Winter Wine Reviews
The Barossa Mag is proud to welcome highly acclaimed wine writer, Tyson Stelzer to the team as he reviews 20 wines from the region.
He brings with him a wealth of knowledge, spanning back to the day he first fell in love with wine whilst tasting “the great 1996 vintage” in Barossa cellar doors, 20 years ago. Since that time, Tyson has forged out a career as a multi-award winning wine writer, television host, international keynote speaker, tour host and wine show chairman and judge.
The host and producer of television series, “People of the Vines Barossa and Tasmania”, has also written 15 wine books, including Barossa Wine Traveller, and is a regular contributor to 15 magazines. He was named International Wine & Spirit Communicator of the Year 2015, Australian Wine Communicator of the Year 2015 and 2013 and International Champagne Writer of the Year 2011.
Tyson is the author of the Barossa Wine School curriculum, taught around the world and is a sixth generation descendent of an early settler of the Barossa Valley. As such, he is proud to be anointed as a Baron of the Barossa and feels a connection to Stelzer Road in Tanunda, where his grandfather grew up in the Stelzer homestead and cultivated bush vines.
His wife, Rachael is the niece of Rob and Anna Schrapel of Bethany Wines and they enjoy regular visits to the Barossa from their home in Brisbane where they live with their sons, Linden, Huon and Vaughn.
Please find following Tyson’s winter selection and discover some true gems of the Barossa.
Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 2012
97 Points // $100
An epic Stonewell, infused with monumental density of black plum and blackberry fruit, masterfully supported by dark chocolate oak. For all of its commanding volume, it is never broad nor heavy, pulled obediently into line by finely structured yet confidently enduring tannins of great definition. It culminates in a finish of astonishing line and length. Irresistible now, it will confidently live for two decades.
Henschke Mount Edelstone Eden Valley 2014
96 Points // $225
Released before the 2013, this is an enthrallingly evocative and elegant Mount Edelstone. It’s infused with deep yet refined succulent blueberry fruits, savoury spice, white pepper and layered complexity of exotic spice, culminating in a refined and approachable finish of finely structured tannins. It lingers very long and accurate. A characterful and accurate expression of the 102-year-old vines of this celebrated vineyard and one of the greats under this label.
Dutschke St Jakobi Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014
95 Points // $40
The more challenging seasons define the greatest vineyards and the most talented winemakers. Dutschke’s most famous wine bears testimony to this great site in Lyndoch, lacking nothing in depth and character of black fruits, while presenting a more precise, spicy and tangy demeanour that spells both immediate allure and compelling endurance. Bravo.
Yalumba The Signature Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2013
$95 Points // $60
A grand vintage for The Signature, seamlessly contrasting the succulent blueberry fruits of Shiraz with the blackcurrants and tobacco leaf of Cabernet, framed in a finely scaffolded and enduring cage of impeccable tannins. It has all the ingredients to go the distance (except for a screw cap).
Teusner MC Sparkling Shiraz 2010
94 Points // $65
The great 2010 season in the Barossa was particularly endearing for sparkling reds, blessed with plush black cherry and plum fruit and liquorice and yet medium-bodied restraint and definition. Kym Teusner has captured it impeccably, with supple allure, fine-grained structure, dark chocolate oak, creamy bead and lingering persistence. One of the great vintages for MC, and it’s only going to get better with a few more years in bottle.
Teusner Albert Barossa Shiraz 2014
94 Points // $65
2014 will never go down as a blockbuster season in the Barossa, but in the right hands there is a spicy allure and tangy lift to this vintage that provides a beautiful contrast to the deep black plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit of Barossa Shiraz. Dark chocolate oak and finely textured tannins support a long finish that epitomises alluring Teusner gloss.
Teusner The Wark Family Shiraz 2015
92 Points // $30
The Wark family vineyard captures the depth of black plum, black cherry and blackberry fruit of the great Stonewell district of the Barossa, beautifully presented by Kym Teusner and his team, polished with subtle dark chocolate oak, beautifully refined tannins and great persistence.
Thorn-Clarke Sandpiper Eden Valley Pinot Gris 2016
90 Points // $20
A Gris in a Grigio shape, pale, light and focused, with pear presence and lemon crunch, focused, fresh, fruity and spicy. A celebration of the personality of Gris and the cut of cool, estate Eden Valley vineyards.
