2005 Elderton "Command" Single Vineyard Shiraz Barossa Valley

SKU #1046938 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Elderton’s flagship is the single vineyard Command Shiraz, a wine with serious aging potential, and one with which all other South Australia Shiraz must be compared. The opaque purple/black 2005 Command Shiraz was aged in French and American oak puncheons (500-liter barrels). It offers up a sexy/kinky bouquet of wood smoke, lavender, leather, game, mineral, black raspberry, and blueberry pie. Voluptuous on the palate, complex, and dense, it demands a decade of cellaring after which it should offer hedonists much pleasure through 2035. (JM)  (2/2009)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky ruby color. Vibrant raspberry, cherry-vanilla and coconut aromas are complemented by candied licorice and smoky minerals. Pliant, palate-coating red and dark berry preserve flavors are perked up by Asian spices and smoky minerals. Pretty exotic but not over the top, with gentle tannins adding shape and focus to the long, sweet finish. This is downright sexy today.  (10/2008)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Firm in texture, with beautifully poised blackberry, licorice and pepper flavors that seem to hover weightlessly over fine tannins, lingering enticingly on the long, expressive finish.  (8/2009)

90 points James Halliday

 Lavish 34 months in American (dominant) and French oak has resulted in an army greatcoat of oak wrapped around the undeniably good fruit, the latter giving the palate length.  (12/2008)

Jancis Robinson

 Vines planted 1894. They are apparently employing a historian to check the vine-planting records, and are paying him in wine. Rich and flattering with very nice balance. There’s a slight element of ‘dry port’ about it, lots of VA and alcohlol for example, but this is pure Oz. They age it first in new oak and then used oak apparently. You could enjoy this easily already. Apparently the 1986 and 1988 are drinking beautifully now! Unctuous. There’s a bit of salt and umami.  (2/2010)

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Price: $89.99
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Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/16/2009 | Send Email
This is unlike any other Shiraz I've ever had from Australia! It's over the top in all the right ways you wish Barossa Shiraz could always be. This gem is from a 160-year-old vineyard that makes this wine shine with its hedonistic, layered mouthfeel, flavors of smoked leather, cherries and cocoa, and its finish is full of lingering rustic beauty. Grab a loved one and devour.

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley