2006 Henry's Drive Reserve Shiraz Padthaway (Elsewhere $50)

SKU #1056230

92 points in the Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Henry’s Drive Reserve Shiraz was sourced from a single parcel surrounded by eucalyptus trees. It was barrel-fermented and spent 18 months in a mix of French and American oak, 80% new. Opaque purple-colored, it has a mint-accented bouquet suggestive of the 1979 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Napa Cabernet. In addition, aromas of violets, cocoa, cigar box, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur make their presence known. Glossy on the palate, it has layers of spicy blue and black fruits, ripe tannin, and excellent balance. What it may lack in complexity, it makes up for with in-your-face pure pleasure. While it may evolve for a few years, there is no reason to defer gratification." (Feb 09) 94 points from James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion: "A deep, dark and concentrated shiraz; mulberry and fruitcake layered by toasty oak; medium-bodied, vibrant, juicy and fine on the long and ample finish. Cork." (Mar 08) "I find that the 2006 Henry's Drive Reserve Shiraz is more poised and focused than the 2005. Sourced from a single vineyard in Padthaway, it shows classic Limestone Coast fruit with hints of a ferrous note combining with mocha, blue and blackberry, cedar, sandlewood and a dash of eucalyptus. On the palate, the wine has very good balance with fine integrated tannins and a creamy vanilla layer that unfolds into a fine finish." Jim Chanteloup K&L Australian Wine Buyer.

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Price: $26.99
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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