Summer wine reviews by Tyson Stelzer

98 POINTS // $1000



Bin 95 2019

In a warm and dry season like 2019, the risk of Grange becoming looming and foreboding was very real indeed. While the inimitable presence
and magnitude of Grange are here in full measure, what I love about this release is that the personality of the Barossa first and foremost, followed by McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Clare Shiraz leap from the glass in all of their spicy, glossy, black-fruited glory. This is a brilliant Grange which makes a tremendous declaration of the power of blending in carefully singling out the very finest sites to produce a wine of incredible poise and purity, even in a season as hot and dry as this.

97 POINTS // $52



Eden Valley Riesling 2023

2021, 2022 and 2023 are a magical trilogy of vintages for Julius like I have never seen in my lifetime and never expect to see again. The classic purity of the third cool season in a row is a marvel in itself, but what makes this release truly exceptional is the fanaticism of Prue Henschke and her team to completely transcend the challenges of the rains that afflicted the year. This is the quintessential cool season Eden Valley Riesling, projecting the most pure lily fragrance, heralding a pristine palate of talc, kaffir lime and granny smith apple. A high tensile spring of tightly coiled, crystalline natural acidity completes a vintage infused with decades of glorious potential.

96 POINTS // $50



Eden Valley Riesling 2020

There’s a fine-boned mood to this vintage of Steingarten that belies its warm and low-yielding season. A core of preserved lemon and kaffir lime is already well progressed on its journey toward toast and spice, held steady by an impeccable line of high-tensile acidity that will see it out for the long-haul.

96 POINTS // $65


The Tri-Centenary

Barossa Grenache 2021

The glorious essence of Grenache and a grand tribute to 820 bush vines planted in Vine Vale in 1889, this is a wine that has elevated in the wonderful 2021 season, preserved in all its magnificent detail under screw cap for the first time. Its fragrance is captivating, its whole bunch complexity impeccable, its fine-boned texture enthralling and its persistence haunting. Yalumba’s heritage with Grenache is approaching two centuries, and this wine epitomises its greatness.

95 POINTS // $80

St Hugo

Daniel Ricciardo

D3R South Australia Shiraz 2021

I love the bright, pure fruit integrity of the cool 2021 harvest and the way it is expressed eloquently and gracefully here, harmoniously supported by 25 per cent new French oak. There’s a classic beauty and endurance at play here, intricately framed in fine, confident tannins that will see it through two decades in the cellar. Fruit sourcing is not declared, but it is clearly founded fair and square on great vineyards of the Barossa.

94 POINTS // $80


The Steeple

Barossa Valley Shiraz 2019

Planted in 1919, the 2019 vintage marks a monumental moment in the life of these biodynamically grown Light Pass vines. They have risen to the moment, capturing this warm and dry season in all of its depth and weight of concentrated dark berries, satsuma plums, liquorice and high cocoa dark chocolate. French oak weaves a firm, fine-grained framework and medium-term promise.

94 POINTS // $27

Pewsey Vale


Eden Valley Riesling 2023

The legendary Pewsey Vale vineyard is in a magnificent place in the cool and wet 2023 season, styling a classic take on Eden Valley Riesling, blessed with all the endurance promised by the greatest seasons. The cool mood of the year is projected in great intensity and purity of kaffir lime, granny smith apple and an eloquent touch of star fruit. Clean, pure, natural acid drive carries a long finish of simmering potential.

96 POINTS // $54

Pewsey Vale
The Contours Eden Valley Riesling
10 Year Museum Reserve 2013

The slow-motion evolution and enduring promise of Pewsey Vale are patently and gloriously apparent at a full decade of age. A core of pristine lemon and lime belie its age, bathed in a glorious overlay of toast, butter, spice and silky, seamless texture. It’s irresistibly enticing at this age, and will easily go another decade still.

95 POINTS // $200

RWT Bin 798
Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021

The full splay of depth and impact of the northern and central Barossa are on grand parade here, brimming with succulent berry/cherry/plum fruit, layers of milk and dark chocolate, all set off with a firm fanfare of super-fine, enduring Penfolds tannins. For all the bright definition of the season, this is an opulent, powerful and brooding Bin 798 of strong proportions and potential.

95 POINTS // $35

Pewsey Vale
1961 Block Eden Valley Riesling 2022

At more than 60 years of age, there is a resolute confidence to these grand old Pewsey vines, infused in a core of impressive fruit concentration and definition. The marvellous, cool 2022 season infuses tension and brightness, while a year-and-a-half of maturity draws our subtle complexity of toast and preserved lemon. The essence of Pewsey, captivating from the outset, yet infused with enduring promise for the decades to come.

