Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spirit of #Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$$$ Steve Hoff Rossco's #Shiraz, #Barossa Valley, Australia, 2005

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By way of background, opening thoughts: Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale from the South Eastern Australia region are two of my favorite places for full-throttle new-world shiraz.  He we will be trying a premium Barossa shiraz with a few years of age on the bottle.

Original tasting and review : This is Steve Hoff Rossco's Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia, 2005, finished at a not-so-shy 15.2% alcohol.

In the glass:  Steve Hoff Rossco's Shiraz is deep black/magenta, opaque from a quarter inch in from the edge of the glass.  In that quarter inch, you find definite purple highlights, despite the six years since vintage date. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows smooth, big, mentholated motor-oil black and red berries.  From the aroma, seems like this will be big, slick and full, lasting forever on the palate.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact brighter and more playful than anticipated.  Gritty, bright, rich red fruit in the front of your mouth, ripe red currants with a sandy base.  The "motor oil" lifts the red fruits into your cheeks with a distinct acidity.  Finish settles into a touch of cocoa.  Still poised and vibrant despite the high alcohol level and six years since vintage, which would allow this admittedly "big" wine to work quite well with appropriately "big" food.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a big plus for its power and versatility.   

Following long decant, four hours at room temperature:  Very consistent nose and big red palate with gritty backbone.  And even longer decant, full day in partially filled bottle at cool room temperature: A little red helium balloon sneaking into the nose as well now.  Bright, red, cocoa and still playful on the palate. 

Wine Advocate awarded a strong 93 points, with Jay Miller writing that Steve Hoff " hit the wicket in Barossa’s outstanding 2005 vintage" with Rossco's Shiraz.

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Find prices and retail availability for Steve Hoff Rossco's Shiraz.

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