Ben Glaetzer’s 2013 Bishop McLarenVale Shiraz displays an inviting royal purple robe, bold, textured flavors, and wonderful purity. The wine’s visual appeal is followed by an enticing aroma of cassis, mulberry, and spice that greets the nose from the moment the 2013 Bishop exits the bottle, and the wine’s sensual bouquet is just this Bishop’s opening remarks. In the mouth, the 2013 Bishop offers beautiful fruit flavors, which are mingled with violet flowers and deft touches of spice to add additional complexity. Given the 15% alcohol in this wine, one would expect this Bishop to be portly, but Ben Glaetzer’s 2013 Bishop is light on the palate in every way but flavor. Surprisingly easy to drink, this youthful Barossa Shiraz, which bears Ben’s mother’s name of Bishop, never loses its grace or charm; its fine-grained tannins add structure and are well integrated into the wine’s fruit.We were not surprised to see that the critics are in love with it as much as us; it’s earned 91, 92, and 95 points from Wine Advocate, Vinous, and James Halliday, respectively. Enjoy this expertly crafted Shiraz now and over the next 8-10 years. For optimal enjoyment we suggest at least 30 minutes of aeration before serving at cool room temperature (60°-65° F).
The 2013 Ben Glaetzer Barossa Valley Shiraz needs little to shine, with or without accompaniments. Nonetheless, Ben Glaetzer’s Bishop Shiraz provides the ideal companion to Prime Rib and Filet Mignon, especially when these fine cuts of beef are served medium rare with grilled or sautéed portabella mushrooms. Lamb Osso Bucco and ostrich pair splendidly with Bishop, too. Slow Roasted Duck, served with a salsify and spinach strudel and fig tartlet, and finished with a tart cherry brandy sauce offers another opportunity for Bishop to shine. Slow cooked pork ribs or sliders offer more excellent pairings. Eggplant Parmigiana also makes a rewarding partner to Ben Glaetzer’s splendid old vine Shiraz. Lastly, creamy cow’s milk cheeses provide simple, tasty accompaniments to Ben Glaetzer’s sumptuous 2013 Barossa Valley Shiraz. Enjoy!
Ben Glaetzer is one of Barossa Valley’s star winemakers. With a portfolio of just four wines, each from his family’s northern Barossa Ebenezer vineyards, Ben Glaetzer’s name has become synonymous with great wine. Not surprisingly, Shiraz is Ben’s specialty, and it figures prominently in all Glaetzer wines.
The winery’s Wallace is the quintessential Australian blend of Grenache and Shiraz, while Bishop emanates solely from old Shiraz vines. Glaetzer also fashions small quantities of two other wines: Amon-Ra, a massive Shiraz built for cellaring that bears the name of the king of gods in Egyptian mythology, and Anaperenna, a Shiraz Cabernet blend inspired by Anna Perenna, the Roman goddess of the New Year. Each Ben Glaetzer wine offers a unique Barossa experience of the highest quality.
“The first Glaetzers settled in the Barossa Valley in 1888 after emigrating from Brandenburg, Germany. The family left Germany on board the Nord-Deutscher Lloyd steamer Habsburg and took seven weeks to reach their final destination of Port Adelaide. From here they settled in a country town called Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley where they started their new life in Australia. The family were some of the earliest recorded viticulturalists in the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley.
“Over a century later, winemaking patriarch Colin Glaetzer established Glaetzer Wines, a boutique family owned winery producing premium Barossa Valley wines. Today Colin’s son Ben carries on the wine making traditions at Glaetzer Wines. Indeed it was the birth of Glaetzer Wines that signalled a new era for Colin’s family which boasts more than its fair share of winemakers.”
The Barossa (pronounced Ba rassa) is Australia’s most famous wine region. It is arguably the continent’s most exciting wine region, too, especially for Shiraz. Although serious competition for quality now comes from Western Australia’s Margaret River and other renowned South Australian appellations such as McLaren Vale and Coonawarra for red wines and the Clare, Eden and Padthaway appellations for white wines, it is hard to refute the longstanding track records of such great Barossa producers as Ben Glaetzer, Binder, Burge, Henschke, Penfolds, and Torbreck as well as the plethora of glorious old vine Shiraz and Grenache wines for which Barossa is justly famous.
Although the words Barossa and Shiraz are nearly synonymous, especially for rich, decadent Shiraz from ancient vines that more resemble gnarled trees than vines, it would be easy to lose sight of the fact that the Barossa also remains one of the world’s great sources of old vine Grenache, Mataro (Mourvèdre), and Cabernet Sauvignon. These varietals only account for the valley’s outstanding red wines; the Barossa is also home to some of the planet’s greatest white wines in the guise of Riesling and Semillon, many of which mature for a decade or more into rich, splendid potions.
Barossa icon Max Schubert once said “True excellence is a constant and endless journey, it is not a destination.” And if the words of the late Max Schubert, the former winemaker at Penfolds and the artist behind Penfold’s Grange (the Southern Hemisphere’s greatest wine) bear any credence, the Barossa will remain a beacon of oenological excellence and one of the world’s premier wine regions.
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