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De Lisio Shiraz 2004

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP96
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Winemaker Notes

"The profound 2004 Shiraz was cropped at a measly .5 tons of fruit per acre, and aged almost entirely in new French oak. It is a killer wine in a killer line-up from De Lisio in 2004. Dense blue/purple to the rim, this highly extracted (but not overly extracted) effort reveals notes of crushed rocks, blueberries, blackberries, camphor, lead pencil shavings, and spicy oak. Boasting great purity, a full-bodied, opulent texture, huge richness, but no sense of pruniness or flabbiness given its precision and refreshing structure, this is a well-balanced, potentially complex McLaren Vale blockbuster. It should drink well for 15+ years." - Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

RP 96
The Wine Advocate

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De Lisio

De Lisio

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De Lisio, , Australia
De Lisio
During a visit to Australia in June of 2004 Benjamin Hammerschlag was assessing the portfolio of another young winemaker in McLaren Vale. During the tasting, the parcels that stood out time and again had come from Tony De Lisio’s vineyards. The impression stuck and yielded an extensive tasting of De Lisio’s wines. Consistently impressed, Hammerschlag approached De Lisio and discovered an Italian immigrant with 30 years of experience in McLaren Vale. De Lisio’s talents lie in the vineyard and his connection to other immigrants in the region give him access to some of the best fruit in the district which happen to meet the classic Epicurean Wines criteria; phenomenal raw materials transformed into wines that are jam-packed with intensity.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

GVD76000402_2004 Item# 91507

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