2007 Hundred Acre "Ancient Way Vineyard, Summer's Blocks" Barossa Valley Shiraz

SKU #1058961 93 points Vinous

 Inky purple. Superripe aromas of cassis, cherry preserves and dark chocolate, with complicating notes of licorice and mint. Densely packed and chewy, offering palate-coating black and blue fruit flavors that show serious depth and building sweetness. A hint of smoked meat comes up on the long, clinging finish, which is framed by broad, pliant tannins. (JR)  (7/2014)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Meaty flavors step forward in this rich, decadent Shiraz, piling savory soy sauce and wet earth nuances around the core of dark, dense blackberry. Shows depth and power. (HS)  (7/2012)

K&L Notes

From the winemaker: "The Ancient Way is no ordinary vineyard. Rising to the top of a hill overlooking Greenock Creek Winery, it presides over some of the finest vineyards in all of Australia; it is in the core of what they call the Golden Mile. It is the ancient gateway to this valley and the most beautiful countryside that one could hope to see. The land itself is one of the oldest vineyard sites in the country." From Brett Anderson at robbreport.com: "With the assistance of vineyard manager Jim Barbour and winemaking consultant Philippe Melka, investment banker Jayson Woodbridge introduced his first wine in 2000, a Cabernet Sauvignon under the Hundred Acre label in Napa Valley. A lover of Australian Shiraz, he later decided to produce his own version. The 2007 Ancient Way is robust yet elegant with flavors of wild berry and licorice." (07/11)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- 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.
Country:

Australia

- 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.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley