The perfect 1996 Shiraz Roennfeldt Road (15.2% alcohol) was aged three years in new American hogsheads (small foudres). This amazing achievement boasts an inky/black/purple color as well as a striking perfume of smoke, charcoal, blackberry liqueur, and a hint of toast. In the mouth, it is fabulously concentrated and tremendously pure, with layer upon layer of flavors that unfold incrementally. Mouth-staining, but not over the top, it would be hard to find a more concentrated wine anywhere in the world. Although the tannin is high, it is obscured by the wealth of fruit and glycerin. A tour de force in winemaking, it is probably worth the high cost of admission. Anticipated maturity: now-2018. (RP)
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