Hewn of 1894 ancient vine oomph and tannin management of aplomb, this is power corseted by a filmy, gossamer texture and sheer, strident vinosity. Put it this way, the wine could come from nowhere else, yet the overall impression is one of Elderton's newfound restraint. Oodles of dark fruit, anise, tar, camphor and a Cadbury milk chocolate creaminess coat the palate. There is a barrel ferment smokiness, too. The extraction levels are a point; the use of French and American oak sensitive. All is in a harmony and perfectly suited to the style.
97 points, Ned Goodwin (January 2017)
From vines planted in 1894, the 2014 Command Single Vineyard Shiraz aged in a combination of French and American oak (80% new). Aromas of smoky campfire and vanilla lead the way, followed by expressive raspberry fruit. It's full-bodied and lush across the palate, creamy in texture, impressive in its concentration and balanced by a crisp, fruit-driven finish. Quintessential Barossa Shiraz.
96 points, Joe Czerwinski (September 2018)
It’s a big, sweet, bruising shiraz but it’s also a well balanced one. It lays asphalt, toffee, milk chocolate and dense blackberried fruit flavour down in powerful – not to mention emphatic – style. It’s smoky, clovey, licoricey and raked with dark, earth-splashed tannin. Warmth is everywhere but flavour washes with it. It’s an excellent example of the bigger, almost to the point of exaggeration, style of shiraz.
94 points, Campbell Mattinson (September 2018)
Very good colour. Rich and complex bouquet, lots of smoked meats, char and spice and earth aromas, complex and harmonious. Smoky oak. Very ripe. Good intensity in the mouth but there are firm oaky tannins supporting it. The wine is solid and full-bodied, firm and upright, but appealing. A keeper.
92 points, Huon Hooke (January 2018)
Deep red colour with a lick of purple. The bouquet has vegetal, sousbois hints and the chocolate and vanilla, while the very full-bodied palate turns on a bit of alcohol heat and afterburn. It's quite fiery, and seems stronger than the 14.5% stated. Dark chocolate, dense, concentrated and oaky. It needs more time.
94 points, Huon Hooke (April 2018)
A stalwart and rich Barossa Valley shiraz, which delivers in spades. Tarry blackberry and redder fruit aromas with spicy oak and smooth, luscious tannins. Barely out of the gate.
93 points, Nick Stock (August 2018)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.