, some meatiness, a touch of earth and spicy pepper. Chewy mouthfeel with a firm muscular tannin structure. Exceptionally long liquorice, blackberry, black cherry, vanillin cedar, scorched earth, dried meats and blackpepper aftertaste.
    Cellar 10-12 years.
    Alc 14.5%

    • 99
    2002 Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah (Shiraz)
    Blewitt Springs, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $599. 00 Bottle
    $7188.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 15 - 20 Years (2018-2023)
    ABV: 14.8%
    Closure: Cork

    The 2002 vintage was uniform across the Clarendon Hills range, with all wines performing superbly. The wine differs from the 2001 in that only two new barriques were used whereas 100% new oak was used the previous year. This wine differs from the previous vintage in body weight and structure. 2001 Astralis was comparable to Penfolds Grange – a monumental concentrated Shiraz. The 2002 Astralis is comparable to a Henschke Hill of Grace. The difference in style is attributable to the climatic variation due to the vintage.
    Totally black purple colour. Superb lifted nose of violets, leather, blackcurrant and spice. The palate structure is very reminiscent of Henschke Hill of Grace with a sophistication and elegance that is rare in Australian wine. The vintage yielded crops of ½ to 1 tonne per acre, compared with 2 to 2 ½ tonnes in the previous year. The wine is still very voluptuous on the palate with concentrated powerful flavours of plum, spice, anise and white pepper very evident. Fine grained tannins with an exceptionally long aftertaste of plum, spice and white pepper. An exceptional red that continued to blossom in the glass. Bratasiuk draws parallels of this wine to the 1992, and just to demonstrate the parallels, he opened a bottle of the 1992.
    Cellar 15-20 years.
    Alc/Vol: 14.8%

    Other reviews....
    The 2002 Syrah Astralis Vineyard rivals the greatest wines Roman Bratasiuk has made in his 15-year career. This compelling, black/blue-hued offering from 75-year-old Syrah vines tastes like blood of the vine. An extraordinary perfume of flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, roasted meat, new saddle leather, and earth is followed by a wine with sweet tannin, sensational concentration, full body, an unctuous texture, and a full-throttle, tannic finish. Yet it reveals unbelievable elegance and finesse. Too many Euro-centric elitists argue that Australian wines are too rich and over the top, but all of these offerings have been made by someone with great talent and vision who takes the extraordinary ripeness and purity of fruit available from these old vine vineyards and crafts them into wines that are quite European in style ... just richer and denser. The 2002 Astralis is a tour de force. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025+.
    99 points
    Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #155

    • 99
    2002 Clarendon Hills Romas Vineyard Grenache
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $150. 00 Bottle
    $1800.00 Dozen
    Closure: Cork

    An extraordinary expression of Grenache. The vineyard is situated on the highest and steepest section of the Blewitt Springs Vineyard and yields miniscule quantities of highly concentrated small berries.

    Tasting Note: Totally opaque black purple crimson colour. Perfumed nose – wonderful lift of spice, violets and white pepper. The palate is exceptional with a profound length and depth of flavour not found in the previous Grenache tasted. Again in 2002 this is the superstar of Grenache with layers of flavour – liquorice, spice and blackberry which are overpowered by an intense white pepper background. Perfect balance and exceptionally long white pepper aftertaste.
    Cellar 15-20 years (2018-2023)
    Alc/Vol: 14.8%

    RATING: 99/100

    Robert Parker's Review
    The 2002 Grenache Old Vines Romas Vineyard’s saturated ruby/purple color is followed by a superb bouquet of black fruits, truffles, Asian spices, figs, and licorice. Powerful, rich, and upfront, this layered, intensely concentrated Grenache can be drunk now or cellared for 10-12 years.
    (Notes sourced from Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #155)
    ROBERT PARKER'S RATING: 96 points

    • 98
    2001 Clarendon Hills Brookman Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - Museum Release
    Blewitt Springs, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $76. 99 Bottle
    $923.88 Dozen
    Cellar: Drink now - 5 Years (2010-2015)
    ABV: 14%
    Closure: Cork

    Clarendon Hills has built a global reputation for its Syrah and Grenache, with the best examples commanding large dollars, and justifiably so. However, over the years the line up has consistently revealed three bargains, with one absolute bargain, and they were all Cabernet Sauvignon. It's hardly surprising that the Cabernet Sauvignons have been passed over in favour of Syrah and Grenache - after all it’s the latter varieties that McLaren Vale generally does best with.

    Roman Bratasiuk again proves the point that with the right terroir, old vines, and the right viticulture, exceptional Cabernet can, and is, being produced.

