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Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Recently, I enjoyed my first bottle of the Colonial Estate (Australia) Émigré 2002. This was the very first vintage here, by St-Emilion and Napa winemaker Jonathan Maltus, and immediately gained cult status, thanks in no small measure to 95 points from Parker's The Wine Advocate.
Here is the Wine Advocate entry: The dense purple-coloured 2002 Émigré offers a sweet nose of blackberries, camphor, and smoke. Full-bodied, opulent, elegant, and seamless, it is a big, well-balanced red with wonderful ripeness, nicely-integrated wood, and a long, concentrated mouth feel. Drink it over the next 8-10 years.
Émigré is sourced from the Colonial-owned vineyards in the Barossa and is made up of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre, Muscadelle, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The colour is dark, closer to black than red and there is an aroma of black fruit and liquorice.
In the mouth, it is fruity, with hints of spice and liquorice. Waves of deep flavour rise to a crescendo and fade only slowly as the big finish lingers. This is truly something else, rich and well balanced. Elegant and concentrated, it is smooth and velvety and, at 15.5% ABV, it has almost the power of fortified wines and is regularly recommended as a match for Stilton.
This is an outstanding wine and more than a match for Pat Whelan’s Steaks with Brandy Cream Sauce. The winemaker is “re-assuringly expensive” Jonathan Maltus, one of French garagistes in the 90s, something of a rebel, an outsider born in Africa and with strong ideas of his own on wine and the French distribution system, still excluded socially “from a number of things”. Very interesting Grape Radio interview with him here
Émigré 2002, Barossa Valley, Australia, 15.5%, *****