Our third installment of the Barossa Valley Blowout was very enjoyable, with the top three wines separated by only three points, showing great depth of flavor and balance.

The top two wines were from the 2006 vintage, while the rest were relatively young.

First Place: Mitolo Shiraz Reiver 2006 (Barossa Valley).  Starting a little uneven, tasters found scents of swimming pool, nail polish remover, dirty shoes, spices, tomato skin, and Jolly Ranchers.  Ali was reminded of "sweat against rubber".  In the mouth, however, the wine was ripe, with plenty of dark cherry, blueberry, and plum notes.  Well-integrated.  Kristin felt that it screamed, "I'm from Australia", while Ali described it as "a smart person".  Matt found "a nice sweetness on the finish".   Ali & Matt's favorite of the night.  Received 26 points.  Kristin's bottle.  About $60.

Second Place:  R Wines Shiraz Chris Ringland Ebenezer 2006 (Barossa Valley).  Brighter aromatically, with complex aromas of acetone, eraser, eucalyptus, cherry, oak, superglue, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Diana felt that it "reminds me of summertime", and "smells cheaper".  Great balance, with sweeter fruit of maraschino cherries, then chocolate and wormwood notes.  Ali noted that it "smells familiar" and "has a cabbage thing for me".  Focused.  Finished with a dairy and brown sugar note.  Matt felt that it was a bit "overbearing".  Gets longer with air.  Andy & David's favorite.  Received 25 points.  David's bottle.  About $20.

Third Place:  Torbreck Shiraz Woodcutter's 2012 (Barossa Valley).  Scents of dairy, wet pine, raisins, dark fruit, dates, fig, smoke, flowers, watermelon, and cotton candy.  Inviting .  Kristin felt that it "smells like pizza to me", while Ali found "bong water, not in a horrible way".  Great balance, and texture.  Well-integrated, precise, and almost sophisticated.  Flavors included chocolate, black tea, and dark coffee.  Spicy tannin on the finish, then turns buttery.  Kristin & Diana's favorite.  Received 23 points.  Matt's bottle.  About $24.

Peter Lehmann Shiraz Portrait 2012 (Barossa Valley).  Looks unfiltered, with a nose of laundry, new plastic, wet used sponge, must, and brown sugar.  Tastes much better than it smells, with more tannin and solid fruit, having good progression and texture.  Black licorice on the finish, then black pepper and dolce de leche.  Received 16 points.  Diana's bottle.  About $15.

Thorn Clarke Shiraz Shotfire 2011 (Barossa Valley).  Aromas of tomato paste, oak, maple syrup, rotten pomegranate, and cinnamon.  David felt that it "has a freshness to it", while Diana found "something rotten in it".  Juicy in the mouth, with notes of artificial sweetener, a metallic quality, and dill.  A bit awkward, with the acid sticking out too much.  Short finish that is heavy on oak.  Diana summed up with "boring, but fine".  No points.  Ali's bottle.  About $16.

Elderton Shiraz 2012 (Barossa Valley).  Tasters found scents of skunk, fried onion, asphalt, ammonia, cat's pee, spices, burnt toast, and celery.  Diana felt that "it's got the mustiness, but the spice too", while Matt found "plenty to smell, but not stuff you want to".  Notes of urine, cheese, and clove honey on the palate.  A bit candied.  David  found "something artificial", while Diana felt that "I actively disliked it".  Finishes tart.  No points.  Andy's bottle.  About $28.

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