Wednesday Wines – Episode 147 – A preview of 2018 The Eye of Rã by Ben Glaetzer

2018 The Eye of Rã by Ben Glaetzer, Unfiltered Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia – The UK price for the 2016 vintage of The Eye of Rã is £1000 for 3 bottles in bond.   The 2018 is soon to be released.

I was privileged to be the first person in the UK to taste the 2016 vintage of The Eye of Rã and a preview of the 2018 vintage of Ben Glaetzer’s extraordinary creation.  I imagine this super-luxe cuvée will make it to the UK following the inaugural, stellar 2016, and when it does, I can assure you this is an even more expressive wine.

I tasted 2018 The Eye of Rã the same week I tasted the 2020 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti releases, Spottswoode’s as yet unreleased 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, and on the same day that I tasted 2020 Ornellaia – all wines with immense scores in my notes and, of course, all world-class creations.

But more impressive, certainly to me, was the reaction from two South Australian members of the wine trade fraternity, neither of whom has any affiliation with Mr Glaetzer, who were both struck dumb by this wine.  They happened to be around on the day I opened this bottle, so I brought it along to a couple of meetings for them to taste.  One was open-mouthed, performing goldfish impressions, while the other was almost moved to tears as it brought back memories that she described as the ‘essence of the Barossa’!   When a wine has this degree of deliciousness, extraordinary build quality, and perhaps most importantly, a massive emotional hook, it does its job perfectly.

Made from the finest parcel of fruit in Ben’s Ebenezer vineyard, this is a wine that does not waver from its mission to graffiti Ben’s name on your palate with indelible Shiraz ink.  The volume of fruit is staggering, but its delivery is incredibly measured and even, and this is the trick.  Rã is not a monster wine but a monstrously long wine.  It is perfectly polished and amazingly spicy, with never-ending layers of fruit and immense class.  It is also drinking well, which is a surprise, but the 2018 vintage is generous with seamless fruit and unique allure.  I feel it will maintain its welcoming and rewarding attitude for two decades, so you are in no hurry to pop a cork!  While this icon wine has an iconic flavour, I must urge you to seek it out.  Imagine all of Ben’s experience and skill in just one bottle – Rã is it.  19.5+/20 (Drink now – 2040)