1996 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz, Barossa Valley

With a big birthday comes a big bottle of vino.   After much debate I decided to celebrate my departure from the “thirtysomethings” with this beauty.  I’ve had it in the cellar for in the neighbourhood of ten years and decided it was time.  The minute it headed into the decanter, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed – dark chocolate, cinnamon and dark berry were immediately evident as I carefully avoid the thick and chunky sediment in the bottle.

With kids in bed, it was time.  Into the shiraz glass, and “oh-my” in a word or two.  Some nice ruddy bricking into a deep ruby purple in the glass, I had to resist finding somewhere to hide in the house and hoard the bottle.  A few swirls, and there was more cinnamon with intense black currant that was accompanied by a bit of mint and some fresh pepper as the evening went on.  From there it was juicy red currant, raspberry and ripe plum with a nice viscous and juicy feel in the mouth.  The finish was all about length… bitter chocolate, nettle, herbs and some almost floral bits (violets?) as I sat and savoured.

Happy birthday to me indeed!

Current release $95 at LDB stores here in BC.

4 1/2 stars
and some very happy dark purple teeth.