Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz 2018
Midnight black with inky purple tone in appearance. An enticing combination of blue and black fruits with notes of espresso and dried spice. Rich and deep yet bright and fresh. Multilayered flavors of nutmeg, cloves with brooding dark berry fruit and firm tannins of exceptional length.
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Certainly one of the best vintages of young Amon Ra I've ever tasted, the 2018 Amon Ra Shiraz is a stupendous effort. From old vines in the Ebenezer section of the northern Barossa, it starts off with a whirlwind of mocha, blackberry and dried spices, then actually gets more red-fruited as it sits in the glass. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated without being jammy or overdone, the wine finishes long and savory, framed by dusty tannins and mouthwatering black olives. Winemaker Ben Glaetzer compares 2018 to 2004 (which continues to drink well).
The first Glaetzers settled in the Barossa Valley in 1888 after emigrating from Brandenburg, Germany. From here, they settled in a country town called Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley where they started their new life in Australia. The family were some of the earliest recorded viticulturalists in the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley and the current generation is firmly entrenched in the family wine business.
Winemaking patriarch Colin Glaetzer established his own label to create wines he's passionate about - limited quantities of benchmark Barossa Valley reds. The birth of Glaetzer Wines signalled a new era for Colin's family which boasts more than its fair share of winemakers. The clan includes Colin, his oenology-trained wife Judith, twin brother/winemaker John, and five winemakers among the couple's three sons and their wives.
With the 2004 vintage, Ben Glaetzer took over winemaking at Glaetzer and brought his own flagship wines, Amon Ra and Godolphin, into the fold. Young Glaetzer has implemented many changes at the winery, particularly with regard to harvesting upon physiological ripeness vs. analysis, longer skin contact and the use of the highest possible quality oak barrels.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in the Barossa zone of South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers work diligently to ensure grapes reach the perfect levels of phenolic ripeness.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”