2008 Balgownie Shiraz Bendigo Victoria (Elsewhere $25)

SKU #1115644 95 points James Halliday

 Classic Bendigo, classic Balgownie Estate; perfectly modulated blackberry, licorice and spice varietal fruit, French oak balanced and integrated; medium-bodied, with very good texture and structure.  (7/2010)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Deep garnet colored with a purple tinge to the rim, the 2008 Shiraz offers notes of ripe blackberries and mulberries with supporting notes of black pepper, star anise, tar and a whiff of eucalypt. Full bodied with ample fruit and black pepper laced flesh, it has a firm grip of tight-knit, grainy tannins and medium-high acid. It finishes long and savory. Approachable now, it should soften with another year in bottle and drink though 2020.  (6/2011)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby. High-pitched aromas of redcurrant and cherry, with complicating notes of rose, spicecake and smoky minerals. Taut and energetic, offering sappy red and dark fruit flavors and a sexy violet pastille quality. Silky tannins add shape to the spicy, penetrating, very long finish. Balanced and elegant for Aussie shiraz, as usual.  (8/2011)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* Full bodied and richly textured, this is a lush, velvety Shiraz that nevertheless seems to possess enough structure to age successfully. Cassis, molasses and vanilla all play roles in the aroma and flavor profiles, while a mocha note chimes in on the long finish. Drink now-2025.  (2/2013)

Wine Spectator

 Firm in texture, with black cherry, tobacco and herb flavors in a narrow bead, poking through the fine tannins on the finish. Best from 2013 through 2016. (Web-2011)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/27/2012 | Send Email
This wine shows a lovely perfume of blackberry, grilled meat, licorice, peppery spice, bittersweet chocolate and earth. On the palate there is a judicous use of oak that is integtrated giving fine tannins to the core of fruit with a persistent finish. Yet another fine expression of Shiraz from South Australia's neighbor, Victoria and specifically the region of Bendigo.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/27/2012 | Send Email
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The Balgownie Shiraz is a touch riper and more decadent than the it's Cabernet counter part, but still shows the balance and brightness one looks for in Victoria wines. The Bendigo region has a moderately warm climate with some oceanic influence (comparable to Napa Valley.)The wine is saturated with dark red fruits and exotic spice. Ground black pepper and gamey cured meat notes hark back to the wines Rhone origins, yet the polished fine tannins and fruit purity plant it firmly back in the modern era. This is a big rich wine but it has a freshness and complexity that separates it from the plethora of fruit bombs around the world.
Drink from 2012 to 2016

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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.


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