The Best of the Best 2003: International Red Wines - 1999 Barossa Valley Estate E&E Black Pepper Shiraz

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Barossa Valley Estate originally started as a growers’ cooperative in 1985, when 80 third- and fourth-generation Barossa Valley growers united to address dwindling prices and disappearing markets. Years later, Aussie wine-industry giant BRL Hardy came on board as a partner, and the group opened a new $24 million winemaking facility, complete with surrounding vineyards, in late 2001.

The astonishing E&E Black Pepper Shirazis consistently one of Australia’s most thrilling wines. The intense 1999 Barossa Valley Estate E&E Black Pepper Shiraz delivers pure blackberry fruit and lovely spice leading into a long, complex

finish. It is a near-perfect expression of the no-holds-barred, fruit-driven Barossa style of this quintessentially Aussie varietal, and it makes the short list as flag-bearer for the Syrah variety, which is taking the wine world by storm.

Paige Poulos Communications, 510.528.0665; $85

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