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2014 Maxwell Ellen Street Shiraz

Cracka Review

The name refers to a street that runs on the southern boundary of the famed Maxwell vineyards in the McLaren Vale. Fruit from this plot come from a bunch of gnarled and stubby old vines dating back to 1953. It’s a low yielding vineyard which means that the fruit is intense and concentrated and produces the kind of rich Shiraz the region is famous for.

Opulent fruit nose with black fruits and Satsuma making way for dark chocolate and spice. It’s complex and balanced and 24 months in oak has lent a charry element before a rich, structured finish.

Winemaker's Notes

The Name: What was originally known for over 100 years as Ellen Street runs along the southern boundary of the Maxwell vineyards. Situated between this road and the winery is a small vineyard of craggy, gnarled Shiraz vines planted in 1953. Every year these vines bear some of the best fruit on the estate, however in very small quantities, with an average crop of less than 2 tonnes per acre.

Vintage Conditions: Summer conditions were warmer than average with two heat waves through January and one in February, which tested the limits of grapevine tolerance to heat. Early in the season were high speed winds which reduced berry set, and the size of canopies. Rain in February rehydrated vines and freshened up vine leaves and started a pattern of cooler daytime temperatures which allowed fruit to finish ripening with moderate temperatures. The moisture boost also helped improve fruit balance on generally low crop levels.

Colour & Aroma: Deep purple / red in colour. Aromas of aniseed, blood plum and vanilla seed.

Palate: Maturation in oak has given a soft and refined palate with rounded tannins and classic Shiraz flavours. Chocolate, blueberry, clove, cinnamon all feature with the wine having an elegant but strong finish.

Cellaring Potential: Given satisfactory cellaring conditions, it is expected this wine will drink particularly well at 6 to 8 years of age.

Alc/vol: 14.5%

expert reviews about

2014 Maxwell Ellen Street Shiraz

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2013 Vintage) says
From vines planted '53, yielding 2 tonnes/acre, matured for 24 months in American and French oak. Deep colour; the bouquet has attractive sooty blackberry aromas that swell on the classy palate as satsuma plum, blackberry, bitter (70%) chocolate and finely pitched tannins join the party. Most impressive is the agility of a wine a whisker away from full-bodied.
Drink by 2033
95
James Halliday (2010 Vintage) says
To 2020
Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition
90
James Halliday (2009 Vintage) says
To 2024
Australian Wine Companion 2013
92
James Halliday (2008 Vintage) says
2020
Australian Wine Companion 2012
91
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
The fragrant and complex bouquet has black fruits, earth and spice, all of which appear on the generous palate, which has an intriguing twist on the finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2011 2010
93
James Halliday (2006 Vintage) says
Very attractive;luscious blackberry, plum and chocolate fruit on the fleshy medium-bodied palate, with soft tannins and good oak.
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
95
Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh (2006 Vintage) says
This is made from vines planted not long after the end of World War II. History: Australian wine is steeped in it. You want to know what a top-notch McLaren Vale shiraz tastes like? Try this. It takes smoothness to another level. It's rich, cakey, blackberried and heavy with chocolatey, coffeed oak. It has velvety tannin and just enough brightness to its flavour to stop it from seeming overdone, even if there is a fair whack of alcohol warmth and a brandy-like flavour to the aftertaste.
The Big Red Wine Book 2009/10 2009
93
James Halliday (2005 Vintage) says
Tangy medium-bodied wine with earthy/tangy/chocolatey flavours on a neatly structured and balanced palate.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
89
James Halliday (2004 Vintage) says
Full-bodied; ultra-classic McLaren Vale style, with lashings of blackberry fruit wrapped in dark chocolate, oak and tannins merely providing a stage for the fruit
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
94
James Halliday (2003 Vintage) says
Slightly dull colour; ripe prune, plum and chocolate fruit; persistent tannins run through from start to finish. Off the normal pace for Ellen Street.
Australian Wine Companion 2007 2006
89
James Halliday (2002 Vintage) says
Dense, powerful structure; black fruits, earth and chocolate; solid tannins, good length.
Australian Wine Companion 2006 2005
93
James Halliday (2001 Vintage) says
Very ripe plum, prune and blackberry aromas; hyper-rich, ripe, luscious mouthfilling fruit; slightly old-fashioned McLaren Vale style.
Australian Wine Companion 2005 2004
89
James Halliday (2000 Vintage) says
Dense red-purple; very ripe, almost essency, cherry and chocolate aromas come through strongly on the lusciously rich and ripe palate, with its abundant sweet cherry fruit and ripe tannins; oak is somewhere there in the mix. A redeeming feature is that the wine is (only) 14°.
Australian Wine Companion 2004 2003
91
James Halliday (1999 Vintage) says
Medium red-purple; the moderately intense bouquet has simple berry fruit and slightly edgy oak, but the palate comes up with much more sweet fruit, although the oak is still a touch raspy. Should settle down with time.
Australian Wine Companion 2003 2002
88
James Halliday (1997 Vintage) says
Medium to foil red-purple; powerful, youthful, earthy berry fruit on the bouquet is followed by a palate which has attractive, clean fruit, but the wine has not been worked enough in barrel and ends up rather angular and hard. May improve with time in bottle
Australian Wine Companion 2001 2001
85

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