2016 Glaetzer Shiraz Amon-Ra

Year: 2016
Appellation: Barossa Valley
Country: Australia
Wine Advocate: 96
James Suckling: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.5%
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"Dramatic, intense and powerful, the 2016 Amon Ra Shiraz recalls the 2004 in its youth, crammed with layers of fruit, complex, savory elements and rich, velvety tannins. It's full-bodied, characterized by notes of grilled meat, espresso, black olive, cassis, vanilla, baking spices and an undercurrent of loamy earth. Yes, it's unapologetically big and bold, the product of a warm, sunny climate and ripe grapes, but it does show a sense of decorum, restraint and elegance on the long finish.

I was only able to taste a couple of wines with Ben Glaetzer during my May trip to Barossa, so of course he pulled out the best. The 2004 Amon Ra continues to impress, but what Glaetzer has been beaming about the last two years is the debut of his new Shiraz bottling, The Eye of Ra. If you're a Shiraz lover and don't try to track some of this down, you'll be missing out. The rest of the wines were tasted Stateside." (WA)

"A bold, expressive and ripe shiraz with big aromas and flavors of blackberries and spices. The palate adds some chocolate and mocha to the mix. The tannins fold very ripe into the finish, delivering plum cake to close. Drink now." (JS)

"Cellar Selection, As dense in color as it is in aroma and flavor, this latest vintage is a rich, chocolatey, oak lacquered wine that oozes raisiny, plummy fruit, dried violets, black licorice, chocolate cake and oak spice. There's a wealth of acid and tannin structure, coupled with plump fruit and a wood spice finish to set this wine up for plenty of years in the cellar. Drink 2020–2038 and likely beyond. Christina Pickard" (WE)

Winery Notes:
Producer notes:
"100% dry grown Shiraz. Age of vines: 50-130 years old. Deep, ark purple in color. The nose is a lavish assortment of chocolate, blackcurrant and mixed dried spice. The palate is full bodied and multidimensional. Black fruits with hints of charcoal and graphite sit in equilibrium with balanced savory tannin. This is a beauty that can be cellared for many decades. Barrel aged 16 months in 95% French and 5% American oak (100% new oak). Alcohol 15.0%."

As the King of all Gods, Amon-Ra is considered the most powerful figure in Egyptian mythology. The temple of Amon-Ra is recorded as the birthplace of commercial winemaking, having the first ever large scale vineyard grown specifically to make wine for the citizens of the temple. Amon Ra represents Ben Glaetzer?s interpretation of the new, modern style of Barossa Valley Shiraz.

The Glaetzer philosophy focuses simply on the production of small-volume, super premium wines. Ben and his father Colin, hold a firm belief that wines are made in the vineyard; a combination of French notion terroir combined with Australian vineyard site knowledge. The wines are produced from vines grown in well-drained sandy clay loam over a solid limestone pan. This particular soil, widely recognized as the best for dry grown Shiraz, is found in the Ebenezer region in the northwestern part of the Barossa Valley. Yields are exceptionally low, with 1 to 1 1/2 tons per acre of Shiraz from some of the 60-85 year old vines being common, while the older vineyards produce as little as .25 tons per acre. Glaetzer has exceptional fruit, and thus opts for a minimalist approach.