Elderton Command Shiraz 1998
Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia
Very dark purple with bright magenta hues. Shows lashings of chocolate, violet and delicious cedar. Rich and generous, the wine has wondrous dark chocolate, plums and black pepper flavours that persist through to a fleshy finish. It is held together beautifully with refinement and amazing focus.
The Wine Advocate - "A spectacular offering, the 1998 Command Shiraz (which spent 3 years in French and American oak) is the type of wine that is impossible to duplicate outside of selected Barossa and McLaren Vale vineyard sites. An opaque purple color is followed by spectacular aromas of toasty oak, camphor, blackberry liqueur, and asphalt. It is humongous in the mouth, decadently rich, and luxuriously fruited, with a viscous texture as well as a 40-second finish. Low acidity and ripe tannin add to the succulent impression."
Australian Wine Companion - "Medium to full red-purple; the deep and complex bouquet has an array of rich, dark berry, plum, chocolate and vanilla aromas, the rich palate with an unctuously sweet fruit, chocolate and vanilla mix; the overall extract is well handled, and this is a very good example of the full-on American oaked Shiraz style."
Established in 1982 by Lorraine and Neil Ashmead, Elderton Wines is now run by the second generation - Cameron and Allister Ashmead. They are custodians of a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Barossa floor vineyard, with plantings dating back to 1894. At present, they have been listed multiple times among Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines and received numerous other prestigious accolades. View all Elderton Wines
About Barossa ValleyView a map of Barossa Valley wineries
The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa ValleyBarossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Eden ValleyRight next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley proper. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.