20 Years of Three Rivers Chris Ringland Shiraz

A retrospective tasting in the Valley Barossa

Degusted by Dirk R. Notheis (FINE Weinmagazin, Germany)

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Chris-Ringland1On November 8, 2016 I convened the second  20 vintage retrospective “three rivers” Chris Ringland Shiraz tasting at my residence on the Stone Chimney Creek vineyard.

  1. 1989 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 96 P
    Medium body, vermilion colour with some brown brightenings. Deep nose with scents of herbage bunch, fresh chamomile, grain of mustard seed, dried pears and a mix of black fruits. On the palate iridescent sweetness hitting with an elegant flow of liquid St Lucie cherries, passion fruit, caramel, dried raisins and chocolate coated pears. Concentrated sweetness and considerable length in a finish of more than fifty seconds.
  2. 1990 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 98 P
    Medium body with dark crimson colour to the rim. Massive and complex nose with dark malt, dried cherries, sweet mustard, dried mango chips, saddle leather and dried mulberries. On the palate stunning ballance of acidity and alcohol with concentrated texture and an overture with powerful sweetness of banana chips, sweet red cherries, raisins, followed by liquid dark chocolate, nutmeg and dried plums. Elegance and sweetness in a finish of over a minute in length.
  3. 1991- Three Rivers Shiraz – 99 P
    Medium body with lighter crimson in colour. Deep nose with hints of mocca, cocoa, fruit in rum, mature red cherries and dried figs. Liquid caramel to the overture coating red and yellow fruits with a sweet and silky flow on the palate, followed by dried raspberries, concentrate of plums, vanilla bean, cinnamon and nutmeg in a finish of more than sixty seconds. A slightly finer and more delicate version than the gorgeous 1990 although both wines being of distinct and unique quality.
  4. 1992 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 94 P
    Medium body, vermilion in colour with few brown reflexes. Slight oxidation and sal ammoniac in the nose with soy sauce, dried fruits, fruit in rum and eucalyptus underneath. On the palate strong kick-off with freshly roasted coffee beans, black cherries, bouillon cube, chamomile and dried mulberries. Sweet and complex finish of over forty seconds showing a kaleidoscope of mature flavours.
  5. 1993 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 99 P
    Medium body with a dark crimson up to the rim. Sweet and concentrated nose with decanted Coke, dried fruit, dark chocolate, cordial, thick soy sauce, cassis and rosted bread crust. Powerfull and dense opening on the palate with blackberries, black cherries compote, mint, fruitcake follwed by mint camphor coated with dark chocolate (After Eight), herb garden and dried raisins. Complex and precise, with a finish of more than a minute and still a lot of future potential.
  6. 1994 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 95 P
    Medium body with a strong crimson colour. Spicy nose with scents of black pepper, red fruits, green olive tapenade, dark malt and bitter. On the palate considerable acidity in the start followed by a mix of red fruits, mango chips, herbage drops and Ceylon tea bag. The wine is dieing away slightly earlier than expected but with sheer elegance, precision and sweet fruit in a finish of more than forty seconds.
  7. 1995 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 97 P
    Medium body with a dark purple colour. Complex nose with spice box, ripe cherry fruit, soy sauce, fruitcake, dried mulberries and sweet pipe tabacco. Considerable opening on the palate with black cherries, cassis liqueur, vanilla pod further developing with dark chocolate, rosemary and dried raisins. Finish of more than fifty seconds, still youthful and fresh with lots of future potential.
  8. 1996 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 100 P
    Full body with dark purple colour to the rim. Creamy nose with toffee, sweet amarena cherries, liquid dark chocolate, black truffles, dried banana, raspberry brandy and a pinch of spiciness by scents of cardamom. Considerable but silky flow kicking-off on the palate with juice of sour cherries, chocolate truffle and dried mangos followed by sweet cherries and a mineral freshness balancing each other out in a sheer endless finish of almost minutes. Balance, depth, , complexity, sweetness and salubriousness at the same time with still significant future potential. What a wine!
  9. 1998 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 99 P
    Medium to full body, dark crimson colour. Deep and complex nose with vanilla pastry, concentrated cherry fruit, liquid dark chocolate, white truffle, fruitcake, candied kumquats, cinnamon stick, violets and anise. Super concentrated kick-off on the palate with mineral freshness at the same time and a silky flow of sweet and sour mix of mango purée and passion fruit, sweet cherries, roasted bread crust and dark caramell with a finish of more than sixty seconds. The wine is still at an infant stage but showing already his grandeur.
  10. 1999 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 99 P
    Medium to full body, dark purple colour to the rim. Very concentrated nose of ripe red cherries, crème brullée, light toffee, grated macadamia nuts, dried banana chips and raspberry brandy. Soft but powerful start with silky flow and considerable but sweet tannins, sour cherries, nougat, liquid dark chocolate fondant followed by further development on the palate with cola, raisins, dried fig and a refreshing saltiness in the finish of more than a minute. The wine is just at the beginning of its development but already vibrant in its fruit, complexity and mineral precision.
  11. 2000 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 93 P
