309 products

Old & Rare

    • 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 

      • 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.

          2002 Greenock Creek Apricot Block Shiraz
          Barossa Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
          $150. 00 Bottle
          $1800.00 Dozen
          Closure: Cork
          Other Reviews....

          The prodigious 2002 Shiraz Apricot Block (only 10-year-old vines) was produced from fruit cropped at 1.5 tons per acre. Its big, peppery, floral, blueberry, blackberry, pen ink, and vanillin-scented bouquet is followed by a wine with a nervous energy that is totally in keeping with the cool 2002 vintage. Dense, with great purity of fruit, a fabulously multi-layered, full-bodied palate, and an inky finish with enormous concentration, sweet tannin, and superb overall balance, this young, unevolved Shiraz should begin to strut its stuff in 3-4 years, and last for two decades.
          96 Points
          Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
          • 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
              2003 Mitolo G.A.M. Shiraz
              McLaren Vale, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
              $99. 99 Bottle
              $1199.88 Dozen
              Closure: Cork

              The third wine in the new McLaren Vale releases, G.A.M is named after the initials of the proprietors children. Opaque black purple colour with paint like cling to the glass. Aroma of violets, cedar, vanilla and blackberry. The palate has more weight combined with its oily texture makes for a blockbuster palate. Concentrated flavours of liquorice, blackberries and super ripe plum. Obscenely voluptuous. Fine grained perfectly balance tannins, followed by a very long aftertaste of spice, liquorice, blackberry and plum.
              Cellar 3-4 years.
              Alc/Vol: 14%

              Other reviews....
              Herb and spice edges to the aroma; full-bodied, powerful and dense blackberry and bitter chocolate palate fruit; controlled but ample tannins. Tasted 2004. Drink by 2018.
              94 points 
              James Hallidays Wine Companion

              • 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

                • 94
                • 95
                  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

                      1995 Penfolds Grange Hermitage
                      South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                      $699. 00 Bottle
                      $8388.00 Dozen
                      ABV: 13.5%
                      Closure: Cork
                      Notes Sourced from The Rewards of Patience - Fifth Edition (2004):
                      Drinking Window: 2006 – 2020
                      Deep crimson. Scented, herb garden/blackberry/spicy nose. Elegantly structured but well-concentrated wine with blackberry/cedar/spice flavours and ample, fine, but leafy tannins. An earlier drinking Grange.
                      94% Shiraz, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley and Magill Estate (Adelaide).A period of drought and September frosts reduced potential yields. Warm, dry conditions prevailed until late March/early April when a cooler weather pattern marked by drizzle set in.

                      Notes sourced from Southcorp Wines.

                      The 1995 Grange is the 45th consecutive vintage of the wine that carries the flag internationally and domestically for the Australian wine industry. Penfolds Grange was created by the legendary winemaker, the late Max Schubert, who died at 79 in 1994 after a 60-year career with Penfolds. Grange's weight and concentration can be traced to rigorous selection of intensely-flavoured Shiraz grapes from mature vines in some of South Australia's finest vineyards. The quantity of Grange made each year is determined by the availability of grapes of the required quality and style. Penfolds multi-region, multi-vineyard blending policy enables winemakers to reduce the impact of vintage variation to the point where experts the world over consider Grange to be among the most consistent of the world's great wines. Partial fermentation and 18 months of maturation in new American oak adds complexity and highlights the Shiraz fruit richness. Grange receives almost four years of bottle age, moderating the raw power of youth and allowing the wine's components to begin a long process of integration and development. Despite a difficult vintage, rigorous selection of intensely-flavoured grapes from mature vines in some of the finest South Australian vineyards produced a wine that exceeded vintage expectations.Made from 100% Shiraz the wine was matured for 17 months in 100 per cent new American oak hogsheads.

