Winter wine reviews by Tyson Stelzer

96 POINTS // $57


The Virgilius

Eden Valley Viognier 2022

It takes talent, experience and a cool season to achieve an intricate balance in Viognier between acid tension, phenolic grip, fruit flesh and creamy texture, and nobody in Australia achieves this like Yalumba. The 2022 Virgilius is set to go down as a benchmark exemplar, striking a delightful juxtaposition between silky texture, juicy fruit and dramatic phenolic/acid crunch. It ticks all the boxes of almost ripe apricot, peach kernel, fresh ginger and grapefruit, too. Could this be the greatest Australian viognier yet? Time shall tell!

96 POINTS // $99.99



Shiraz 2021

The grandeur of classic Glaetzer depth and density is in a magnificent place, energised by the cool and lively 2021 season, making for one of the greats in the lineage of Amon-Ra. Impressive power of black plum, blackberry and black cherry sits confidently atop liquorice and dark chocolate, framed in supple, fine-grained tannins of enduring confidence. Benchmark.

96 POINTS // $95

Jacob's Creek

Barossa Survivor Vines

Shiraz 2018

From a single vineyard planted in 1921 on the banks of Jacob’s Creek, this is quintessential Barossa Shiraz, rejoicing in the triumphant, glossy black fruit depth of the warm 2018 harvest, yet – crucially – presented with integrity, brightness and vitality, even at six years of age under cork. Classy dark chocolate oak and beautifully refined, fine-grained tannins complete a very slick Barossa Shiraz.

95 POINTS // $80

The Willows Vineyard


Shiraz 2021

These 1969 vines have risen to their 52nd harvest, setting a wonderful juxtaposition between the blackberry, satsuma plum and liquorice depth of Light Pass and the energy and lift of this cool vintage. French oak has been sensitively deployed to build integration and longevity without interrupting such beautifully defined fruit.

95 POINTS // $58

St Hallett


Shiraz 2020

A classic Blackwell that carries the black fruit depth of a warm season in the Barossa with lively confidence and accurate definition, beautifully supported by fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. A classy and ageworthy St Hallett that takes this vintage in its stride.

94 POINTS // $90

Paisley Wines

Texture Series

Lyndoch Shiraz 2019

Paisley’s single vineyard bottlings exemplify the diversity of Barossa terroir, and this is a beautiful take on the supple and endearing mood of Lyndoch in the south. Vines of more than 90 years of age have held their confidence, transcending the warmth of this drought vintage with a juicy core of red and black fruits, neatly framed in classy French oak.

94 POINTS // $55

John Duval Wines


Cabernet Sauvignon 2022

Uniting two-thirds Barossa Valley (high Moppa) and one-third Eden Valley (Hutton Vale), this is a Cabernet that delivers the compact depth of the Barossa with all the tension of this cool season. The result is textbook varietal integrity of blackcurrants, cassis and cigar box, well supported by high class dark chocolate French oak. Firm, fine tannins and bright acidity make this a Cabernet for the future.

93 POINTS // $28

Corryton Burge


Grenache 2022

The cool 2022 season lifts the rose hip fragrance and the tangy brightness of Grenache. Fine-grained tannins and energetic acidity make for an ageworthy style that presents spicy black and red berry fruit with even harmony and good persistence. Oak is well married to highlight classy fruit.

91 POINTS // $38

The Cutting

The Outlier

Grenache 2023

From old vines planted around the 1940s south of Tanunda, this is a light-bodied Grenache of tang and spice, making for an elegant lunchtime style. Soft, gentle tannins and tangy cool vintage acidity accent strawberry and rhubarb character.

91 POINTS // $35

Anarchy Wines

The Catalyst

Grenache 2021

A friendly and easy-drinking Grenache that contrasts the richness of Ebenezer with the liveliness of the 2021 season and the chocolatey overlay and fine tannin grip of 30% new French oak puncheons. Crunchy red berry fruits, rhubarb and rose hip infuse varietal integrity on a long finish.

