Eagle County Find from the Vine: 2003 Cambrien Shiraz
Eagle County CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” ‘Tis the season to give gifts in Eagle County and around the country, so why not give something unique and slightly different? For a dark and lush idea, jump to Australia, for the 2003 Cambrien Shiraz, from the relatively cool Heathcote region. This wine has a strange white label, with nothing but dots on the front representing The Pleiades, a cluster of stars in the Taurus constellation. The wine is from the partnership of the Laughtons of Heathcote (Jasper Hill Winery) and the Chapoutiers of the Rhone Valley in France (Chapoutier, obviously), thus the label depicting a constellation visible from both Heathcote and the Rhone. All of this is fine and dandy, but the wine inside the bottle is awesome!
Dark, elegant, and not too ripe, blackberry and dark cherry flavors are accented by a clean herbal, mint/eucalyptus facet. The French influence shows on the nicely acidic and tannic finish, so age this for 2 to 10 years. Graphite, earth, dark chocolate and oak round out the wine, so drink it now with grilled lamb chops or venison. (The previous two sentences represent the French and Aussie views, respectively. Both cellar and drink now are great options.)
Michel Chapoutier and Ron Laughton met in the mid-’90s, realized their shared passion of Syrah/Shiraz from biodynamically farmed vineyards, and planted French and Australian clones in Heathcote in 1998. The vineyard is tiny, not quite 2 acres of Shiraz is planted. The wine is aged in 100 percent new French oak barrels, and bottled unfiltered. Only 200 cases were produced in this inaugural vintage. The 2003 Cambrien Shiraz is $68.