One of Australia’s finest and most iconic red wines”
In Australia, only a select few Shiraz producers — Penfolds, Henchke, Torbeck — can be considered in the same league as the Barossa’s legendary Elderton. Vinous has called Elderton’s flagship Command Shiraz “one of Australia’s finest and most iconic and ageworthy red wines for the last two decades.” Wine Spectator has featured their releases on the magazine’s Top 100 list four times. In 2013, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate crowned the single-vineyard Command Shiraz with 96 points, cementing its assessment of Elderton as “one of Barossa’s top wineries.” Connoisseurs of rich, opulent Aussie reds live for deals like this one: an ancient-vine Barossa collectible at just $85 from Wine Access.
At the heart of Elderton’s incredible three-decade run of success is its crown jewel Command block, first planted in 1894. Recognized by the Barossa Old Vine Charter as a centenarian block, the 120-year-old vines eke out just a half-ton of fruit per acre — a quantitatively meager reward for the tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours the Ashmead family has lavished on its care. The quality of the fruit, however, is simply sublime.
Situated on deep alluvial silt and red earth on the gently sloping banks of the North Para River, the rows are planted east-west for ideal exposure to sunlight. All pruning and harvesting is done meticulously by hand. The five parcels are picked in sequence over the course of five weeks to layer this inky Shiraz with its trademark depth and gorgeous black-fruit complexity.
After their father, Neil, passed away in 1997, brothers Allister and Cameron Ashmead gradually took the reins at the 72-acre estate. Together with winemaker Richard Langford, they’ve helped establish Barossa among the greatest winemaking regions of the world, and in the process minted a series of Shirazes that are the last word in tremendous old-vine concentration.
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