Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Best's Great Western Bin 0 Shiraz, 1994

Australians know Great Western as a highly respected wine region near the Grampians in western Victoria. And Best's is one of the oldest and best estates there. While Best's finest Shiraz grapes, some from vineyards more than 100 years old, go into the Thomson Family Vineyard bottling, Bin 0 is only a step or two lower in quality, coming from well-sited vineyards planted mostly in the mid-1960s.

The color is dark and deep, but with a mature burnished tone. The first sniff, even before it's poured, is beautiful--red and black raspberries and oak, high toned and fragrant. Also blue plums, cassis and rosemary. The French oak background seems more prominent to me than it did with the last bottle in November, 2009. But it is very well integrated into the fruit. This wine is kept lively by a strong backbone of acid. The fruit is there, but the acid keeps it lively and intense. Plush, plummy flavors keep coming on the lush mid-palate and finish. Has the rich mouth feel of Australian Shiraz but with the acid structure of a French Hermitage. For my taste, this belongs in the top rank of Australian wines.

Best's apparently has no American importer. I bought this wine at auction in the late 1990s.

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