Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mini Vertical #7: 2001 vs. 2004 Elderton Barossa Shiraz

Where the heck is Joe? Busy as heck with some big life changes, but still taking notes - will work through them eventually, like this Mini Vertical of Elderton.

Regular readers may recall I conducted a number of "Mini Verticals" earlier this year, spending more time thinking about the importance of vintage - it was a pleasure to get back into the vintage thing with some wines from one of my favourite Aussie wineries:

The nose of the 2001 Elderton Shiraz (Barossa) showed minty plums at first, later revealing pine tar and liquorice, violets and cherry jam, some smokey tobacco as well. Better structured on the palate than the '04 with more acid, less jam, nicer tannins, and a pleasingly long finish. An elegant Aussie shiraz worth cellaring for a few more years.
cork. 14% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: C$28 (LCBO)

The 2004 Elderton Shiraz (Barossa) had a big nose of violets, dark berries, black earth, white pepper, coffee grounds and smoke. Beautifully textured with soft, velvety tannins - very smooth, but bigger and jammier, missing the complexity and structure of the '01. I was more complimentary last year, but perhaps the '01 and another year in the cellar gave this wine greater context tonight.
cork. 14% alcohol
Score: 16.5/20
Price: C$29 (LCBO)

While these wines sport a higher price tag than many Aussie shirazes, these are better quality bottlings and highly recommended - for big fruit smoothness pick the '04, but for structure and elegance I recommend the '01.

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