2005 Clarendon Hills "Piggot Range" Syrah (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1052739

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Syrah Piggott Range is quite backward currently. Glass-coating, it is deep crimson in color with mineral notes, violets, spice box, black pepper, espresso, smoked game, and blueberry aromatics. Deceivingly opulent, it has enough structure to merit 8-10 years of cellaring and should make old bones. Drink it through 2035." (10/07) 95 points Wine Spectator: "A lavish mouthful of plum, blackberry, chocolate and subtle sweet spices, hinting at roasted fruit as the finish sails on and on against super refined tannins. Dramatic, but beautifully balanced. Best from 2009 through 2020." (10/07) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Inky purple. Deeply concentrated, slowly unfolding aromas of blueberry, mulberry and candied plum are complicated by bacon fat and espresso, with sexy oak spices adding interest. Chunky tannins give structural support to the brooding fruit. Picks up a brighter cherry character on the chewy finish, which offers exceptional cling and length." (Sept/Oct 2007) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Like all of the Clarendon Hills wines, this is packed with intensity. It's full-bodied, with soft tannins and a slightly low-acid, natural feel. Aromas of menthol and roasted meat are backed by hints of blackberry and licorice on the palate and a long, lingering finish. Drink now-2020."

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Price: $89.99

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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 Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley 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, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. 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. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.