Elderton Command Shiraz 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia
2005 followed a vintage that many thought would rank highly in the decade and the chances of an 'odd year' standing over such a vintage seemed remote. But with a wet winter providing the sustenance and a mild, dry summer following, Elderton fruit showed excellent development, particularly old vine harvests. The vintage was later than normal with the last pick of the Command block being on April 11th. This long ripening period, partnered with cool submerged-cap ferments in the winery, has allowed the fruit to shine through (over the 30+ months of oak maturation) and is testament to the power of flavor produced from our oldest Shiraz vines.
The Wine Advocate - "Elderton’s flagship is the single vineyard Command Shiraz, a wine with serious aging potential, and one with which all other South Australia Shiraz must be compared. The opaque purple/black 2005 Command Shiraz was aged in French and American oak puncheons (500-liter barrels). It offers up a sexy/kinky bouquet of wood smoke, lavender, leather, game, mineral, black raspberry, and blueberry pie. Voluptuous on the palate, complex, and dense, it demands a decade of cellaring after which it should offer hedonists much pleasure through 2035. "
Wine Spectator - "Firm in texture, with beautifully poised blackberry, licorice and pepper flavors that seem to hover weightlessly over fine tannins, lingering enticingly on the long, expressive finish. Best from 2011 through 2017. 1,400 cases imported. "
International Wine Cellar - "Inky ruby color. Vibrant raspberry, cherry-vanilla and coconut aromas are complemented by candied licorice and smoky minerals. Pliant, palate-coating red and dark berry preserve flavors are perked up by Asian spices and smoky minerals. Pretty exotic but not over the top, with gentle tannins adding shape and focus to the long, sweet finish. This is downright sexy today."
Australian Wine Companion - "Lavish 34 months in American (dominant) and French oak has resulted in an army greatcoat of oak wrapped around the undeniably good fruit, the latter giving the palate length."
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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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.