1998 Noon "Reserve" Shiraz Langhorne Creek South Australia

SKU #1055870 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Even better is the 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Like its older sibling, it exhibits an inky/blue/purple color followed by an attractive bouquet of creosote, tar, creme de cassis, incense, and flowers, but no evidence of oak. This full-bodied, beautifully layered, stunningly pure, long effort is one of the most compelling Cabernet Sauvignons I have tasted from South Australia. It can compete with the best of Napa Valley or Washington State in terms of New World Cabernet Sauvignons. It should evolve over the next 10 years, and last for another decade thereafter. (RP) 96+  (6/2009)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated ruby. Bound-up aromas of blackberry, black licorice, shoe polish and mint. Painfully intense and powerfully structured, but currently hard-edged and brooding. Flavors of licorice and shoe polish currently dominate. Finishes with powerful tannins and superb length. A huge, muscular wine that will almost certainly merit a higher score with a few years of additional bottle aging. This seems rather powerfully extracted, like the '97, but here the vintage has provided stronger raw material. (ST) 92+  (7/2000)


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Price: $109.99

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Langhorne Creek