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The Colonial Estate Explorateur Shiraz 2003

Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • JH94
  • WS90
  • RP91
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

"Exhibits a dense ruby/purple color along with a big, rich bouquet of melted licorice, blackberry liqueur, pepper and a hint of road tar. Ripe, full-bodied, supple-textured, and long, it should drink well for 5-10 years."
-Wine Advocate

Classic ripe Shiraz that is handpicked from old Shiraz Vines based in the north of the Barossa Valley. The grapes are double-sorted – by bunch and then by grape - on arrival at the winery and, after fermentation, aged in French and American oak for a year. Purple in colour with a round, enveloping taste.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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The Colonial Estate

The Colonial Estate

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The Colonial Estate, Australia
2003 Explorateur Shiraz
The Colonial Estate is a range of limited-production Barossa Valley wines that are handpicked and vinified using mainly French methods by Jonathan Maltus of Bordeaux' Chateau Teyssier.

CWC's approach is deliberately and uniquely French. The wines are handpicked into trays and double-sorted. The reds receive cold pre-maceration, delestages, pigeage, and maceration on the skins prior to ageing in French oak; whilst the whites get whole-bunch pressing and lees batonnage and are fermented with yeasts imported from Champagne. The reds come, in principle from the prime Northern Arc of the Barossa Valley and the whites from the cool-climate of the Adelaide Hills. The wines are produced from vines that are either owned by the Company or are from selected growers.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is often misunderstood by consumers. It is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute critters on the label, though both can certainly be found here. It is impossible to make generalizations about a country this physically massive, but most regions are concentrated in the south of the country and experience either warm, dry weather, or more humid, tropical influence. 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 is a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

WWH3ADSHPA2_2003 Item# 79418

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