Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

Paging Mr Harvey or other Shiraz fans...

Posted by outthere, Aug 5, 2010.

Benchmark is offering up some Shiraz from Barossa Valley Estates. Could you check over this list and tell me if you think there are any deals to be had. I'm green when it comes to Oz wine but am a big syrah fan and would love to check some new stuff out. TIA!


Barossa Valley Estates Shiraz E & E Black Pepper 1994 ~ 3 @ $69 WA90 "This gloriously sweet (from ripeness, not sugar) Shiraz boasts a dense dark purple plum color, and an exotic, spicy nose of coconut, pepper, and blackberry fruit. There are no hard edges to this voluptuously-textured, opulent, thick, rich, exuberant, mouthfilling Shiraz" The Wine Advocate 

Barossa Valley Estates Shiraz E & E Black Pepper 1998 ~ 35 @ $89 WS95 "Beautifully expressive, this is a wine of many layers that interweave intriguingly as they play out their cherry and raspberry fruit against exotic spice and minty, earthy nuances. Impressive for its harmony and supple structure. This is just coming together, but it feels like it has many years ahead of it." Wine Spectator 

Barossa Valley Estates Shiraz E & E Black Pepper 2001 ~ 24 @ $74 WS93, IWC91 "Firm; dark and peppery in flavor, with dense plum, currant and floral aromas and flavors playing themselves out through a long, generous finish. Best from 2006 through 2015." Wine Spectator 

Barossa Valley Estates Shiraz E & E Black Pepper 2002 ~ 12 @ $79 WS97 "Dark, juicy and profound, with layer upon layer of flavor seamlessly knit into a cohesive whole, offering dark berry, black cherry, exotic spice, black pepper and licorice that sail through the long, vivid finish. Has tremendous style, intensity and a long life ahead of it. Best from 2010 through 2022." Wine Spectator 

Barossa Valley Estates Shiraz E & E Black Pepper 2003 ~ 6 @ $75 WS94 original carton"Bright, round and juicy. A gorgeous mouthful of cherry, blackberry and floral flavors, lingering on the finish with a touch of dark espresso to add interest. The tannins are polished, and the wine has a keen sense of balance, grace and harmony. Drink now through 2015." Wine Spectator 

Barossa Valley Estates Shiraz Ebenezer 2002 ~ 12 @ $29 WS91 original carton "Dark, distinctive and brooding, with a volatile edge to the complex black cherry, peppermint and five-spice aromas and flavors, lingering with bittersweet chocolate notes on the finish. Best from 2008 through 2015." Wine Spectator


Reply by dmcker, Aug 6, 2010.

Good idea, outthere. A few more to add to the query. Any on these pages that look particularly interesting to drink, and of good value?

More from Benchmark (e.g. the d'Arenberg Laughing Magpie 2000, De Lisio 2004 or ...)

From HDH (Chicago) (e.g. the Hobbs 2001 or...)

From BPWine (Napa) (e.g. the Yalumba Octavius 1998, Colonial Estate Proprietary Red Emigre 2002, or...)

From Rarewineco (Sonoma) (e.g. the Brokenwood Graveyard 2000)


Sorry for asking you to take the jump to those sites. I tried to C&P their tables to the Snooth text editor, but it wasn't pretty....

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 6, 2010.

Must declare an interest, BVE is a client of mine

Having declared my interest, Both E&E and Ebeneezer are very good examples of Barossa Shiraz

Have not had the 94 E&E for a while vintage was average to good and it should be OK but not one to chase relentlessly

The 98 is a cracker, 98 is regarded as a stunning vintage for most of OZ.  At $89 [I presume this is USD] this is a good buy and worth a look at

2001 was patchy and very hot, the 01 E&E is pretty good but not the best still a good drink though

2002 is a very atypical year as it was extremely cool and mild.  This vintage will suit those who like a little more old world elegance [dmcker]  Drinks well now and will live at least another 5-10

2003 was generally a poor year, but E&E was one of the few exceptions.  Not a great example of E&E but still a very good wine, probably needs to be drank over next 5 years

02 Ebeneezer is just the baby brother to E&E, grapes come from similar vineyards and it is mainly grading that determines whether they go into E&E or Ebeneezer.  This is a very good wine for $29

Let me know if you need any more info

Reply by dmcker, Aug 6, 2010.

Interesting that the 2002 got the highest rating among outthere's batch.

If you have the time, would be interested in any cherrypicking from among those on the other sites. And I don't only drink more Frenchish styles, just prefer them, overall. I drink (and usually enjoy) plenty of big newworlders, regardless of the varietal....

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 6, 2010.

Will do over the weekend

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 6, 2010.