                      Tasting Notes: size> Deep red colour. The nose is complex with masses of concentrated plum, raspberry and blackberry fruit aromas and hints of leather, dark chocolate and spice. The palate Displays all the classic hallmarks one would expect of Grange, this is a full-bodied, richly-flavoured wine with ripe, dark stewed fruits and mixed spices with seamless, perfectly integrated oak and chewy tannins. It is generally agreed that Grange begins to drink at its best 12 to 15 years from vintage date and can continue to improve in the bottle for years after that. The 1995 vintage is developing quicker than the more robust 1993 and 1994 vintages. 13.5% alcohol volume.

                      "Medium-full red/purple. Defined, dark plum/cassis fruit interwoven with well-seasoned, toasty, spicy oak. Powerful and dense palate with very seductive sweet, rich, raspberry/prune/liquorice/ginger fruit, massively structured tannins, cedar/spice oak and long, chocolatey finish . Still meshing together but destined to become a classic Grange. Drink between 2008 and 2030." (Southcorp Wines, The Rewards of Patience, Fourth Edition, March 2000)

                      • 96
                        2006 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon
                        Barossa Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                        $650. 00 Bottle
                        $7800.00 Dozen
                        Closure: Cork

                        "Yet again Bin 707 undisputedly retains its Grange of Cabernet mantra - the 2006 vintage will certainly hold its own in any Bin 707 vertical!" - Peter Gago, winemaker.

                        Other reviews....
                        An effortlessly luxuriant and pure wine, with juicy blackcurrant and cassis fruit supported by positive, but fine and ripe tannins; only Penfolds can use 100% American oak to such good effect. Great 707. Drink by 2036.
                        96 points
                        James Hallidays Wine Companion 2009

                        A deep, dark and brooding cabernet that simply needs plenty of time to unlock its brooding layers of rich, meaty fruit. Scented with a wild, heady and floral perfume, it’s steeped in dense aromas of cassis, violets, cedar and dark, high-cocoa chocolate. Framed by a drying cut of firm, fine-grained and kernelly tannin, it’s long, sumptuous and profoundly ripened, finishing with persistent and slightly meaty flavours of dark plums and prunes. I have no doubt the wine has the balance to flower, eventually! (South Australia, 19.1/ 96 points, drink 2036-2046+) - Jeremy Oliver

                        • 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

                            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

                              • 98
                                2007 Penfolds Grange
                                South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                                $850. 00 Bottle
                                $10200.00 Dozen
                                Cellar: 10 - 15 Years (2022-2027)
                                ABV: 14.5%
                                Closure: Cork

                                The 2007 vintage of this Australian icon was matured for 21 months in new American oak. Impenetrable inky black colour with deep black crimson hue. The nose is very perfumed displaying great intensity with aromas of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate and liquorice with an overlay of vanillin oak and toast along with some mocha spice like end notes. Dense and opulent the palate delivers a concentrated flavour profile of dark chocolate, ripe blackberry and liquorice followed by some vanillin mocha like characters and spice. Excellent structure with solid, slightly chewy tannins that appear almost velvet like beneath the enormous wall of fruit that overshadows them. Possessing trademark Grange power with very long ripe blackberry, dark chocolate bullets, vanilla, mocha and spice aftertaste. A superb ripe concentrated Grange with ample structure.
                                Cellar 10-15 years.
                                Alc 14.5%

                                  1993 Penfolds Grange Hermitage
                                  South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                                  $750. 00 Bottle
                                  $9000.00 Dozen
                                  ABV: 13.5%
                                  Closure: Cork
                                  Notes Sourced from The Rewards of Patience - Fifth Edition (2004):
                                  Drinking Window: Now – 2018
                                  Deep crimson. Very scented apricot/camomile/dark berry/smoky aromas with faint hints of mint. The palate is rich and concentrated with apricot/prune/chocolate flavours and supple grainy tannins. Finishes quite firm. An earlier maturing wine from the latest Grange vintage on record.
                                  86% Shiraz, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley andCoonawarra. A very wet growing season was followed by warm, drier conditions, resulting in a very late but sound quality vintage fruit. An Indian Summer in Coonawarra delivered fully ripened fruit.

