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Colonial Estate Mungo Park Shiraz 2005

Dark/red to maroon centre with opaque purple and red flashes on narrow edges. Aromatic and involved with fabulous natural fruit presence showing blackberry, mulberry, dark chocolate, plums, olives, earth, a touch of acid as well as oak. Twelve years of bottle age points to some complexities. The palate has concentrated flavours of the 2005 super-ripe blackberry, spicy plum, dark chocolate, and pepper as well as apparent natural fruit acidity. The juicy, mysterious, tannins have a great length and line, which ensures the wine, lingers for an extended period while the oak stands in place perfectly and allows the natural fruit acid and notes of pepper to give additional length. The wine is best left to breathe for some 20 minutes before consuming, even for this older 2005.

Mungo Park is a single vineyard wine sourced from the famed sub-region – the Moppa and near the Kalimna Vineyard, which is the mother vineyard of "Grange". The vines themselves are up to 80-year-old, and they are cropped, using green harvesting, at less than 3.5 tonnes to the acre. Grapes handpicked at dawn, it receives fermentation, like our top wines, Exile and Émigré, which is conducted in small open-top fermenters, followed by malolactic fermentation and ageing in 100 per cent new French oak barrels.

Mungo Park was an 18th century Scotsman who explored Nigeria, West Africa. Mungo Park comes from a single vineyard series that owes its existence to the many great blocks of old-vine Shiraz that have remained since the early settlers arrived. The vines are 80 years old gnarled Shiraz.

The Mungo Park vineyard is found in one of the most cooling climate sections of the Northern Barossa Valley – the Moppa, just down the road from the Kalimna Vineyard, which is the mother vineyard too 'Penfolds Grange'.

Score not bad: 94AG, 92JS, RP91, on which Jay Miller ( writes, "The purple-coloured 2006 Mungo Park Shiraz sourced from 120-year-old vines. The nose reveals wood smoke, game, lavender, and intense blueberries that jump from the glass. Made in an elegant style, this tasty Shiraz is smooth-textured, concentrated, and impeccably balanced. It will offer a drinking window from 2012 to 2025.

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