A wierd selection of wines but some good value  My best are:

Giaconda Shiraz Warner Vineyard 2004
IWC94, WA93
Australia   In-Stock 1 $79.00


Noon Winery Shiraz Reserve 1999

Australia   In-Stock 2 $84.00


Penfolds Cabernet Shiraz Bin 389 1999

Australia   In-Stock 1 $29.00 Penfolds Shiraz Bin 28 Kalimna 1998
Australia   In-Stock 1 $22.00



Seppelt Cabernet Sauvignon Dorrien Vineyard 1996
Australia   In-Stock 6 $39.00


St. Hallet Shiraz Blackwell 1996

Australia   In-Stock 6 $35.00 Two Hands Shiraz Ares Vineyard 2006
WA97+, WS96
Australia   In-Stock 35 $165.00


Wirra Wirra Shiraz Chook Block 1998

Australia   In-Stock 3 $59.00


These are all excellent wines from very good years

The best value is the 98 Bin 28, 96 St Hallet

Giacionda is most likely to be Rhone in style [from memory]

I have drank all of these and they are very enjoyable

Reply by dmcker, Aug 6, 2010.

Thanks, Stephen, for the valuable input. Weird is not surprising, considering the merchants are all located in the US. Little real knowledge of Aussie wines there, with most people just going by big-boys ratings. Southern Latitude Wines is a smaller, more specialized, boutique operation in the tourist town of Carmel, south of San Francisco, but its range is a bit skimpy.  K&L Wines has a larger selection more representative of what's circulating in the marketplace now, with the larger proportion at the lower end of the market, though not all. I thought of including it in my links list above, but then also thought it would be asking too much for you to wade through that. Any reactions to my parenthesed 'e.g.' mentions above, though?

Do you know of any good online merchants in Oz that ship internationally? Most often I'm buying from those in the States. Local Japanese are too high-priced, with poor selection. European options, especially on the continent, are good in some cases (for French and Italian, anyway) but prices are not (a particular problem out of the UK, where the selection is also erratic).

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 6, 2010.

Langtons -

are an excellent online auction site and I believe they can ship internationally

most online shops do not do international from here, not sure why

I will see if any of my contacts can advise on shipping to Japan

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 7, 2010.

Not shiraz - but tried this last night

07 Louis Carillon Puligny Montrachet

Reply by dmcker, Aug 7, 2010.

And how was it?

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 7, 2010.

Oops sorry

Yes excellent wine, will benefit from another few more years in the bottle

Did open up well nand had very good depth of flavour, I thought the acid balance was good and it went well with a seafood vol u vent, predominantly local shellfish, squid in a cream sauce

Reply by outthere, Aug 7, 2010.

Boy thanks Stephen, I appreciate you taking the time to sort through my list. Much appreciated!

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 7, 2010.

Not a problem, always happy to help

If you are a fan of BVE, I can find out if and when the chief winemaker, Stuart Bourne is travelling to your region and let you know.


Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 7, 2010.

@dmcker - re Aussie wines in Japan

Should have thought of this one

Now that Kirin Brewery own 100% of Lion Nathan Brewery they also own 100% of Lion Nathan Wines

The labels include, Petaluma, St Hallet, Tatachilla, Mitchelton, Stonier, Knappstein and others.

There is some very good examples of Austrlain Wine from almost all regions in this portfolio

This link will give you a good portfolio overview.  I have tried most and if you find any that interest you let me know.  Also the chief winemaker, Andrew Hardy is a very good friend and I can find out when he is in your neighbourhood doing tastings.

Reply by dmcker, Aug 7, 2010.

I would be interested in any tastings Hardy puts on up here, thanks, Stephen. My fear is that Kirin, as they've done in the past with others, will market the wines fairly poorly, and at too steep a tariff. They're not alone in that, unfortunately.

Which of the wines in their portfolio would be your best recommendations?

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 8, 2010.

I will give it some thought tonight but my usual favourites are:


Hanlin Hill [Clare] Riesling 02,03,05,08,09 => AUD20

Chardonnay [Piccadily valley, Adelaide Hills] 04,05,06,08 => AUD35

Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot [Coonawarra, usually 50/50 blend 90,91,96,98,99,04,05 defintely needs bottle age!! 98 is drinking beautifully needs good hour of decanting =>AUD 50

Shiraz [Adelaide Hills] 04,05,06,07 =>AUD 35

Merlot [Cooawarra] not my cup of tea, but 98,99,01,05 highly rated => AUD 40

Croser Vintage Sparkling [Adelaide Hills] is a good example of aussie fizz, not French but refreshing and at least half price of Moet. => AUD30

St Hallet - Barossa Shiraz

has three levels/price points

Faith - AUD 15-20

Blackwell - AUD 25-35

Old Block - AUD 50-60

I like Blackwell the best and particularly 98,02,04,06 other vintages still good but not as well balanced, avoid 00 and 03

Faith is a good quaffer at a good price latest vintage is usually a good drink

Old Block is too variable for the price - but 98,02,04,05,06 are good, last 3 need plenty of time

Argyle is Oregon based - do you much about it, I don't

More later


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