Super Shiraz Wine Tasting featuring a vertical of Chris Ringland Three Rivers

Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 07:30 PM

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“The food we were given was no more than eatable, but the patron was not mean about drink; he allowed us two litres of wine a day each, knowing that if a plongeur is not given two litres he will steal three.”



- George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

 

 

 

I knew there was a reason I liked George Orwell and two liters is my kind of ration when it comes to wine- that is why I like Australia.  Australia is the only country that I have visited where they offered us beer after every wine tasting, Coopers was the brew of choice and it is so refreshing to have a beer after drinking a lot of red wine, especially Australian Shiraz.

 

After this first trip down under I fell in love with Australian wines and have been selling and collecting wines from Australia for over 22 years now.  With the bottom falling out of the market in 2008 we have struggled to sell some of the higher end brands that were developed in the 1990's but that is no problem because I am happy to drink these wines as they are some of the best examples of this variety on the face of the earth. 

 

Although they have been making wine in Australia for a long time we are still in our beginning stages of our scientific process of tasting through the top wines from the land down under that are reaching their peak years of maturity.  That is why we made this an annual event- there is a lot of research that needs to be done on the subject of vintage Australian Shiraz.  Will they age like the great wines of France, Italy and even California?  This year we are focused on one of the “Cult Shiraz” of the Barossa Valley- Chris Ringland’s Barossa Dry Grown Shiraz formerly known as “Three Rivers”. 

Some consider this wine to be a modern classic representing the best of Barossa terroir, early 20th-century vine stock, Australian inventiveness and modern winemaking practices. 

 

The north-east facing amphitheater shaped vineyard, located on the corner of Flaxmans Valley Road and Stone Chimney Creek Road, was established by Thomas Randall in 1910. It was acquired in 1994 by winemaker Chris Ringland who gradually restored the vineyard and built a home there.

 

The soils are shallow and skeletal, with granitic sandy loams over underlying clay and moisture-holding podzols. The dry-grown low-yielding vines, on their own roots, are pruned hard and expected to adapt to the growing season. As a consequence, the tiny vineyard, at only 1.5 hectares, is especially known for its unusually thick‑skinned shiraz. Deep in color, exquisitely concentrated and laden with tannins, the fruit character exemplifies the enduring quality of pre-phylloxera vine stock.

Join us as we experience seven vintages of this wine along with the benchmark for Australia Penfolds Grange and with the ultra-rare “Cult Shiraz” Torbreck’s Laird 2010.  Chef Toni Lampasone will be providing a special menu to accompany the tasting wines and the fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $395 per person + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

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Aussie Cult Shiraz Wine Tasting

Thursday, July 23rd  

7:30 PM

 

1999 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia image

 

1999 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia

Price: $550.00            Your Price: $484       Quantity in Stock: 6

 

(94-96 Points) Only the third Grange to be made from 100% Shiraz , the 1999 Grange is superb. The color is inky purple. The wine shows unformed but gorgeously sweet notes of blackberries intermixed with smoke, licorice, and asphalt. This is a wine of great intensity, sweet tannin, voluptuous texture, and a spectacularly long finish. Patience will be required, as it will not be released until May 1, 2004. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.  The Wine Advocate

 

See the source image

 

1999 Chris Ringland Dry Grown Shiraz Barossa

(Average Price on Winesearcher $806)

(98 Points) The Chris Ringland (formerly known as Three Rivers Shiraz), is aged 42 months in 100% new French oak, and is rarely racked until bottling, represents an extraordinary expression of Barossa Shiraz. The intense 1999, released in 2004, demonstrates that this vintage is somewhat underrated after all the hype over 1998. From a vineyard planted in 1910, its inky/purple color is accompanied by aromas of lavender, lard, smoke, licorice, blackberries, cassis, espresso roast, chocolate, and pepper. Full-bodied, slightly less voluminous than the perfect 1998, with an unctuous texture, sweet tannin, and a 70+ second finish, this magnificent, still young Shiraz should be accessible in 3-5 years, and last for two decades.  Wine Advocate

 

2000 Chris Ringland Shiraz Dry Grown Barossa

(Average Price on Winesearcher $650)

(96 Points) This is a re-review of the 2000 Shiraz since I significantly underrated it previously. It is clearly the Barossa wine of the vintage, and has put on considerable weight since it was bottled. This stunning cuvee, which used to be known as the Three Rivers Shiraz, was aged 33 months in new French 300 liter hogsheads. A beautiful bouquet of crushed rocks, white flowers, blueberries, blackberries, incense, and subtle pain grille is followed by a rich, full-bodied red revealing supple tannin as well as tremendous texture and richness, and more depth and intensity than it did last year. By Chris Ringland's standards, it is quite approachable, and should age beautifully for 10-15 years. Wine Advocate

 

2002 Chris Ringland Dry Grown Shiraz Barossa

List Price: $795.00             Sale Price: $625.00           Quantity in Stock: 2

