A little while ago, I raved about a 1994 Mt. Edelstone. I would now like to report on a 1994 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz. I had an opportunity to drink this wine at a Stone Wallers Lunch at the Rockford winery. These are luncheons which are prepared for Stone Wallers, the loyal mailing list customers of Rockford. I do not normally report on food, but this is an extraordinary event, so I copied the menu, which is predominantly sourced from the winemaker's garden onto this blog.
I was too preoccupied with the event to take notes on the other wines, which were all very good, so here is the Basket Press: This wine still had astonishing freshness, while at the same time it had developed very attractive complexity. Blackberry, plum and mulberry flavours blended in with savoury mocca tones. On the back palate, fine grained silky tannins delivered an elegant and very smooth and long finish. This was the best Basket Press I have tried (I have not tried too many).
This experience let me reflect on the 1994 vintage. It was somewhat cool and not nearly as highly regarded as 1996 and 1998, for example. They were warmer vintages with more immediate appeal, and as a result, wines received more accolades on release from these vintages. However, if a winery has access to old and low yielding vines, the results from cooler vintages can be very rewarding. The higher levels of acidity carry these wines into a long life with increased flavour complexity, as the Rockford Basket Press and Henschke Mount Edelstone have proven. The moral of the story: do not get too carried away with vintage reports. It is the individual wine which counts.