1998 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz Magnum (1500ml)
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)