(100 Points) "It is difficult to say that Chris Ringland's latest Shiraz is his best to date because he has set the bar so high. The 2002 Shiraz "Chris Ringland," sourced from a vineyard planted in 1910 with yields of 1 ton per acre, comes from a vintage Ringland describes as "too good to be true". The wine took 18 months to go through malolactic fermentation. Purple/black-colored, it offers up a killer perfume of mineral, scorched earth, truffle, fresh asphalt, licorice, blueberry, and blackberry. Full-bodied, dense, and thick, it has fabulous spicy, black fruit flavors, great balance, and enough structure to drink well for 30-40 years. It is a truly monumental Shiraz on a level with the best Syrahs of Guigal, Chave, Chapoutier, Bratasiuk, and Krankl. To put the 2002 in some context, Ringland also presented the 1999 (99 points), the 2000 (97 points), and the 2001 (100 points). I'm convinced!"-Wine Advocate

 

2003 Chris Ringland Dry Grown Shiraz Barossa Ranges

(Average Price on Winesearcher $625)

(97 Points) The 2003 Chris Ringland Shiraz has according to Ringland, 'changed dramatically in the last year, getting denserƒ?_. Nevertheless, it is not as saturated in color as the two previous vintages and is more advanced in its development. It is still a brilliant wine with glorious aromatics including spice box, fruitcake, dried fruits, and blueberry preserves. Savory, ripe, and elegant on the palate despite its size, it should be cellared for another 5 years and will give pleasure through 2023. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

2004 Chris Ringland Dry Grown Shiraz Barossa

Price: $750.00 Sale Price: $599.00      Quantity in Stock: 4

(100 points) The 2004 Chris Ringland Shiraz is from another top vintage. Like the other wines, it spent 42 months in new French oak. Aromas of scorched earth, pencil lead, espresso, black currant and blueberry lead to a dense, complex, youthful wine with layer upon layer of succulent fruit, impeccable balance, and a decade of aging potential. Chris Ringland is a relatively modest bloke who gives most of the credit for his extraordinary wines to his nearly 100-year-old vineyard. He now has 21 vintages under his belt the results of which place him with Marcel Guigal, Gerard Chave, Christophe Baron, Manfred Krankl, and Michel Chapoutier as the international grandmasters of Syrah/Shiraz. (JM)  (12/2009) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

2005 Chris Ringland Dry Grown Shiraz Barossa

Price: $750.00 Sale Price: $575.00      Quantity in Stock: 1

(98 Points) Made with fruit coming from 3.5 acres of 100-year-old vines, the deep garnet-purple colored 2005 Shiraz is a 17.6% alcohol wine that spends more than 40 months in oak. The nose flaunts beautiful notes of black fruit preserves, sandalwood, mocha and dark chocolate allied with licorice, earth, toast and a subtle nuttiness. Very big, rich and concentrated, the full-bodied palate is framed by medium to firm, very fine tannins and a vibrant line of acid that gives nice lift at the end. This gorgeous wine shows a very, very long finish. Only 1,650 bottles and 50 magnums were produced. Drink it now to 2025+.   Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

2010 Chris Ringland Randall's Hill Shiraz Barossa

(Average Price on Winesearcher $375)

Randall’s Hill has been the second label from my Stone Chimney Creek vineyard since I purchased the property in 1994, and the 2010 vintage is the first release for over ten years. I pick my 2ha vineyard late in the season and vinify in small batches to produce a collection of barrels which I mature under my house, beside the vineyard.

Not made every season, I deem the Randall’s Hill Shiraz as more fruit forward than my Barossa Ranges Shiraz and does not receive the 3-5 years bottle maturation prior to release.

 

See the source image

 

2010 Torbreck the Laird Shiraz Barossa

(Average Price on Winesearcher $635)

2010 will undoubtedly be chronicled as one of the great Barossa Valley Vintages. Good winter rains set the dry grown Laird vineyard up for consistent bud burst while spring rains provided perfect growing conditions. A cooler than average summer followed to create near perfect circumstances for crafting Barossa Valley Shiraz. The winemaking in these great vintages is uncomplicated and effortless and the quality of the Laird fruit shines in the bottle. The fruit was harvested in perfect condition on the 17th of March and remained on skins for just one week. The resulting wine shows all the poise and elegance of previous Laird’s, but with another dimension that will surely place it amongst the greatest examples of Barossa Valley Shiraz.

 

Menu

Selection of Cheese:  Beemster Gouda, Parmesan Reggiano

Grilled Octopus with black Olive tapenade Blue fingerling potatoes and fresh mint

Australian Rack of lamb with Jalapeno Mint Jam and Sweet Potato Soufflé

Dark Chocolate covered Berries

 

The fee for this tasting is $395 per person and there are only 12 spaces available for this event.  for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

 

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