    The vines were planted in 1940, and are the old Reynella Cabernet clone. These clones were originally sourced from Chateaux Lafite in the 1840’s and bought to Australia as cuttings. “So what?”, you might ask, but there is significance in this fact. The 1840’s cutting are pre Phylloxera, and consist of the original Lafite vines, prior to planting post Phylloxera with more resistant, and less flavour filled clones. What Bratasiuk has done with these old vines is take us back to the flavour experiences of the 1800’s, and moreover his winemaking techniques remain ‘Old Time French’. As with all his wines, fermentation takes place with wild yeast strains which add layers of complexity to the Cabernet. The wine has been matured in 80% new and 20% one year old French barriques. The yields are between 2 and 2.5 tonnes per acre. Retasted November 2010:
    The Brookman Cabernet displays an opaque, dark red colour, with deep, dark brick red hue. Perfumed aromas of violets, blackcurrant and cedar, followed by some spice and earthy leather like end notes. The palate shows slightly more richness and a touch more weight than the 2001 Sandown. Evolving very gracefully with flavours of blackcurrant and spice to the fore, with a cedar background and some cigar box characters making an appearance on the back palate. Fine grained tannins, superbly integrated with the fruit and very long aftertaste of cedar, blackcurrant, spice and earth.
    Superb drinking now but it also has at least another 5 years left in it (2010-2015)
    Alc 14.0% First Tasted July 2002:
    Bratasiuk regards this wine as a parallel with Ducru Beaucaillou. Opaque purple black colour. Superb nose, with distinct Bordeaux lift and expression. Superb aroma of cedar, blackcurrant and spice. The palate is a delight, with wonderfully ripe and concentrated blackcurrant flavours. Absolutely no hint of leaf or mint – this is beautifully ripe sweet fruit. In the background the cedar oak and spice merge to produce the impression of a complete wine. The mouth feel is generous, reflecting the warm vintage. Outstanding depth and persistence. Fine, firm tannins, yet perfectly balanced followed by a very long spice and blackcurrant aftertaste.
    Cellar 10-15 years (2012-2017)
    Alc/Vol: 14%
    98 Points
    • 100
    2001 Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $120. 00 Bottle
    $1440.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 20 - 25 Years (2022-2027)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    “This is My ‘Latour’”, beams Roman, and indeed this is a formidable wine, and on a relative basis, an absolute bargain. The 2000 Chateau Latour, (from a comparable great year), was priced at around A$700 a bottle on the early futures market. Is the pleasure of a bottle of Latour as a good as the pleasure from nearly a dozen bottles of 2001Clarendon Hills Cabernet? Certainly Clarendon Hills does not have First Growth status, but on a quality basis Roman over delivers.

    Tasting Note: Totally opaque black crimson colour. Magnificent aroma of liquorice allsorts, blackcurrant, spice, cedar and violets. The palate is a powerhouse of Cabernet flavour and has a richness and depth that the previous two Cabernets don’t have. A “ supersaturated” wine. The alcohol is 14.5%, reflecting the fact that this is the last block of Cabernet to be picked. There is monumental power and structure, with voluptuous blackcurrant, and spice flavours filling every corner of the palate. Layers of confectionary and cedar are enhanced by the re occurring violet character. Very fine, very firm dry tannins, perfectly balanced, with a long powerful aftertaste of cedar and blackcurrant.
    Cellar 20-25 years (2022-2027)
    Alc/Vol: 14.5%

    RATING: 100/100

    VALUE: XXXXX/5

    • 99
    2002 Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah Magnum (1500ml)
    Blewitt Springs, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $1200. 00 Bottle
    $14400.00 Dozen
    ABV: 14.8%
    Closure: Cork

    The 2002 vintage was uniform across the Clarendon Hills range, with all wines performing superbly. The wine differs from the 2001 in that only two new barriques were used whereas 100% new oak was used the previous year. This wine differs from the previous vintage in body weight and structure. 2001 Astralis was comparable to Penfolds Grange – a monumental concentrated Shiraz. The 2002 Astralis is comparable to a Henschke Hill of Grace. The difference in style is attributable to the climatic variation due to the vintage.

