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Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz 2003

Syrah/Shiraz from Clare Valley, Australia
  • JH90
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Winemaker Notes

Leasingham has historically been recognized for its production of high quality red wine and Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz represents true regionality and value in the red wine market. With all the hallmarks of the Clare Valley and Leasingham style this wine displays sweet fruit concentration and boldness of structure. The 2003 vintage provided a warm ripening period, resulting in the production of intense berry fruits and bold, fine tannins.

Deep ruby red with purple hues and brilliant clarity, and a bouquet that displays intense spice, chocolate and coffee. The palate shows intense ripe blueberry and raspberry characters with layers of dark chocolate and mocha in the mid palate and a clean, lingering spicy finish. This wine is a Clare Valley Shiraz that shows all the hallmark characters of a warm year in the valley with soft, elegant tannnins in abundance. A great wine to drink now and/or cellar for the next decade.

Food suggestion: Enjoy with suckling pig and salt bush lamb.

Critical Acclaim

JH 90
Australian Wine Companion

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Leasingham

Leasingham

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Leasingham, , Australia
Leasingham
Originally there were four pioneers : J.H. (Joseph) Knappstein, a merchant, Dr O. Wein-Smith, a medical practitioner of Clare, Magnus Badger, a solicitor, and John Cristion, who was a brewer of note. Alfred Basedow was employed as a General Manager and Winemaker, having learned the craft of winemaking in Europe. The name Stanley was chosen to identify the company with the local electoral district of Stanley. By 1912, Joseph Knappstein, one of the most enterprising men of his time in South Australia, had bought out the interests of the other three founders and gained control of the company.

The Leasingham winery was acquired by The Hardy Wine Company in January 1988, when a major upgrade of vineyards, winery, tourism and promotional facilities was begun. Subsequently that year the Clarevale Co-operative was integrated giving access to further premium fruit. Today the name Leasingham is reserved for premium wines only. The Stanley name continues on a range of wine casks produced at the Buronga winery

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism...

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture...

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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

YNG161626_2003 Item# 88485

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