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2001 Cape d'Estaing Shiraz Kangaroo Island South Australia

SKU #1008491 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From six-year old vines cropped at a mere 2.3 tons of fruit per acre, the brilliant 2001 Shiraz is a candidate for the finest wine ever made on Kangaroo Island. It boasts an opaque purple color in addition to a complex perfume of blackberry liqueur intermixed with licorice, smoke, charcoal, and a hint of wood. Full-bodied as well as remarkably measured, elegant, and restrained for its power and mass, this brilliant achievement somehow walks the tightrope between excessive power and overly processed politeness. It combines intense flavor with tremendous finesse – an extremely difficult accomplishment. The good news continues as there are 2,500 cases of this brilliant Shiraz. It should drink well young yet evolve for 15+ years. Having been to the magical Kangaroo Island off the coast of Adelaide and spending nearly three days immersed in this wildlife paradise, seemingly over-run with koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and enormous seal colonies, it is somewhat unexpected to find such impressive wines from this windswept, stark island. Both 1999 and 2000 were challenging vintages for Cape d’Estaing, but they have hit the proverbial home run in 2001. (RP)  (8/2003)

91 points James Halliday

 Deep colour; rich, blackberry and licorice; lots of mouthfeel; subtle oak, fine tannins. Perhaps some hint of bacterial activity. Serious wine.  (7/2011)


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Price: $39.99
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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 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.
Sub-Region:

South Australia