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!
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