                                  Notes sourced from Southcorp Wines.

                                  Grange is the benchmark by which all other reds in Australia, and, increasingly, overseas, are often measured. The reasons for this are many yet straightforward: Concentration of flavour - Grange is decadently rich with layer upon layer of flavour that coats the tongue and scents the breath minutes after swallowing. This kind of fruit weight can only come from the finest, old vine fruit and low yielding vineyards. Complexity - the profuse aromas that leap from a glass of Grange defy the typical adjectives used by wine tasters. These are hedonistic aromas of rich ripe fruits and spice yet with an "otherness" of which wine tasters speak of in hushed tones. Further, each time the taster returns to the glass the wine has evolved new aromas, new interest, new reasons to get excited. Longevity - Grange blossoms with 15 to 20 years of bottle age, when most other reds have past their best, and better vintages can live and continue developing for decades longer. And finally, Heritage - first produced by Max Schubert in 1951, the '93 Grange represents over 40 years ofwinemaking excellence.

                                  Vintage Conditions: In many years Grange is a law unto itself, producing wines with a balance and concentration of flavour that seem to defy, or at least exceed, vintage expectations. 1993 was a very good vintage for Barossa Shiraz. It is an outstanding year for Grange.

                                  Oak Maturation: Matured in 100% new American oak for 18 months.

                                  Alc/Vol: 13.5% Acidity: 7.3 pH 3.55

                                  Winemaker John Duval's Comments:size>

                                  Colour: Dense plum red merging to brick red on rims.

                                  Nose: Intense blackcurrant and plum with malt, fig and licorice aromas that leap from the glass. This has all the characters of a classic Grange.

                                  Palate: What is promised on the nose is delivered on the palate - a powerful, concentrated, opulent wine. Layers of Shiraz fruit and first class oak manifest themselves into a seemingly endless variety of flavours - deep plum, licorice, black olive, chocolate, cedar, coffee, etc, all compressed into a silken, round mouthfeel. Forceful, ripe tannins are balanced by sheer weight of fruit. It is hard to believe that 100% new American oak was used - the intensity of fruit has all but soaked it up.

                                  Serving and Cellaring suggestions: As mentioned above, Grange is a wine that will develop over at least thirty years in the cellar. It is recommended that wine lovers wait at least 10 to 15 years however the wine can be, and often is, enjoyed in its youth for its sheer opulence and power. It is the ultimate match with rich red meat dishes.

                                  "Medium-full red/purple. Deep, intense blackberry/gamey aromas with touches of camphor. Sweet and ripe with plum/cassis, slightly gamey fruit, loose-knit but gripping tannin structure and good overall length. Probably a medium-term wine. Drink between 2005 and 2018." (Southcorp Wines, The Rewards of Patience, Fourth Edition, March 2000)

                                    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

                                      2003 Penfolds Grange Shiraz
                                      South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                                      $799. 00 Bottle
                                      $9588.00 Dozen
                                      Cellar: 4 - 30 Years (2012-2038)
                                      ABV: 14.5%
                                      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

                                      • 96
                                      • 96
                                        2002 Shirvington Cabernet Sauvignon
                                        McLaren Vale, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                                        $99. 99 Bottle
                                        $1199.88 Dozen
                                        Closure: Cork

                                        Other reviews....
                                        There are about 500 cases of the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was aged in both American and French wood (one-half new). The Screaming Eagle of South Australia, it possesses great purity, layers of fruit, enormous volume and intensity, and at the same time, it is strikingly elegant and well-proportioned. This stunningly pure Cabernet tastes like pure creme de cassis intermixed with licorice and oak. It should drink well for 15-16 years, but who will be able to hold onto it that long? Drink 2013 - 2019.
                                        96 points
                                        Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #148 Aug 2003