    Medium to full body, crimson in colour with an opaque core. Deep and elegant nose with red fruit, cigar box, dried plums and black olive zests. On the palate spicy kick-off with vegetable stock, lovage and olive tapenade followed by juice of ripe black currants, tar and herb garden with a finish of fourty seconds. A bit slimer, more elegant but still deep and a considerable achievement in a challenging vintage. Further future potential to watch.
  12. 2001 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 98 P
    Medium to full body, dark crimson colour. Complex and sweet nose with pipe tabacco, ripe raspberries, grains of mustard seed, menthol and freshly cut fennel. Beautiful velvety but highly concentrated start on the palate with dark toffee, black cherries, raspberries, spice box and candied oranges followed by cinnamon and violets in a finish of more than sixty seconds. Fascinating precision and definition in the fruit as well as great potential for aging.
  13. 2002 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 98 P
    Full body, dark purple colour. Super concentrated nose of ripe red fruit, mango purée, dark toffee, dried bananas, rosemary and Herbes de Provence. Liquid silk hitting the palate right at the front with sweet black cherries, tamped raspberries, dark caramell and in the further development supplemented by cardamom, rooibos-vanilla tea and herb molasses. Sheer endless finish of more than a minute with freshness and saltiness. Still young but already a great joy to drink.
  14. 2003 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 97 P
    Medium to full body, very dark crimson colour. Dense nose with scents of black cherries, garden lovage, fennel, violets, orange zests, soy sauce and South-East-Asian spice box. Strong kick-off on the palate with red and dark fruits, mulberries, dried fig, sweet pipe tabacco and both a spicy and creamy finish of fifty seconds with considerable but sweet tannins. Interesting to follow the future development of this wine!
  15. 2004 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 100 P
    Full body with dark purple colour. Highly concentrated and complex nose with captivating perfume of pickled raspberries, black truffles, dark toffee, fennel, eucalyptus, Oolong tea, violets and a pintch of black pepper. What a both silky and thick texture hitting the palate with unique balance of acidity and alcohol leaving the sweet cherry fruit floating on a carpet of dark toffee and chocolate fondant, sprinkled with cardamom, dried fruit and liquid crème brullée in a never ending finish. This wine is nothing else but sensational!
  16. 2005 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 97 P
    Full body, deep purple colour. Concentrated nose of ripe cherries, raspberries, boysenberries, truffle, roasted breadcrumbs, orange zest and gum. Silky flow on the palate with noticeable but sweet tannins, black fruits, vanilla pod, cardamom, banana chips, smoked ham and concentrate of black cherries with a finish of more than sixty seconds. A strong and intelligent baby with lots of future!
  17. 2006 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 96 P
    Medium to full body with dark purple colour. Deep and complex nose with bunch of fresh vegetables, saddle leather, cigar box, dried mulberries, green bell pepper, red currant and cassis liqueur. Cool kick-off on the palate with cassis fruit, Oolong tea, chamomile, minerality with freshly cut bell pepper, stewed apples and unfolded acidity. Smoky finish of more than fifty seconds with roasted bread crust and black currant juice dominating. Lighter texture compared with other Three Rivers but the wine doesn’t need it to impress. Defined, slim but deep with characteristics almost like a top Australian Cabernet.
  18. 2007 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 99 P
    Full body with dark purple colour. Freshness and fruitiness in the concentrated and profound nose garnished with creamyness and spicyness by toffee, cardamom, sweet saddle leather, dried fruit, ripe cherries and banana chips. Considerable kick-off on the palate with wonderful minerality and saltiness coating a bouquet of red fruits, freshly cut vanilla pod, steak tartar, black truffles, dark toffee, morello cherries, rasper of dark chocolate and a pinch of black pepper. A wine with a phenomenal future but already compelling to drink and besides its weight so salubrious thanks to its mineral characteristics.
  19. 2008 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 100 P
    Full body with deep and dark purple colour. Bacchanal sweet nose with dried banana chips, fruit in rum, fruitcake, pickled plums, compote of blueberries, violets, cardamom, passion fruit and chocolate muffin. Iridescent sweetness hitting the palate with a thick and dense but silky texture. Dried fruit and banana chips do the kick-off followed by sweet cherry fruit, light toffee, macadamia nuts, vanilla cream, blueberry muffin, glacé cherry and liquid milk chocolate in a sheer endless finish of multiple minutes. Already a delicacy of unique character with lots of future potential but no reason to wait. It’s just too tempting!
  20. 2009 – Three Rivers Shiraz – 99 P
    Medium to full body with sparkle purple colour. Highly complex, fine and fresh nose with compote of rhubarb, thick soy sauce, mashed strawberries, dried figs, passion fruit and dark chocolate. Pure elegance on the palate with the ease of a dancing prima ballerina coating the roof oft he mouth despite an amazing concentration. Silky texture in the kick-off floating with aromas of dried strawberries, red currants, purée of fresh mangos, steak tartar, banana chips and pickled capers which add freshness and saltiness to the finish of more than a minute. The wine has huge potential whilst being almost irresistible at this infant stage.