    Tasting Note: Totally black purple colour. Superb lifted nose of violets, leather, blackcurrant and spice. The palate structure is very reminiscent of Henschke Hill of Grace with a sophistication and elegance that is rare in Australian wine. The vintage yielded crops of ½ to 1 tonne per acre, compared with 2 to 2 ½ tonnes in the previous year. The wine is still very voluptuous on the palate with concentrated powerful flavours of plum, spice, anise and white pepper very evident. Fine grained tannins with an exceptionally long aftertaste of plum, spice and white pepper. An exceptional red that continued to blossom in the glass. Bratasiuk draws parallels of this wine to the 1992, and just to demonstrate the parallels, he opened a bottle of the 1992.
    Cellar 15-20 years (2018-2023)
    Alc/Vol: 14.8%RATING: 99/100

    VALUE: XXXXX/5

    Robert Parker's Review
    The 2002 Syrah Astralis Vineyard rivals the greatest wines Roman Bratasiuk has made in his 15-year career. This compelling, black/blue-hued offering from 75-year-old Syrah vines tastes like blood of the vine. An extraordinary perfume of flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, roasted meat, new saddle leather, and earth is followed by a wine with sweet tannin, sensational concentration, full body, an unctuous texture, and a full-throttle, tannic finish. Yet it reveals unbelievable elegance and finesse. Too many Euro-centric elitists argue that Australian wines are too rich and over the top, but all of these offerings have been made by someone with great talent and vision who takes the extraordinary ripeness and purity of fruit available from these old vine vineyards and crafts them into wines that are quite European in style ... just richer and denser. The 2002 Astralis is a tour de force. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025+.
    (Notes sourced from Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #155)
    ROBERT PARKER'S RATING: 99 points

    • 98
    2005 Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $450. 00 Bottle
    $5400.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2017-2022)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    The high point of Clarendon Hills winemaking. Totally opaque black crimson colour with black crimson hue. Perfumed nose of mocha, dark chocolate, violets and spice. The palate has that powerful Astralis quality, but is more elegant than examples from past vintages. Full bodied with flavours of vanilla, mocha, blackberry and dark chocolate, followed by a black pepper back palate. Mouthfilling. Fine grained tannins. Very spicy black pepper aftertaste.
    Cellar 10-15 years (2017-2022)
    Alc/Vol: 14.5%

    Other Reviews….
    A great classic, the inky/purple-colored 2005 Syrah Astralis is a 40-50 year effort. Although closed, it displays gorgeous but subtle notes of smoked meats, black currants, graphite, new saddle leather, truffles, and blackberries. Remarkably elegant for a wine of such power and intensity, this complex, rich, full-bodied, backward Syrah has totally absorbed its aging in 100% French oak, and appears set for a long life. If you plan on drinking it over the next 4-5 years, it will need 24 hours of decanting. It should be at its finest between 2012-2035.
    98-100 points
    Robert Parker – The Wine Advocate

    At the top of the pyramid is the 2005 Syrah Astralis Vineyard. It is sourced from a vineyard planted in 1920 and is one of the Syrah cuvees in which 100% new oak is utilized (along with Brookman, Hickinbotham, and Piggott Range). It delivers an ethereal bouquet of smoky oak, violets, espresso, black pepper, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Densely packed and tightly wound, all it needs is time. The wine is totally harmonious, impeccably balanced, and exceptionally long. When it fully unwinds, even my high rating will appear conservative. Its only competition comes from the likes of Guigal, Chapoutier, Chave, Krankl, and Ringland.
    Rating 99
    Jay Miller - Wine Advocate #173 Oct 2007

    • 100
    2001 Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah (Shiraz)
    Blewitt Springs, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $599. 00 Bottle
    $7188.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 15 - 20 Years (2017-2022)
    ABV: 14.8%
    Closure: Cork

    This is the piece de resistance of the Clarendon Hills collection. The Astralis vineyard was planted in the early 1930’s on clay ironstone soils. The vineyard yields approximately 2 tonnes per acre. The site has a due east orientation which captures the early morning summer sun and is one of the earliest blocks of old vine Syrah to ripen. The wine is matured in 100% new French oak barriques.

    Tasting Note:
    It is impossible to imagine blacker, more densely coloured wines than of the Syrah that preceded this wine in the line up. Yet when poured, the Astralis was not only visibly blacker and more purple, but the wine actually clung to the side of the glass as if the colour had been sprayed on. Superlatives are hard to find for this wine as they have already been exhausted – only a short time ago it seemed impossible to produce a Syrah on yet another level. The nose is a perfect sniff - one need not go beyond it to reach more lofty heights of pleasure. In the Astralis, the perfumed nature of the Clarendon Hills Syrah reaches a pinnacle, with an emphasis on violets, spice, liquorice, mocca, blackpepper and blackberries. On the palate, a super concentration of flavour is revealed – it is simply not possible to pack more flavour into a wine. Explosive, mouthfilling layers of blackberry, cedar, mocca, liquorice and blackpepper. Fine, firm dry tannins. Exceptionally long aftertaste that refuses to surrender. This wine aspires to a new level and certainly achieves it. If you can believe Roman (and we have no reason to doubt him) he and his ‘mate’ Robert Parker attended a tasting of Grange from 1951 to 2001 and mutually concluded Astralis to be the superior wine. Discount that praise if you will but whatever happens, get hold of some Astralis!
    Cellar 15- 20 years. (2017-2022)
    Alc./vol. 14.8%

