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New Customers Save $30* with code SEPTNEW30
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Massena The 11th Hour Shiraz 2003
A pre-bottling tank sample of the 2003 Shiraz The Eleventh Hour (100% Shiraz from 60-year-old vines in the Greenock sector) was aged in primarily old French barrels and small foudres. It smells like a flower garden planted among acres of blueberry fields. A dense ruby/purple color and the stunning aromatics are followed by an equally complex, elegant, medium to full-bodied Shiraz with fabulous concentration, great balance, and tremendous purity as well as intensity.
Rich, ripe, plum, prune, blackberry and earth aromas and flavours; tannins and oak well-balanced.
We have dedicated growers in the North Western Barossa areas of Greenock, Kalimna and Koonunga Hill, providing fruit from dry farmed, low yielding vines up to 120 years of age. While we work mostly with traditional Barossa varieties Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro from these growers, we are also trialling new varieties such as Durif, Barbera, Dolcetto, Roussanne, Saperavi and Tannat.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.
Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.