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Summer wine reviews by Tyson Stelzer

96 POINTS // $65

TEUSNER

ALBERT

BAROSSA VALLEY

SHIRAZ 2017

Long a mainstay of Teusner’s range, Albert has forever been my favourite, and confidently remains the best, even as his portfolio expands upwards and outwards. Its black fruit depth, fragrant violet allure, deeply spicy complexity and dark chocolate undercurrent marry magnificently with finely confident tannins, the balanced acid poise of the cool 2017 season and fantastic persistence.

95 POINTS // $65

TEUSNER PAGE

BAROSSA

CABERNET SAUVIGNON

2017

Cabernet loves the Barossa’s cooler seasons, and 2017 unites the Barossa and Eden Valleys to commanding effect here. Deep, fragrant blackcurrant, cassis and violet are backed by a confident undercurrent of French oak, building a fine yet enduring framework of impressive tannin structure. It lingers very long.

93 POINTS // $26

HEGGIES

VINEYARD ESTATE

EDEN VALLEY RIELSING

2018

Another fantastic Heggies Riesling that delivers varietal precision, fruit concentration and energy. Even 18 months post-vintage, it upholds a bright colour, while its tension, focus and acid line maintain exacting precision amidst impressive, spicy fruit presence, drive and cut. It’s magnificent now and will age confidently.

93 POINTS // $25

PEWSEY VALE

EDEN VALLEY

RIESLING 2019

Pewsey Vale presents tension, purity and classic, focused stamina that make for an enduring style in a season so often characterised by ripe approachability. A long and honed finish of excellent acid drive defines a coiled and long-ageing release. Patience.

96 POINTS // $39.99

Leo Buring
Mature Release
Eden Valley Riesling 2013

The poise, purity and sheer, bombastic acid focus at six years of age is testimony to the remarkable stamina and longevity of this sensational Leonay. Even now, it is but half way through its journey toward even commencing its drinking window, cut with a razor line of lemon juice acidity, evolving in slow motion to preserved lemon, buttered toast and deep spice. A sensation.

95 POINTS // $30

Grant Burge
The Vigneron Reserve
Eden Valley Riesling 2015

A Riesling of concentration and tension, capturing the exuberance of the 2015 season and framing it in focused lemon, lime and granny smith apple crunch, evolving slowly and subtly into toast and honey. It holds spectacular line and length, charged with fantastic acid drive.

95 POINTS // $50

Steingarten
Barossa Riesling 2018

Steingarten is a singularity, a piercing core of exact lemon, lemon and granny smith apple, to which 18 months of life have added spice, toast and honey in subtle measure, yet upholding tense, youthful focus in acid line and persistence, promising a very long future indeed.

94 POINTS // $25

Sons of Eden
Freya
Eden Valley Riesling
2019

A classy and sensitive take on the 2019 season, Freya perfectly balances the friendly fruit profile of a dry, low-yielding season with excellent acid poise and a long and even finish. Impressive confidence and presence abound, while upholding vibrant energy and focus.

94 POINTS // $27.50

Dandelion Vineyards
Enchanted Garden
of the Eden Valley
Riesling 2019

Snatched from the vines at the perfect instant of ripeness, this is a Riesling that presents brilliant tension, energy and endurance exceedingly rare in the 2019 season. Built for the long-haul, it’s honed, chiselled and streamlined, riding a tense line of cool acidity that draws out a finish of razor focus and grand persistence. Patience.

93 POINTS // $150

First Drop
The Cream
Barossa Valley Shiraz
2016

The big end of town too often lost its way in the warm 2016 season in the Barossa, but Matt Gant’s flagship unites Ebenezer, Greenock and Seppeltsfield at full ripeness with long ageing in American and (mostly) French oak, while upholding fruit definition, freshness, focus and integrity on a long finish. This is no
simple balancing act. Kudos.

93 POINTS // $45

Bethany
Blue Quarry
Barossa Valley
Grenache 2018

Bethany’s rebrand is more than just label-deep, launching this historic brand into an exciting and modern style of vibrant fruit purity and freshness. This Grenache exemplifies the evolution, showcasing the vibrant purity of Barossa Grenache in all of its spicy, tangy, red-fruited glory. It’s irresistible now, but provenance demonstrates that it will age magnificently, too.

93 POINTS // $50

John Duval Wines
Entity Barossa Shiraz
2017

Picked a full month later than 2016, John Duval treated the elegant 2017 season sensitively, without too much extraction, whole bunches or oak. Entity exudes the calm poise that can only come from a long, relaxed ripening season, uniting considerable depth of Barossa black fruits with fantastic natural acidity and finely crafted tannins.

92 POINTS // $20

Thorn-Clarke
Sandpiper
Eden Valley Riesling
2019

Thorn-Clarke has captured fantastic purity and precision in a season so often tropical and overripe in other hands. Impeccable ripeness defines a style of floral fragrance, delicate fruit liveliness and beautifully focused acid line. Enticing from day one, it holds medium-term promise.

92 POINTS // $40

John Duval Wines
Plexus
Barossa Shiraz Grenache
Mourvèdre 2017

I like the way the Barossa’s cooler seasons draw out the spice, tang and precision of its reds. John Duval has achieved this without sacrificing the depth and personality that define the Barossa, making for a blend that unites flesh with finely structure tannins, well-gauged dark chocolate oak and impressive persistence.

91 POINTS // $40

Mountadam Vineyards
The Red High Eden
2016

Cabernet and Merlot from the lofty High Eden have achieved full ripeness here, while upholding the lively acidity of this altitude. Deep black fruits and dark chocolate oak unite on a finish of considerable power and persistence, supported by finely structured tannins.

91 POINTS // $27.50

Paisley Wines
Velvet Barossa Valley
Grenache 2017

Derek Fitzgerald has always been very sensitive with his tannin management, and ‘velvet’ is an appropriate title for his Grenache. The cool 2017 season has produced a particularly spicy, tangy, even crunchy style of harmony, persistence and appeal.

91 POINTS // $27.50

Paisley Wines
Silk Barossa Valley
Shiraz 2017

2017 turned down the volume and impact of Barossa Shiraz and turned up the spice, the tang and the refreshing drive. This is a style of heightened red berry fruit freshness, drawn out long  and lively by a beautiful acid line and fine-ground tannins.

91 POINTS // $75

Sorby Adams
The Reverend Canon
Cabernet Shiraz
2016

Cabernet (two-thirds of the blend) brings structure and grip to the black fruit depth of Shiraz, bolstered confidently by the dark chocolate and roasted coffee bean character of 30 months in 30% new French oak hogsheads. Vibrant acidity and finely structured tannins define a long finish, promising considerable potential.

90 POINTS // $20

Sorby Adams
Jellicoe
Eden Valley Riesling
2019

The 30 year old vines in the high Jellicoe vineyard have produced a profoundly fragrant and floral Riesling in the concentrated, low yielding 2019 vintage, a powerful style of juicy, fleshy fruit succulence that is ready to drink right away. It’s faintly exotic and eminently friendly.

89 POINTS // $60

The Willows Vineyard
Bonesetter Barossa
Shiraz 2015

From Scholz’s oldest Shiraz vines, long aged in French oak barrels, this is a ripe, dry and savoury style in a traditional Barossa Shiraz mould. Fine tannins support great depth of ripe black fruits on a long finish.