2006 Mitolo "Savitar" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia

SKU #1035477 96 points James Halliday

 A monster! Showing a little reduction from more oak, the fruit weight of this wine is staggering; layers of fruit strip away as you let it hang around on your palate for a seriously long time; the strong core of dark minerality shows just how complex it is.  (7/2008)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2006 Shiraz 'Savitar' was aged in 100% new oak, predominantly French. Purple-colored, the aromatics are a bit reticent initially, but soon scents of toasty oak, tar, licorice, scorched earth, and blueberry emerge. This leads to a wine which is more structured and less opulent than its peers. It will evolve for a minimum of 8-10 years and drink well through 2040. As a point of reference, the 2002 Savitar (rated 95) was presented. It is considerably more developed aromatically but still has a significant distance to travel prior to reaching its peak. (JM) 94+  (10/2007)

93 points Vinous

 Inky violet. Powerful dark berry liqueur and cherry-vanilla on the nose, with sexy floral and incense qualities adding complexity. Broad and juicy, with deeply concentrated blackberry and boysenberry flavors, supple tannins and slow-building anise and sassafras on the back. Generous but focused shiraz with excellent finishing energy and persistence. Still quite primary, but there'd be no crime in drinking this after giving it an hour or so in a decanter. (JR)  (9/2008)

90 points Wine & Spirits

 Scents of currants and blueberries lend definition to this warm, juicy shiraz. The structure is sleek, and though the wine is more fruity than vinous, its fruit confiture flavors have clarity. For seared duck breast.  (10/2008)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 The color is dark and dense and so are the aromas, which show plenty of vanilla oak and mulberry fruit. As you might expect from winemaker Ben Glaetzer and the Mitolo family, this is a full-bodied Shiraz, albeit not quite as lush and riveting as the 2005 version. The tannins this year are soft, the acids a bit on the tart side, giving the fruit a crisp edge. Probable drinking window: 2010–2020. (JC)  (9/2008)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Firm in texture, with lively blueberry and wild blackberry flavors poking through a layer of fine-grained tannins, finishing with real refinement. (HS)  (3/2008)

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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.

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

McLaren Vale