The remaining five wines in this tasting were Shiraz or Shiraz based from Victoria and South Australia, as you would expect.
2013 Best's Bin 1 Shiraz: this is the little brother of Bin 0. It has experienced a significant lift in quality in recent years. The 2013 has a bright colour. Pretty berry flavours dominate, overlaid with peppery notes. This is a medium-bodied wine, well made, but a little simple (90 points).
2012 Seppelt St. Peters Shiraz: This wine impressed everybody. It has a lively palate, the blackberry flavours are delicious. The fruit is concentrated, yet the wine is elegant at the same time. This full-bodied wine has excellent texture and finishes with silky tannins (95 points).
2013 SC Pannell Adelaide Hills Syrah: this is the Jimmy Watson Trophy winner which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. My view has not changed in this line-up. This is a vibrant wine with pretty blackberry fruit and good balance. It includes 2% Viognier. I don't find this wine particularly interesting and the tasters did not have it in their top 4 wines from this tasting (92 points).
2013 Ruggabellus Archaeus: this is the Shiraz dominated wine from Abel Gibson's three premium blends. This is a darker wine, with plum and blackberry flavours. 22% whole bunches deliver a savoury palate with earthy flavours. The wine has good length and the oak is well balanced. In a way, the relationship between the SC Pannell and this wine is the same, as the one between the Coldstream Hills and the By Farr on the Pinot Noir front (94 points).
2012 Henschke Mt. Edelstone: is this the best Mt. Edelstone ever made in 60 years? It would be a candidate. The wine has a deep, crimson red, but not saturated colour. The fruit flavours are complex and intense: plum, blackberry and raspberry interplay. Dried herbs and cedar complete the picture. This medium bodied wine is elegant, and its silky tannins lead to a long finish (97 points).
The top rated wines, adding up the tasters votes, were the Seppelt St. Peters and the Mt Edelstone, strongly ahead of the 'whole bunched' Ruggabellus and By Farr. The pretty, fruit orientated wines, and the white wines hardly got a top 2 vote.
* - Barossa Valley, SA* * - $50-$120* - Cork - 13.5%alc *Joseph or Black Shiraz? My mind shudders at the thought of picking a favourite sparkling red. I lo...