When this wine emerged on the scene in the mid 1990’s the wine press heaped praise after praise upon it.  I remember the fervor surrounding the 1995 and 1998 releases and I really liked the wine then; it was like an Ambassador from Australia, an introduction to the tongue and teeth staining wine that is Oz Shiraz.  As high quality Australian wines gained in popularity, no doubt fueled in part by this very wine, the price started increasing to a point where I was no longer interested.  


The 2001 Rosemount Balmoral Syrah is black in the decanter. Absolutely opaque.  Named “Syrah”, as opposed to the more traditional Australian labeling of “Shiraz”, because it is stylistically closer to European Syrah rather than it’s Australian counterparts – the wine displays a bit of both worlds.   I had to decant off a substantial, coffee grind like sediment.  In the glass, the wine has aromas very typical of the grape.  This is leathery, earthy, with black fruits, smoked meats, and ground coffee.  In the mouth, the wine is ripe and with good concentration.  There’s a slightly bitter astringency that I could do without, and an almost “oily” sensation as the wine finishes.  There’s slight vanilla and toasted oak, and the tannins are still evident.  This is very nice wine, but it falls short of what it used to be.  I remember being told that as demand went up for this wine, the quality of the grapes going into it went down as Rosemount tried to meet the increasing demand.  In sum, this is very good, but it’s no longer the unique experience that it was.  88 points, about $28. 

2001 Balmoral Syrah – The Namesake of the Regal Scottish Castle

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