94 POINTS // $40

Vine Vale Grenache 2022

These grand old vines of 73 and 93 years of age have come alive in the cool 2022 season, brimming with depth of spice and the pot pourri fragrance of whole bunch fermentation. I love the way it effortlessly unites reverberating depth and kaleidoscope complexity with energy and verve. A long finish is held in suspended animation by fine-grained tannins.

94 POINTS // $48

The Steading 2021

The density and richness that is Torbreck are in a wonderful place in the vibrancy, lift and natural acid brightness of the cool 2021 harvest, making for a fantastic Steading. It’s filled with deep, dark, spicy black fruits of all kinds, set to a fine-grained tannin structure that captures Ian Hongell’s ever-rising talent with building magnificent texture. A brilliant Steading and sensational value.

94 POINTS // $38

The Steading Blanc 2022

The cool 2022 season wonderfully agitates the tension of this Rhône blend, with a wonderfully crunchy pear and vibrant citrus lift to its core of apricot and fig, basking in spice. It’s vibrant, long and fine-grained, with beautifully managed textural finesse. The interplay between acidity, flesh and subtle phenolic texture is next level, at once fine-grained and mineral, bright and tangy and yet also polished and slippery, setting this apart as the finest under this label yet.

94 POINTS // $150

The Factor 2020

The 2020 vintage has delivered a Factor of impressive density and ripeness, signature Barossa Shiraz layered with plum liqueur and spicy blackberry fruit, accented with liquorice and dark chocolate. For all of its richness it’s accurately centred on a core of fruit brightness and integrity, framed in fine-grained tannins. A Factor of awe and magnitude that encapsulates the modern era of Torbreck and the marriage of brightness with density in wines of beauty and longevity.

93 POINTS // $40

Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling 2023

2023 makes a grand statement for Bin 51, a season that captures the full depth of intensity and the grand expanse of exoticism of Riesling, all the while delivering accentuated floral lift and a shard of pure freshness that proclaim its cool season. A core of lemon and lime is generously embellished with star fruit, golden kiwi, persimmon and fig. It closes out with both succulent body and taut acid line, projecting outstanding line and length in the presence of impressive concentration.

93 POINTS // $85

Utopos Shiraz 2021

As cool as 2021 was in the Barossa by modern standards, the temperatures of the key months of January through March were actually in line with long-term averages, making this a classic season in the region. This wine encapsulates this more articulately than any other I have tasted, harking back to a bygone era when Barossa Shiraz carried a refreshingly medium-bodied refinement, fantastic tannin framework and enduring longevity.

93 POINTS // $30

Hillside Vineyard Shiraz
and Roussanne 2022

This is a blend that contrasts the black-fruited, juicy, classic mood of Torbreck with the wonderfully vibrant violet lift and tangy berry brightness of the cool 2022 season. Tannins are super fine and mineral, with a wonderful texture that will hold its confidence in the cellar for the short-term. The result is not only one of the best Hillsides to date, it’s one of the finest Torbreck wines at this price point ever.

93 POINTS // $27

Peggy's Hill Eden Valley Riesling 2023

The cool and wet 2023 season in the Eden Valley favoured the most meticulous growers, and the fanaticism of Henschke has delivered one of the greats in the lineage of Peggy’s Hill. This is a very serious take on cool season Eden Valley Riesling at a friendly price. An intense core of kaffir lime, crunchy granny smith apple and tense, electric acidity confirm medium-term promise.

93 POINTS // $66

Keyneton Euphonium 2019

The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc and Merlot lends a distinctly Bordelaise tone to Barossa Shiraz, which leads the blend at a touch over 50 per cent. The warm, dry 2019 season is structured with 18 months maturation in mostly seasoned, predominantly French oak hogsheads. This builds scaffolding for the cellar, with a fine, rigid frame of well-crafted tannins nicely freshened with vibrant fruit integrity.

92 POINTS // $85

Mataro Shiraz Grenache 2021

There’s a lifted elegance to this elevated site on the Greenock/Marananga border, never more pronounced than in the cool 2021 season. Kym Teusner has turned the traditional Barossa GSM upside down and made Mataro the feature, comprising more than half of the blend. The result is the antithesis of a fruity quaffer; a seriously framed style of brittle structural tension for the long-haul.

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