98-point Amon-Ra and 97-point Anaperenna from Wine Advocate
Big Barossa Shiraz comes into its own in winter. Few wines warm the cockles quite the same way, and there’s a special sort of comfort that comes from a glass or two served with hearty winter fare while chill winds blow. Amon-Ra is consistently one of the best in the style, and this latest edition is right in the groove.Ralph Kyte-Powell, The Real Review
Ben Glaetzer loved it from the word go. As was the case with ’16 – another harvest whose class wasn’t trumpeted across Australia but which had Ben smiling like a Cheshire cat from the moment it came of the vine – 2018 felt good, looked super in the cellar and was delightful from the first sip out of the bottle.
The growing season started well with above-average winter rainfall but was followed by well below-average spring and summer rainfall, coupled with warm temperatures. Fortunately the Glaetzer vines were in perfect balance with healthy canopies giving even ripening and development of fruit flavour.
Picking kicked off very early, in late January. Calm Indian summer conditions began in early March which were perfect for finishing off vintage.
“The resulting 2018 wines are of exceptional quality,” says Ben. “They have intense depth of colour and astounding aromatic purity, plus richness and brightness on the palate.”
We love Ben’s judgment. It’s sometimes overlooked how well he knows his fruit and how precisely – and subtly, actually – he gets the best out of it. Balance is balance, and it’s a feat of brilliance to pull it off. Once again, these are intense wines with a happy and glorious marriage of fruit with texture and structure.
This is a nice drink. Thrills with a chill! I wish I didn’t have to write anything more because to do so, chortles on and contradicts the spirit of a wine that is gulpable because-and not despite of-its virtuous simplicity. Sweet berry fruit notes sashay to Turkish delight and kirsch, all licked by briar and a dash of vanillin oak. There is old-turf-vinosity to this, with length and effusive energy.92 points. Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion 2020
All Shiraz, all from the Ebenezer section of the northern Barossa, the 2018 Bishop Shiraz is a super value in the context of Barossa, and Australian Shiraz in general. Matured in only 5% new oak hogsheads, it delivers bountiful cherry and raspberry fruit, accented by hints of mocha and cola. It’s medium to full-bodied, plump and juicy, fruity and lush, but reined in by firm, savory tannins on the long, mouthwatering finish. It should drink well for up to a decade.92 points. Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate August 2020
For the 2018 Anaperenna Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon, Glaetzer blended in 18% Cabernet Sauvignon to give the wine increased fragrance and length. The nose is smoky, slightly herbal and marked by sweet cedar- and vanilla-tinged oak, but it also offers great cassis and blackberry fruit. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, the flavors are kept nicely in check by fine-grained tannins. This wine has it all: terrific intensity, complexity, length and texture.97 points. Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate August 2020
Certainly one of the best vintages of young Amon Ra I’ve ever tasted, the 2018 Amon Ra Shiraz is a stupendous effort. From old vines in the Ebenezer section of the northern Barossa, it starts off with a whirlwind of mocha, blackberry and dried spices, then actually gets more red-fruited as it sits in the glass. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated without being jammy or overdone, the wine finishes long and savory, framed by dusty tannins and mouthwatering black olives. Winemaker Ben Glaetzer compares 2018 to 2004 (which continues to drink well). Expect the 2018 to drink well young, but easily age through 2035, perhaps longer.98 points. Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate August 2020