Amon-Ra Aussie Premium Big Shiraz for Tomahawk Beefsteak Dinnera week of celebrations, Linda prepared a fabulous dinner of Tomahawk Ribeye beefsteaks, with twice baked potatoes and a delectable sauteed spinach in her incredible special sauce of shallots, nutmeg, clove of fresh garlic, cream and shaved sharp cheddar cheeses, pinch of cayenne pepper offset with honey.
I pulled from the cellar a premium label Aussie Shiraz, one of Linda's favorites in the big bold expressive style that she loves.
Ben Glaetzer "Amon-Ra" South Australia Barossa Valley Shiraz 2005
When I brought this up from the cellar, Linda immediately cited "Hoboken", reminiscing a memorable getaway weekend dinner we had where we took this wine BYOB while visiting son Alec in NY/NJ.
Amon-Ra Barossa Shiraz 2008 - Amon-Ra Barossa Shiraz 2008 Overpowers Italian Dinner
"AMON-Ra is the flagship wine of the Glaetzer Family who have been producing Barossa Valley wines since 1888. We hold several Glaetzer wines going back a decade including one of our favorites, GoDolphin, which has since been discontinued, Wallace, Annaperenna and Bishop. The branding and labels for these wines all feature hieroglyphic symbols from ancient Egyptian mythology.'
Note - Ben Glaetzer was named New World Winemaker of the Year in 2006.
"Since AMON-Ra was considered to be the king of all
gods, winemaker Ben Glaetzer chose
that symbol for his flagship, top of the line ultra-premium label.
Perhaps this is fitting since the temple of AMON-Ra was believed to be
the first temple to ever
plant a vineyard to produce wine for the citizens of the
"The eye on front of the AMON-Ra label is the all-seeing eye of Horus or wedjat ("whole one") - a powerful Egyptian symbol of protection. It is represented as a figure with six parts, corresponding to what Egyptians regarded as the six senses; touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell and thought.
Ben created AMON-Ra Shiraz to appeal to all these six senses. And it certainly does!'
Note, that night in Hoboken we drank the 2008 vintage release. My blogpost from then continues: "The 2008 release of AMON-Ra Shiraz is the eighth release of this label. The 2008 vintage in the Barossa was a difficult year for wine producers due to a heat spike during the vintage. As a result, Glaetzer limited the total production of AMON-Ra to maintain the quality of the wine. The strict fruit selections were rigorous and uncompromising to sacrifice quantity for quality resulting in the smallest volume released since the tiny 2003 vintage, lower than the 2007 production. This required carefully monitoring the vines and making multiple passes through the vineyards carefully selecting only grapes with the right intensity of fruit and balancing different levels of ripeness before the heat spike overstressed the fruit.""This release was produced by winemaker Ben Glaetzer who was New World Winemaker of the Year in 2006. According to the producer, "the 2008 vintage shows great purity of fruit and firm but fine tannins, giving great structure and power to the wines."
Tonight we drank the 2005 vintage release of this label. This release was awarded 98 points by Jeb Dunnuck, 96 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 95 points by Wine Enthusiast, 93 points James Halliday, and 92 points from Wine Spectator.
Dunnuck calls this 'a monumental wine', the 2005 Glaetzer Amon-Ra Barossa Valley Shiraz is from a single vineyard in the Ebenezer region, 100% old vine Shiraz, dry-grown 100-110 year-old Shiraz vines, aged 14 months in 100% new oak, 20% American and 80% French (70% hogsheads & 30% barrique.)I tasted and wrote about this label's 2005 vintage in my wine journal pages, back before I started publishing this blog.
"March 27, 2007 -
Ben Glaetzer Barossa Valley Amon Ra 2005 - RM 93 RP 98 - $59 - Dark berry,
graphite, mineral, cassis and a hint of vanilla with long silky firm
tannins on the finish. Tasted at Vino Volo at IAD."
While Linda loves and prefers this big bold style, I would prefer and opt for a more balanced, elegant, complex style such as a Bordeaux varietal blend for a beefsteak or other fine dining experience. Never-the-less, this was awesome with tonight's dinner.
The Winemaker's Notes: "Brooding, vibrant black with bright purple hues. On the nose, absolute purity with black fruit aromas complemented by notes of fragrant spice.Seamless, rich and full-bodied with black plum flavors intermingling with dried spice and finely balanced supple tannin. Impressive yet restrained."
My rating tonight was consistent with that earlier post in 2007 for this label.
Deep garnet in color, with hues of inky blackish-purple, full bodied , muscular with firm grainy tannins, a bit of alcohol heat, rich, dense yet balanced, blackberry and black currant fruits, bramble, spices, bitter dark chocolate, licorice, savory soy with hints of pepper and cedar, fresh crisp acids on a bright vibrant long finish.
RM 93 points.