Chris Ringland is a celebrity in Australia and his wines are considered a great representation of Barossa fruit. When I heard that his wines are as smooth as his personality I couldn’t resist the temptation try one of them. Today the sheer price of cult wines can overwhelm quality issues. Three Rivers (now called Chris Ringland) began as a wine enthusiast’s curio, a sought-after wine among a small number of buyers who enjoyed wines with somewhat of a cult following. High scores and rave reviews launched Chris Ringland onto the international market a few years ago and prices soared by 400% within a single year. Excessive demand on limited supply can have an extraordinary effect on price. At one point Three Rivers Shiraz was selling for 1400 AUD a bottle. Since then there has been a dramatic decrease in price but buyer’s appreciation is still strong as the wine continues to achieve a remarkable level of interest on the market.
I really was at a loss for words when I drank the 2006 Chris Ringland “Ebenezer” Shiraz. It is aged for 20 months in French and American oak. It definitely represents all that is new world from the interesting stenography on the label to its screw cap, a.k.a. Stelvin. In general I find myself to be unimpressed with shiraz that have Stelvin caps, but this wine has so much to offer the palette. The color of this one is a deep dark purple-red and the body is very thick and rich. I couldn’t believe how smooth this wine was from start to finish, almost like velvet on the tongue, coating the mouth with warmth and depth. The bouquet is extremely aromatic with chocolate, blueberry, leather, licorice, cedar and spice. I was blown away by this massive big reds ability to tame itself in order for your palette to depict all these tightly woven flavors. This shiraz is absolutely seamless and savory.
The Chris Ringland “Ebenezer” shiraz has a great allocation, about 20,000 cases, so it will not be an arduous task to find this bottle at a restaurant or local wine store. I strongly recommend that this wine be kept at a strict cellar temperature of 59-60 degrees in order to get the wines fullest potential. This wine has an 8 to 12 year cellar life. It might be a good idea to stock up in order to enjoy a bottle now as well as years from now.
Wine quote of the week;
Wine gives us liberty, love takes it away.
Wine makes us princes, love makes us beggars.
The Country Life