2003 Mitolo "Savitar" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia

SKU #1012773 94-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2003 Shiraz Savitar is a prodigious offering. Made from 30- to 50-year-old Shiraz vines in the Willunga district of McLaren Vale, it was aged 18 months in 100% new French barrels and small foudres. This elegant Shiraz boasts an opaque purple color along with sumptuous blueberry, blackberry, and cassis notes intermixed with touches of white flowers, licorice, camphor, and graphite. A compellingly textured, rich, super-endowed red, it combines power with finesse.  (10/2004)

95 points James Halliday

 Full-bodied but supple and long in the mouth; spice, dark chocolate and blackberry; fine tannins. (Tasted 10/2004)  (7/2011)

Jancis Robinson

 This is a selection from the Lopresti vineyard named after a mythical monster of which only about a quarter the quantity of GAM is made. They are looking for tighter tannins (yikes!), more minerality and restraint. This a wine for the serious long term. Lower yields and all new oak. Intense essence of Shiraz. Fresh lots of fruit with tobacco notes. Chewy with black cherry notes. Liquorice and masses of alcohol but well balanced. 17.5/20 points.  (1/2007)

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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:

McLaren Vale