It’s always nice to try a benchmark wine, and we certainly have one here in the form of the Elderton “Command” single vineyard shiraz from the Barossa Valley. It’s a 100% shiraz, and comes from a block planted around 1894. 1894 is of course, at least to me, a slightly curious year to plant grapes, since it was in the midst of the great 1890s economic depression that saw a widespread Australian banking system collapse. There’s probably a pithy moral in there somewhere, but let’s return to the wine. 2008 was an extremely hot year in the Barossa Valley, and it showed a bit here with the grapes presumably struggling to retain balance and achieve physiological ripeness.
The wine is bright in the glass with a medium intensity ruby in colour, and tears. Its aromatics are developing, and there are good expressions of tobacco, earth, plums and spice (mostly dried thyme). Its palate is dry with elevated acidity, fine grained but soft tannins and full bodied flavours of plums, anise, earth, tobacco and spice. The finish is towards long. Despite the vintage, and perhaps the acidity also is a little too high for my preference, the quality level of this wine is close to outstanding due to the complexity of flavours on offer of plums, anise, earth, tobacco and spice. The wine is ready to drink now, and will age for at least another 5 years. Very Good
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