A dense singularity of black fruit power and high cocoa dark chocolate oak is the signature of Oscar, but it is lifted violet fragrance, fine-boned structure and energetic acid line that signal the greatest vintage. 2016 presents all this with profound impact, effortless line and haunting length. Benchmark Barossa.
I love the heights to which the Barossa can attain in rich density, grand complexity and profound persistence, but only the finest sites and most talented practitioners can unite this with the vibrancy of natural acidity, enduring tannin structure and neatly integrated oak. Wayne Dutschke has achieved this delicate balancing act in 2016 in a wine of show-stopping presence, concentration and undeviating line. Magnificent.
This single vineyard release from Saltram presents a modern Barossa Shiraz style of pristine black fruits and tightly integrated, sensitively deployed French oak, yet simultaneously captures the classic mood of the traditional Barossa style in a tightly-coiled structure of confident, fine, enduring tannins. The accord is captivating, testimony both to talented execution in the winery and to low-yielding vines on the Barossa Valley’s eastern ridge.
Pepperjack cemented its place in Australia’s Cabernet Shiraz hall of fame when the sibling of this label, Certified Shiraz Cabernet, took out the top trophy in my Great Australian Red competition not once but two years in succession. Maker Richard Mattner has summonsed the spirit of this country’s definitive blend in forging these two varieties together with seamless harmony, an exuberant celebration of deep black fruits, fine-tuned tannins and grand persistence.
The big end of town in the Barossa is at its most distinguished in the cooler seasons, and these old Ebenezer vines have clearly revelled in the 2017 vintage. All the glorious Amon-Ra layers of brooding black fruit are here, yet more vibrant and focused than ever, thanks to the energy of natural acidity and the support of finely structured tannins. Dark chocolate oak is perfectly gauged. One of the greatest Amon-Ras.
The cool 2017 season has produced a particularly pretty, spicy, even racy Turkey Flat Shiraz of vibrant purple hue and red-fruited grace. Raspberry, strawberry and red cherry fruit is accented with exotic spice and propelled by both a tart acid spine and an impressively fine tannin engine that will propel it long into the future.
Wayne and uncle Ken have been making this blend of Shiraz and Cabernet with a dash of Merlot from their legendary St Jakobi vineyard for almost 30 years now, and this is as bright, crunchy, characterful and gorgeous as ever. A slightly cooler season in the Barossa has elevated its fragrance, spicy and tangy red berry crunch, without perturbing its black fruits depth and impressive persistence. Bargain.
This is my kind of vintage in the Barossa – tangy, spicy, vibrant, energetic and characterful, while upholding the supple structure, glossy fruit and milk chocolate nuances that we expect of this fabled region. GHR is one of my perpetual go-tos for affordable Barossa and this vintage exemplifies its mandate of impressive fruit integrity and skilful winemaking as confidently as any.
A beautifully supple Grenache of spicy berry compote, plum, rhubarb and violet detail is graced with magnificent dark fruit depth and nuances of dark chocolate. A Grenache of outstanding line, length and character, finishing with some alcohol warmth that adds suppleness without heat.
An impressively characterful GSM that seamlessly unites the raspberry, strawberry and rhubarb of Grenache with the black fruit depth and fragrance of Shiraz and the savoury balance of Mataro. The expansive mood and textured structure of large foudres are flattering here. At 15% of the Richter scale, it rumbles with some warm and supple though not hot alcohol.
I love the cool seasons in the Barossa, and 2017 has blessed the old Shiraz vines of Ebenezer with magnificent lift and vibrant poise. Red cherry and plum fruit is lifted by fragrant rose hip and spice, energised by vibrant acidity and structured with graceful tannins. A great Bishop.
From a single parcel of 1930s Grenache near Tanunda, this is a fragrant and eloquent vintage that articulately captures the personality of this beautiful variety. Fragrant, herbal and brightly red berry fruited, it unites vibrant acidity with a finely textured, seamlessly integrated yet confident tannin frame. Expertly crafted, benchmark Barossa Grenache.
Capturing the fragrant perfume, juicy berry fruit core and vibrant acid line of varietal Merlot in the context of the generosity and depth that define the Barossa is no simple task. Wayne Dutschke has done it again, and conjured one of the best and more affordable Merlots in the region. I don’t often drink Aussie Merlot flying solo (the Merlot flying solo, that is, not me!), but I like this wine a lot.
Layers of black fruits and spice are accented with the impressive black pepper of a cool season and the fine emery board tannins imparted by Roussanne skins. A clever crafted style of gentle grip and personality makes for a wine of classy texture and cool tension. It’s great value, too!
The spicy strawberry and raspberry of the Barossa meet the savoury complexity of Mataro and old barrels, making for a style of character and complexity that is unashamedly, proudly and refreshingly Barossa – in a category so often devoid of regional identity and interest. It’s more about texture and impressive line and persistence than flavour – and it is all the better for it.
An impeccably melded blend that celebrates the cool 2017 season in the northern Barossa in a fragrant bouquet of pot pourri, tangy red berry fruits and layers of exotic spice. A juicy and fruity palate is beautifully brightened by cool season tang and backed by fine tannins of Ben Glaetzer polish. An enticing quaffer and a great bargain.
It’s no easy juggling act to uphold the varital hallmarks of Cabernet Sauvignon within the density and impact of the Barossa. The Saltram team have conjoured another great release in the long lineage of Mamre Brook, framing the deep blackcurrant character of Cabernet in the dark chocolate of fine-grained French oak. Bright acidity and mouth-coating, firm, fine tannins confirm long potential in the cellar.
A union between the exuberance of young Eden Valley Shiraz and the savouriness of 60-70 year old Barossa Valley Mataro, this is a flamboyant, young blend of crunchy berry compote character, with firm tannins and a short finish. A flamboyant quaffing style, more about fruit than oak or method.
The tension and lemon purity of this cool, high site makes for an energetic and vibrant Semillon, with a touch of toasty lanolin and preserved lemon complexity and texture from a hint of barrel fermentation. It holds with excellent drive, line and length, with plenty of stamina to age long.
The richness of spicy apple and the succulence of white nectarine meet the exotic notes of mandarin and the structure of grapefruit. An approachable and fleshy style of finely textured structure and good length. It meets its aspiration of being neither fat nor razor blade, making it right to drink right away.