3 Rings Shiraz 2004
Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
"The aim of this project, a partnership between importer Dan Philips, renowned winemaker Chris Ringland, and famed grape grower David Hickinbotham, is to offer good value Shiraz from relatively old vine Barossa fruit from vineyards in the Kalimna, Gomersol, and Vinevale sectors. There are 9,000 cases of this voluptuous, supple-textured 2004. Its dense purple color is accompanied by a flamboyant, extroverted bouquet of blackberries, white flowers, earth, and background oak. The wine offers pure, supple, blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with hints of graphite and camphor. Consume this excellent value over the next 3-4 years."
3 Rings Winery
The aim of this project, a partnership between importer Dan Philips, renowned winemaker Chris Ringland, and famed grape grower David Hickinbotham, is to offer good value Shiraz from relatively old vine Barossa fruit from vineyards in the Kalimna, Gomersol, and Vinevale sectors.
The 3 Rings label was founded in 2004 and soon thereafter was earning 90+ ratings for its Shiraz and Reserve Shiraz in the world wine media, with the grapes coming from the rich terroir of Australia’s famed Barossa Valley. The vineyards for 3 Rings Shiraz lie on an east-west slope with predominantly north-south rows, at an average age of 35 years. The soils are ancient and primarily clay over calcrete and slate bedrock, moving to more weathered slate at the bottom of an ancient glacier. Over the hills, the soils are deep, sandy loam and black clays. The grapes for 3 Rings Reserve Shiraz come from the nearby Kalimna sub-region of Barossa. It is a single vineyard owned by David Hickinbotham (one of the “three rings” of the wine’s name). The terroir here also is sandy loam over black clay – and the age of the vines is an average of 85 years.
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About Barossa Valley
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
and Barossa Valley
. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley
, while the smaller, southern state of
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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
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.