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Henry's Drive Shiraz 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
  • RP92
  • WE90
0% ABV
  • WE92
  • JH93
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • WS90
  • RP91
  • JH91
  • RP91
  • JH91
  • WS90
  • WS89
  • RP91
  • RP94
  • RP93
  • RP92
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With aromas of plums, rhubarb and ripe blackcurrant on the nose along with chocolate, cinnamon spice, hints of anise and earthy notes this is a complex and intriguing wine. Dark berry fruit is the dominant character on the front palate, and it is dense and brooding through the mid palate. With time in the glass the wine develops more complexity with mocha notes, toasted sweet spices along with hints of white pepper. It is a full, round and powerful wine and finishes with fine silky tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Sourced from 4 to 5 vineyard sites mainly consisting of terra rossa soils, the 2008 Shiraz finished fermentation in oak; 60% American, 40% French oak, 30% new. Very deep purple-black colored, it begins with earthy notes of loam and truffles over ripe blackberries, crushed blueberries, warm black cherries and Mediterranean herbs with hints of mint, mocha and violets. Full-bodied with a medium to firm level of silt-like tannins, refreshingly high acid and good amount of fleshy fruit, it finishes long and savory.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A solid, potent example of Shiraz, this 2008 doesn’t show any ill effects of the vintage-time heatwave, offering fresh, clean flavors of blueberries, vanilla and tobacco. Tannins are firm and slightly dusty in style, making this a solid choice with steak or roasts. Drink now–2015, and possibly a few years after that.
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Henry's Drive

Henry's Drive

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Henry's Drive, Australia
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During the nineteenth century establishment of the farming and wine industries of southeastern South Australia, horse-drawn coaches provided the only transportation of mail and passengers. The coach drivers reigned supreme on top of their coaches, and won the respect and admiration of their passengers. The coach service proprietor in this part of the state was a certain Mr. Henry John Hill. His operation drove directly through a property owned more recently by three generations of the Longbottom family of Padthaway. Routes were known as Drives, thus the family’s wine business is today known as Henry’s Drive.

Third generation pastoralists Mark and Kim Longbottom are forging a new family tradition of fine winemaking with brands such as Henry's Drive, Parson's Flat, Dead Letter Office and Pillar Box.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing, and there are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

RPT81993398_2008 Item# 122750