Balgownie Shiraz 1999
Balgownie Estate is one of Australia's greatest small vineyards. Located near the historic gold mining town of Bendigo in central Victoria, the Estate was established in 1969 on a superb site of alluvial soil at Maiden Gully, 112 miles northwest of Victoria's capital, Melbourne. From the first vintage in 1972, the wines drew critical acclaim, setting the pace for the many who followed by planting vines in the area. Today, Balgownie Estate stands as the benchmark of a central Victorian style reliant on well-ripened fruit, distinctive local terroir and sympathetic use of oak
Though Syrah originated in the Rhône Valley of France, Australia is home to the oldest Syrah (called Shiraz here) vines on the planet. Found in Australia’s Barossa Valley, where phylloxera has never threated viticulture, these ancient vines are between 140 to 175 years old!
Having brought fame and merit to the country’s wine scene since the early 1950s, namely via the debut of Penfolds Grange, today Syrah (Shiraz) claims rank as the most widely planted grape in Australia. In fact, the amount of land dedicated to Shiraz in Australia is now almost equivalent to what it is in France. Australian Shiraz has its own personality with flavors and aromas of intense blackberry, fruitcake, menthol, tobacco leaf and umami. Conveniently one can find great Australian Shiraz at a variety of price points but the very best will be dense, gloriously complex and capable of long aging.