Commanded by ELDERTON COMMAND SHIRAZ (2003)
My Fellow Inebriates,
When my parents nixed the Star Wars liquor cabinet, it was my mum turning the killjoy switch. My dad agreed that thing is epic, although he stopped short of agreeing it was ideal for our new headquarters.
…Which is pretty awesome too, although in an obviously different direction. Honestly, I’m not sure it would go with our art. And, more troublingly, a highfalutin cabinet like this one cries out for spectacular wine in a price range—ahem—above ours.
Only one such wine has crossed our doorstep recently, courtesy of the inestimable Christine, whose booze expertise would be necessary to outfit such posh furniture.
Several weeks have elapsed since Christine brought over the Barossa Valley Shiraz in question, ELDERTON COMMAND (2003). A suitable grieving period had to pass before I could reflect on it, and even now it’s painful to contemplate the empty bottle.
For several years Christine had been saving, if not strictly cellaring, the bottle, which originally came from her brother, and we were honored to partake. While she didn’t build it up to be all that, she did advise some extra breathing time for it, which we whiled away with some less pedigreed hooch.
There’s nothing more sensorially expanding than the trade-up from barnyardy plonk to a silky, plush Barossa Valley Shiraz. It’s like turning from your moon-crater-examining backyard telescope to the freaking Hubble. In fact, I barely remember what wine we were sipping before Christine unleashed ELDERTON COMMAND.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh does not cover it, my fellow inebriates. A rich, jewel-toned purple, ELDERTON COMMAND exudes bounteous aromas of plum and blackcurrent underlaid by American and French oak, presaging its total seduction of the palate.
The first sip is immensely mouth-filling, enchanting the palate with luxuriant dark fruit, teasing hints of violet and vanilla plus the sense that chocolate is in the same room somewhere nearby. How many angels can dance on the head of the pin? gasps your brain’s reward center as it fumbles willingly toward utter enthrallment, incognizant that the small clichés your tongue might summon to explain this wine’s power are just that trite.
Now, much of our descriptive helplessness owes to LBHQ’s ongoing adherence to the $15-20 price range. COMMAND commands $90, which puts us in Christine’s debt for exposing us to this rapturous product.
According to oenophiles who actually know what they’re talking about, 2003 was a rough year for the Barossa Valley, demanding a special artistry from vintners. That Elderton soared above its fellow producers with this inky, complex, and concentrated Shiraz speaks volumes about Elderton’s virtuosity. Smooth and lingering, COMMAND offers the sort of soul-enslaving depth you won’t find in an everyday wine, and at 14.5% alcohol it will get you freaking hammered.