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1999 – The Inaugural Laughing Jack Shiraz

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The 1990’s served the Barossa well with many great vintages and amazing wines coming out of this decade.  The 1999 Laughing Jack Shiraz was no exception!

1999 The Inaugural Vintage of Laughing Jack

Vintage 1999 offered little other than hot dry weather, resulting in low yields after the plentiful supply from 1998.  Handpicking on the Kalleske property in Greenock commenced on 26th April in the 1964 Shiraz vineyard.  The grapes were loaded onto the truck and as the vineyard comradery goes everyone took their guess at the weight.  A young and eager Shawn (24yrs) voiced his guess of 5.4 tonnes… and spot on 5.4 tonnes it was!

So Began Laughing Jack Wines

Shawn purchased the fruit from his father and a total of 352 cases of glorious old vine Shiraz was produced. Besides a few dozen held back for museum stock almost the entire production was sold to the US market.

Tonight upon opening, the cork of this now 18yr old wine was in perfect condition.  The colour was lighter with a red core and a touch of brownish red on the outer rim.

The nose was faint on the primary fruit front but a touch of cherry evident with earthy notes, cocoa, coffee, eucalypt and black tea.  There was plenty of leathery characters consistent with aged wine from this area.

The palate was reasonably generous for the age of the wine but overall very soft, acid and tannin structure mostly dissipated.  The peak of the 1999 may have been a year or 2 ago and therefore suggest to drink now or over the next 2-4 years while it plateau’s before it’s steady yet inevitable decline.


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