97-100 points WA
"Amon-Ra has become one of Australia's icon wines. Made from 100% Shiraz sourced from vineyards ranging in age from 80-120 years and with microscopic yields of 0.5 tons per acre, the 2006 Amon-Ra was aged for 15 months in new French and American oak. The wine is a thick, glass-coating, purple/black in color. The aromas cover a wide range of scents including smoke, vanilla, pepper, Asian spices, coconut, espresso, blueberry, and chocolate. Thick, rich, layered, and complete, this monumental wine offers extraordinary intensity and length. It requires 10-15 years to fully evolve and should easily last through 2040. Hats off to Ben Glaetzer for producing an extraordinary portfolio! The renowned winemaker, Ben Glaetzer, sources all of his fruit for this label from the Ebenezer district in the northern Barossa. Many knowledgeable experts cite this sub-region as the finest in the Valley." - Wine Advocate
The first Glaetzers settled in the Barossa Valley in 1888 after emigrating from Brandenburg, Germany. From here, they settled in a country town called Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley where they started their new life in Australia. The family were some of the earliest recorded viticulturalists in the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley and the current generation is firmly entrenched in the family wine business.
Winemaking patriarch Colin Glaetzer established his own label to create wines he's passionate about - limited quantities of benchmark Barossa Valley reds. The birth of Glaetzer Wines signalled a new era for Colin's family which boasts more than its fair share of winemakers. The clan includes Colin, his oenology-trained wife Judith, twin brother/winemaker John, and five winemakers among the couple's three sons and their wives.
With the 2004 vintage, Ben Glaetzer took over winemaking at Glaetzer and brought his own flagship wines, Amon Ra and Godolphin, into the fold. Young Glaetzer has implemented many changes at the winery, particularly with regard to harvesting upon physiological ripeness vs. analysis, longer skin contact and the use of the highest possible quality oak barrels.
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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 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.
Right 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. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
Like 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.
Most 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.