90 POINTS // $30

Barossa Boy

Little Tacker

Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2019

At five years of age, this is an affordable Barossa GSM that unites the red berry fruits of Grenache with the dark berries of Shiraz and the fine, savoury tannin grip of Mataro. Oak brings dark chocolate notes and heightens the tannin grip of a warm and dry season on the finish.

97 POINTS // $975

Hill of Grace Shiraz 2019

Now around 160 years of age, the ‘grandfathers’ of Hill of Grace yielded less than one-third of a normal harvest in the warm and dry 2019 vintage, yet their ancient confidence infuses the wine with all the seamless coherence that characterises this fabled site. Signature five spice wafts over a core of juicy, spicy dark berry fruits of all kinds, backed with high cocoa dark chocolate oak (mostly French). Firm, dry season tannins are well-executed and carry a long finish that promises a spectacular future.

95 POINTS // $55

Turkey Flat Vineyards
ESTATE Shiraz 2021

The cool 2021 vintage has put a new spring in the step of Turkey Flat Shiraz, providing spicy lift and tang to the deep black fruits of grand old vines dating from 1847. Mineral-fine tannins are propelled by vibrant acidity to considerable persistence and compelling longevity. One of the greats.

94 POINTS // $105

Charles Melton
Nine Popes GSM 2021

The Barossa’s most famous GSM taps the full depth and complexity of almost century-old bush vine Grenache (53%) with the black fruit structure of Shiraz and just 4% Mataro, confidently framed in more than two years’ maturation in French oak barriques. Layers of berry fruits and spice are well scaffolded in finely structured tannins that will hold it strong in the cellar. The wonderfully cool 2021 season infuses a lingering brightness to a long finish.

94 POINTS // $50

Schwarz Wine Co
Thiele Road Single Vineyard Grenache 2023

Planted in Bethany in 1941, just 2080 bottles express all the character of old vine Barossa Grenache. I love the elegance of the cool 2023 season, and this is captured eloquently here in graceful raspberry and strawberry fruit, nuanced with rhubarb and laced together with beautifully fine-grained tannins. Just the right amount of whole bunches lift its fragrance, spice and structure.

93 POINTS // $90

Arila Gardens
Ironstone and Quartz Gardens Shiraz 2022

The standout of the Arila Gardens range, this single vineyard planted since 1940 delivers the black fruit density of Moppa with the vibrant acid drive of the cool 2022 season. 25 per cent new French oak is well matched to the fruit, heightening its pronounced, firm, fine tannin profile that screams out for a decade to tone.

93 POINTS // $200

Les Amis 2020

The richness of the 2020 harvest builds a full-bodied and dense Grenache of red cherry liqueur, spirity intensity and layers of cassis and spice. It holds impressively fine tannin texture and beautiful flow of red fruit persistence, well framed in dark chocolate oak.

92 POINTS // $30

Riebke Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021

Kym Teusner’s beloved Riebke has put on a strong performance in his 20th vintage. The spicy, black fruit depth of Ebenezer is well expressed here, refreshingly enlivened with the natural acidity and fine-grained tannins of the cool 2021 season. The result is one of the best in the Barossa under $30.

91 POINTS // $29

Small Victories Wine Co
Grenache Mataro 2023

A classy blend that captures the cool, slow-ripening 2023 season with easy-drinking affordability and distinction. Grenache takes a confident lead in rhubarb and wild strawberry fruit, with the black fruit depth, spicy interest and strong, fine, savoury tannin structure of Mataro providing confident support, accented with touches of Carignan and Shiraz.

91 POINTS // $24.99

Hentley Farm
Villain & Vixen Shiraz 2022

Impressive depth of colour and fruit weight, this is a bargain Hentley that presents spicy black and red berry fruits set against a backdrop of liquorice and dark chocolate. Fine-grained, well balanced tannins and bright, cool season acidity complete a finish of length and integrity.

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