Dutschke Oscar Semmler St Jakobi Vineyard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014
95 Points // $68
Oscar is St Jakobi on the next level of power, depth and concentration, which does not necessarily make it better. But in seasons of contemplative allure and poised restraint, the extra layers and intensity of Oscar are compelling indeed, and 2014 is the epitome. Black fruit power of seamless carry is underlined by bright acidity and compellingly fine tannins. Wow.
Seppeltsfield Para Grand Tawny NV
95 Points // $38
The masterful wizardry of one of Australia’s most celebrated fortified estates is packed into grand fruit intensity of dried fruits of all kinds, layered with magnificent aged complexity (more than 10 years average age). This is a tawny of gripping line and a finish that disappears beyond the horizon. It’s hard to believe it’s the youngest (and cheapest) child of the Para family. For all it represents, it’s great value, too. Masterful.
Yalumba The Virgilius Eden Valley Viognier 2015
95 Points // $45
Yalumba has for decades worked tirelessly to craft Viognier of poise, texture and complexity, while toning the exuberant tendencies of this bold variety, and recent vintages bear testimony to their resounding success. The latest iteration is an exemplar, seamlessly uniting elegant citrus with almost ripe apricots and spice that lingers until kingdom come.
Penfolds Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz 2014
95 Points // $90
A season of low yields and high temperatures, this is at first a savoury, gamey and charcuterie Marananga of firm, fine oak tannin structure that calls for time to integrate. In time, impressive presence and depth of dark berry fruits emerge. Fruit and classy dark chocolate oak carry with even line and great persistence, promising strong potential.
Penfolds RWT Bin 798 Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014
95 Points // $200
Renamed Bin 798 because that’s RWT on your phone, yet always RWT under the surface, this is a vintage that unites generous black and red fruits with dark chocolate oak, full and confident, with excellent fruit persistence backed by well-polished, finely structured tannins of great endurance. In line, length and poise, one of the great RWT’s, and a triumph for this low-yielding, warm, dry season.
Rockford Black Shiraz NV
94 Points // $64
The iconic Rockford Black Shiraz is as multifaceted as its vast depth of maturity predicts, with all the personality of old vine fruit ricocheting in black plum, black cherry, liquorice, even a hint of sarsaparilla, and the ever present, long-lingering delight of high cocoa dark chocolate. Age has brought notes of cedar, leather, mixed spice and orange liqueur. It’s magnificently finished with perfectly integrated dosage and firm, fine yet somehow creamy tannins that will sustain it for a good while yet.
Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling 2016
94 Points // $30
Sourced exclusively from the Woodbury Vineyard, this is at once beautifully refined and at the same time intense, rich and immediate, celebrating a wonderful harmony between floral lift and an intense fruit core of red and green apple, kaffir lime, lemon and even nuances of anise. It carries with outstanding persistence and wonderfully defined mineral structure.
Hentley Farm Black Beauty Sparkling Shiraz NV
93 Points // $62
This young sparkling Shiraz Viognier brims with the black plum and black cherry depth of the Barossa, layered with the dark chocolate character of French oak (40% new). For its age, based on the 2014 vintage, it pulls off the balance with consummate control, supported by well-toned, firm, fine tannins that will sustain it well into the future.
Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2015
92 Points // $24
It takes the talent and deep experience of the Yalumba outfit to coax such calm restraint and low alcohol precision from Viognier, and this vintage is the most elegant to date under this label. A pale, bright straw hue announces a crunchy style of pear, grapefruit and vanilla, concluding with the inimitable, spicy presence of Viognier.
Dutschke Sami St Jakobi Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
91 Points // $32
2014 is not a season to leap out of the glass and trumpet its greatness, but give it sufficient conversation and it will slowly unfold its story of bright varietal integrity, tangy structure, fine tannins and dark chocolate oak. One for the cellar.
Glaetzer Wallace By Ben Glaetzer Barossa Valley Shiraz Grenache 2015
91 Points // $23
Juicy red berry fruits and spice unite in a supple style that celebrates the fresh raspberry and strawberry character of Grenache, harmoniously united with the finely structured tannins and black fruit depth of Shiraz.
Thorn-Clarke Sandpiper Eden Valley Riesling 2016
90 Points // $20
A pale, tense and precise Eden Valley Riesling, coiled and tense in its youth, with
medium-term potential. Understated lemon, lime and granny smith apple fruit will blossom in time. Value.