Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: **** $$ Saint John's Road Early Settlers' Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia, 2003 = BEST VALUE



Check out today's pricing and retail availability for all Barossa Shiraz 2003.

By way of background, opening thoughts: This should be fun: a 10-year-old Barossa Shiraz.  Barossa Valley, as you probably know, is one of the highest-regarded locations in Australia for shiraz, which itself is one of the highest-regarded grapes of the continent.  Here we have a rare chance to sample a well-aged edition.

Original tasting and review : This is Saint John's Road Early Settlers' Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia, 2003, finished at 14.5% alcohol, absolutely monstrous by 2003 standards.

In the glass: Deep dark murky red, almost opaque in the center, with a brick sheen.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows funky, deep, ruddy red fruit, with a bright alcohol lift.  From the aroma, seems like this will be sweet and still aromatic, perhaps bright.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact smoother, deeper, rounded than expected. Yet still with a bold red, aromatic "crunch".  Plenty of Aussie cedar, deep and sweet red currants and rich boysenberry.  Finish lingers.  The alcohol does not show as heat, but as a deep, reverberating undertone, holding the richer flavors in check.

In summary: Overall, rates a whopping four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, despite the decade of age on a moderately priced Barossa shiraz.  A "best value" for sure!

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for all Barossa Shiraz 2003.


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