3 Rings Shiraz 2005
3 Rings is a joint venture between Dan Philips, David Hickinbotham and winemaker Chris Ringland, 100 percent Barossa from several old vine vineyards blended beautifully by Chris Ringland.
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.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers work diligently to ensure grapes reach the perfect levels of phenolic ripeness.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Shiraz on its own or Rhône Blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. Often Shiraz and Cabernet partner up for plump and powerful reds. While much less prevalent, light-skinned varieties such as Riesling, Viognier or Semillon produce vibrant Barossa Valley whites.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”