    RATING: 100/100

    VALUE: XXXXX/5 #Clarendon2808

    Other Reviews...
    The 2001 Syrah Astralis Vineyard may be just as compelling as the 2002. Tighter because of being in the bottle, it is an extraordinary effort that offers the essence of graphite, blackberry liqueur, espresso, and acacia flowers, all combining into an olfactory smorgasbord for the senses. Sensationally concentrated, with sweet tannin, but neither weighty nor over the top as might be expected for a wine of such extreme richness, it is an extraordinarily well-delineated Syrah that should hit its prime in 10-12 years, and last for 30-40. Hail Caesar ... I mean Roman!

    99 Points - Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #148 Aug 2003)

    • 98
    • 98
    • Reduced
    2005 Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah Magnum (1500ml)
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    Reduced from $1,200.00
    $850. 00 Bottle
    $10200.00 Dozen
    Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2017-2022)
    ABV: 14.5%
    Closure: Cork

    Was $1200, Now $850

    The high point of Clarendon Hills winemaking. Totally opaque black crimson colour with black crimson hue. Perfumed nose of mocha, dark chocolate, violets and spice. The palate has that powerful Astralis quality, but is more elegant than examples from past vintages. Full bodied with flavours of vanilla, mocha, blackberry and dark chocolate, followed by a black pepper back palate. Mouthfilling. Fine grained tannins. Very spicy black pepper aftertaste.
    Cellar 10-15 years (2017-2022)
    Alc/Vol: 14.5%

     

    Other Reviews….
    A great classic, the inky/purple-colored 2005 Syrah Astralis is a 40-50 year effort. Although closed, it displays gorgeous but subtle notes of smoked meats, black currants, graphite, new saddle leather, truffles, and blackberries. Remarkably elegant for a wine of such power and intensity, this complex, rich, full-bodied, backward Syrah has totally absorbed its aging in 100% French oak, and appears set for a long life. If you plan on drinking it over the next 4-5 years, it will need 24 hours of decanting. It should be at its finest between 2012-2035.
    98-100 points
    Robert Parker – The Wine Advocate

    At the top of the pyramid is the 2005 Syrah Astralis Vineyard. It is sourced from a vineyard planted in 1920 and is one of the Syrah cuvees in which 100% new oak is utilized (along with Brookman, Hickinbotham, and Piggott Range). It delivers an ethereal bouquet of smoky oak, violets, espresso, black pepper, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Densely packed and tightly wound, all it needs is time. The wine is totally harmonious, impeccably balanced, and exceptionally long. When it fully unwinds, even my high rating will appear conservative. Its only competition comes from the likes of Guigal, Chapoutier, Chave, Krankl, and Ringland.
    Rating 99
    Jay Miller - Wine Advocate #173 Oct 2007

    • Reduced
    1997 Clarendon Hills Astralis Shiraz
    Clarendon, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    Reduced from $450.00
    $250. 00 Bottle
    $3000.00 Dozen
    Closure: Cork

    The superstar of this super shiraz stud. Expensive, highly sought after, and yet despite the price virtually unattainable. Opaque crimson colour. Magnificent, perfumed nose - sensational! Concentrate of violets, blackberry and hints of mocca in the background. Exceptional palate - again fruit concentrate - with superb ripe berry, spice and dark chocolate flavours. Powerful. Excellent balance with exceptionally long dark chocolate, berry, spice aftertaste. Cellar 10-15 years.

    1994 Coriole Mary Kathleen Reserve Merlot Cabernet
    McLaren Vale, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
    $99. 99 Bottle
    $1199.88 Dozen
    Closure: Cork

    Named after one of the founders of Coriole, Mary Kathleen, this wine is a blend of 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet and 14% Cabernet Franc. Opaque brick red colour. Aromas of ripe plums over a leather and earthy background, with hints of mulberry and vanilla. The palate structure is quite solid, and not as forward as might be expected, however, it's a wine that will develop well over the next decade. The Merlot continues to make its presence felt with its earthy character, whilst the Cabernet component provides a dusty background, finishing with liquorice and confectionary flavours. Fine tannin structure, excellent balance and long plum / spice aftertaste.

    Less than 12 bottles available.

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