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by Fred McMillin
What has been consistently the best Australian Shiraz my panel has tasted through the last decade? Here's its history.
The Rest of the Story
1988—Chief winemaker for Rosemount, Philip Shaw, recognizes that he is getting some rare, old-vine Shiraz (Syrah) grapes from the McLaren Vale (valley) west of Melbourne in southern Australia.
1989—For the first time, Philip makes a wine solely from those grapes. It is called the 1989 Show Reserve Shiraz.
1991—My panel will taste the '91 Show Reserve in 1994 and I will publish a very favorable review of it in the San Francisco Independent.
1992—Starting with this vintage, Rosemount changes the name to Balmoral Syrah (no longer Shiraz). It soon becomes the Rosemount flagship wine. Later, my panel would give it the highest score they ever awarded a Shiraz-Syrah, a 93.
1993—The Wine Spectator would give it a 90 rating.
1995—This vintage would win BEST OF NATION award at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
1996—Later my panel would give this year a 93 rating, again.
1997—This vintage is our...
Wine of the Day
1997 Balmoral Syrah, McLaren Vale, Australia
When I lived in Iran, the best wine I drank was in the ancient Persian town of Shiraz, where the vine originated. The varietal made its way to the Rhone Valley by the 13th century, and to Australia in 1832.
I got to wondering if France's greatest gastronome, Brillat-Savarin knew about the varietal in Paris after the French Revolution. Reviewing his landmark Physiology of Taste (25 years in the writing), he describes the development of a new food phenomenon, the first restaurants. One could select from many dishes and from a list of thirty wines. Then he lists sources for the restaurant storeroom...he mentions one wine from Asia. SHIRAZ!
10/26/00—Better and Better
10/25/00—Baby, It's Cold Outside
10/24/00—Yessir! A Best Ever!
10/23/00—Did the Experiment Work?
10/20/00—Pinot in Piedmont??
10/19/00—Mugged by McPherson
10/18/00—Wizard of the Pinot
10/17/00—The Valley That Couldn't
10/16/00—Down Under A Chardonnay Shock
10/13/00—The English Rothschilds
10/12/00—Columbus Lands in the Bahamas
10/10/00—Our Best Blanc
10/09/00—A Knight Delight
10/06/00—An Act of Faith
10/05/00—EXTRA! EXTRA! World Series Winnah!!
10/04/00—Field Stone Makes Way For Chardonnay
10/03/00—Big Wine, Small Price
This page created October 2000