                                          2004 Wendouree Shiraz Malbec
                                          Clare Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                                          $125. 00 Bottle
                                          $1500.00 Dozen
                                          Closure: Cork
                                          Wendouree are a small Clare Valley vineyard which have vines up to 100 years old. These old vines are very low yielding resulting in super concentrated fruit. The wines are probably not as big as they use to be, opting for a bit more elegance, however, they do possess an exceptional depth of flavour.
                                          No tasting notes supplied.
                                            2008 Wendouree Shiraz
                                            Clare Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                                            $250. 00 Bottle
                                            $3000.00 Dozen
                                            ABV: 14%
                                            Closure: Cork
                                            Other reviews... Medium crimson-purple; a complex bouquet with black fruits, spice and earth introduces a medium-bodied palate with great mouthfeel and even greater length; the flavours promised by the bouquet are all there in a synergistic display, asking the question is the sense of place or the purity of varietal expression the most admirable? The problem is the answer changes each time you come back to the wine. Three immaculate corks, perfectly inserted, give the '08 Wendourees a good chance of reaching at least half their natural life span. Drink by 2040. 96 points
                                            – James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2011
                                            • 97
                                              1998 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Michael Shiraz
                                              Coonawarra, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                                              $199. 99 Bottle
                                              $2399.88 Dozen
                                              Closure: Cork

                                              In the 1950's David Wynn and his family owned Wynns Coonawarra Estate. Today, the vineyard is part of the Southcorp-Rosemount Group. The birth of Michael Shiraz dates back to 1955, when David Wynn observed that two casks of Shiraz were of extraordinary quality, and had them bottled separately. The 1955 Michael Hermitage, as it was then known, was the start of a new legend in the Australia Wine Industry. The concept of Michael was renewed in 1990 and is produced only in exceptional years from the best Shiraz blocks at Wynns Coonawarra Estate. The wine is matured in new and one year old American oak, and used French oak.

                                              Sue Hodder deliberately set out to develop a specific Coonawarra style with the Michael, focusing on the qualities of the region and sacrificing some of the voluptuous quality that is evident in Barossa Shiraz. The introduction of French oak has further seen a refinement of the style, with the wine almost 'falling into place' due to the exceptional fruit quality.

                                              Tasting Note: A superb wine. Totally opaque, black crimson, purple colour. Magnificent aroma, filled with coconut, coffee, vanilla, liquorice, violets and ripe plum end notes. A very refined sniff. Mouthfilling palate - a concentrate of coconut, blackberry, spice and vanilla, followed by hints of truffle and blackpepper. Velvet smooth tannins, followed by very long aftertaste of confectionery, vanilla, spice, aniseed and blackpepper. One of the best examples of sophisticated Australian Shiraz. 

                                              RATING: 97/100

                                              • 98
                                                2004 Yalumba The Reserve Cabernet Shiraz
                                                Barossa Valley, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
                                                $199. 00 Bottle
                                                $2388.00 Dozen
                                                ABV: 13.5%
                                                Closure: Cork
                                                A Magnificent Expression of This Traditional Australian Blend


                                                A blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon and 31% Shiraz which was matured for 23 months in a combination of French & American oak of which 52% was new.
                                                Magnificent colour – opaque black crimson with black heart and very deep black crimson hue. The nose displays impressive intensity with aromas of blackcurrant, cedar, blackberry and liquorice with some spice end notes. An excellent sniff. Medium to full bodied palate displaying great refinement and structure with flavours of blackcurrant, blackberry, liquorice, cedar and spice. Fine grained but firm tannin structure with long aftertaste of ripe blackcurrant, blackberry, spice and cedar.
                                                Alc 13.5%

                                                Other reviews....
                                                This wine still has a fair way to go; essency and concentrated black fruits are complemented by a fairly substantial amount of cedary oak; the wine is gloriously complex and multilayered, and despite its raw power, shows great restraint; it needs time to fully come together, an issue that is dependant on the cork doing its job. Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz. Drink by 2040. Tasted May 2010.
                                                94 points
                                                James Hallidays Wine Companion

                                                • 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
                                                      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.

                                                          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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