Saturday, July 9, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$ 3 Rings Shiraz, Barossa, Australia, 2007 - BEST VALUE

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Original Review:

By way of background: Made by well-known winemaker Chris Ringland the 3 Rings Shiraz hails from Barossa Valley in southeastern Australia.  For 2007, 3 Rings is finished at 14.5% alcohol.

Original review, January, 2010:

In the glass: 3 Rings Shiraz shows as deep magenta in the glass, opaque to within a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, this Aussie shiraz offers the classic bold, creamy purple grapesicle aromas consistent with the region. 

On the palate: The first element on the palate is a purple, mouth-filling, inky explosion of fruit.  That slides along with the solid alcohol backbone into your cheeks, and up into the roof of your mouth, bringing sweet plums, an acid twang and some tannin backbone. 

And the finish:  Alcohol heat holds sway as the fruit slowly fades.  Tannins wrap with a slightly chocolate sheen.

In summary: Overall, solid and classic upfront Australian shiraz experience, with a bit more acid tanginess than often experienced. Rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with plus because I believe more age and/or decant will improve on the youth.  Good value. 

Following a two-day decant by vacuum in a partially-opened bottle, the 3 Rings Shiraz shows a consistent nose, with a bit less cream.  On the palate, overtaking the still-apparent inkiness, is an explosion of rich, ripe raspberry - almost a raspberry-lollipop without the sticky sweetness.  That joins the acids for a full, rich, playful romp around your mouth.  Yum. Just tips the scale to four stars now, making this a best value too.

Updated review, a year and a half later, July, 2011:  Deep muddy mahogany, still opaque from a half in in or so. Somewhat more subtle on the nose now, with muddled red berry and rich plum.  The fruit is more subtle too, showing full red, rich, dusty fruit and hints of oak. Some of the raspberry from the prior tasting remains intact, as a bright sheen. Remains fresh with full fruit and a nice tannin wrap.  I'm still seeing a touch of that cocoa.  Following long decant, full day at cool room temperature in partially filled bottle:  Nose and palate are very consistent with just-earlier notes.  Raspberry notes are a bit less bright.  Wouldn't quite touch four stars in these latest tastings, so I recommend consumption by about three years from vintage date. 

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