Wine Reviews for Winter by Tyson Stelzer

98 POINTS // $225


Mount Edelstone

Eden Valley Shiraz


There is a calm to Mount Edelstone, an effortless confidence in these 104 year old vines, more pronounced in 2016 than ever. And yet a determination, an energy, a singular pursuit that defines every detail from start to enduring finish. Prue, Stephen, Johann and Paul know these vines better than ever, too, and their craft in the winery has never been more sensitive. Appearing notably ever more ‘Grace’-ful, this is hands-down the finest Mount Edelstone of the modern era, and, almost certainly, ever.

96 POINTS // $415


Hill of Roses

Eden Valley Shiraz


It’s hilarious that even the young vines of Hill of Grace are a respectable 28 years old. Accurately articulating the graceful mood of this fabled place, effortlessly translating glossy red berry fruits and understated exotic spice, laid out in intricate detail on a powder-fine bed of magnificent tannins. Rose petal fragrance hovers motionless on a very long finish.

93 POINTS // $50

Auld Family Wines

William Patrick

Barossa Shiraz


Dark berry/plum fruit and liquorice of medium-bodied depth are layered with broad, over-confident sweeps of dark and milk chocolate and coffee bean oak, serving to dry out and contract the finish. The fruit holds its own under the surface. Fine, firm fruit and oak tannins demand some time to soften and integrate.

92 POINTS // $30

Max & Me

Woodcarvers Vineyard

Mirooloo Road Riesling
Eden Valley
Barossa 2020

The small and intense 2020 harvest finds great focus and concentration here. Phil Lehmann has bottled the full presence of pure lemon and lime drops that defines the season, and achieved the tricky balance of texture and flesh without overt phenolic distraction. It’s rich and ready, carried by a long finish.

97 POINTS // $100

Peter Lehmann Wines
Stonewell Shiraz
Barossa 2013

If you adore Stonewell (as I do), you’ll relish this release. It epitomises the inherent contrast in this label to unite profound depth and concentration with the structure and endurance that screams out for decades in the cellar. It’s dark yet vibrant, packed with black fruits yet never blowsy, framed unashamedly in French oak, yet in no way woody. In fruit integrity, engineering, line and length, this is Barossa Shiraz of the highest order. Kudos to its creators, Wigs and Honky!

97 POINTS // $230

Grant Burge
Barossa Shiraz 2016

The modern Meschach is distinguished indeed, a towering monument to the grand longevity of Barossa Shiraz. It achieves this in 2016 with an integrity and a vitality like never before. Monumental black fruits are backed by just the right amount of top class oak, and not a bit more. Tannins are super-fine and all-encompassing, laying out a grand finish that promises to continue to turn heads for decades to come.

96 POINTS // $130

Wolf Blass
Black Label
Cabernet Shiraz Malbec

The 45th vintage in the monumental legacy of Black Label is no blockbuster, rather setting a mood of enticing calm and absolute seduction. The cool, extended ripening of the mild 2017 harvest was a blessing, dialling down the volume on this mighty label. The result is more rose petal fragranced, red-fruited, eloquent and ultimately delicious than ever, driven equally by impeccably fine, supple tannins and beautifully refined acid line. It may not turn heads but it will sure win hearts. Not least mine.

96 POINTS // $75

Single Vineyard
Angaston Road
Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016

Powerful, dense, brooding and enduring. Purple black, still brilliant and vibrant, even at five years of age. Coiled, compact black plum and liquorice, coal steam and crushed ants, boldly framed in strong yet ever so classy layers of French oak. Seriously engineered tannins confirm a monumentally enduring Barossa flagship.

95 POINTS // $38

Mamre Brook
Barossa Shiraz 2017

A colour as vibrant and full as this at four years of age is impressive, and especially so for this cool Barossa season. Testimony to grand fruit sources and no small amount of expertise in the cellar, this is a distinguished Barossa Shiraz. A dense, compact core of black fruits is masterfully framed in the cool acidity of the season, fine-grained tannins and high cocoa dark chocolate French oak. For all it represents, it’s a bargain, too.

94 POINTS // $80

Barossa Valley 2018

Don’t be put off by the name, this is again one of Kaesler’s finest offerings. Cabernet dutifully steps up to brighten and structure the powerful density of ripe old vine Shiraz. Blueberry, blackberry and satsuma plums are well framed in dark chocolate oak and firm tannin grip. It may not be delicate, refined and polished, but it sure lives up to its name.

93 POINTS // $35

Old Salem
Barossa Shiraz 2018

Maintaining an impressively vibrant, full purple hue at three years of age, this is a lively and youthful Barossa Shiraz. Layers of blackberry, blueberry and black cherry burst from the glass, backed by lingering fruit sweetness reminiscent of black jubes. Dark chocolate oak lingers on a long finish. Glossy fruit presence is well framed in fine-grained tannins.

93 POINTS // $30

Dandelion Vineyards
Menagerie of the Barossa
Grenache Shiraz Mataro

A beautifully toned and consummately crafted Barossa blend. The red fruits of Grenache take a calm and controlled lead, with the black fruits of Shiraz and the spice of Mataro adding depth, breadth and lift. Oak is incidental, bringing polish and integration.

93 POINTS // $50

Chateau Yaldara
Reserve Grenache Shiraz Mataro
Barossa Valley 2016

The supple red fruits of Grenache (50%) take a confident lead, well supported by the dark berry fruit of Shiraz (40%) and the firm, fine tannins of Malbec (10%). The three are fused together seamlessly, well supported by oak structure that directs a finish of persistence and line. Potential.

92 POINTS // $35

Barossa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Crunchy blackcurrant fruit is backed by dark chocolate French and American oak. Impressive bottle age has blessed it with the integration and savoury complexity of maturity, confidently sustained by fine-grained tannins with plenty more potential yet.

91 POINTS // $25

Peggy's Hill
Eden Valley Riesling 2020

Impressive tension was sustained by a cool February in grower vineyards of 500m elevation, in spite of drought and a warm growing season decimating yields to just 10% of average. The result is a Peggy’s of impressive concentration and varietal definition of signature granny smith apple and lime fruit, with the exoticism of frangipane and the succulent generosity of spicy white nectarine. Impressive and ready, signed off with long-lingering, linear acidity and impeccably handled, warm season phenolics.

91 POINTS // $40

Hayes Family Wines
Primrose Vineyard Series
Barossa Valley Mataro 2019

Classic Barossa Mataro, boldly proclaiming the black fruit and liquorice density of the region, framed in varietal hallmarks of savoury personality in dried herbs, dried tomato and dried earth. Firm, savoury, drying Mataro tannins are heightened by this drought season, presenting strong on a finish of medium persistence. Drink soon.

91 POINTS // $40

Heirloom Vineyards
Barossa Shiraz 2019

An impressively full, vibrant purple hue announces dense, dark, spicy berry fruits, underscored by dark chocolate oak and accented with the dry stubble nuances of a drought season in the Barossa. Fine-ground, drying tannins support a finish of medium persistence.

91 POINTS // $35

GHR Neighbours
Gods Hill Road Shiraz 2018

Voluptuous, expressive and exact, GHR captures the generosity of the 2018 harvest in all of characterful distinctiveness of Barossa Shiraz. Bathed in more milk chocolate than ever (as much from fruit as oak), it holds impressive presence of juicy blackberries, black plums and cherries. A long finish is directed by confident, finely structured tannins.

90 POINTS // $25

Paisley Wines
Boombox Shiraz Barossa 2018

All the black fruit juiciness of Barossa Shiraz in a generous season is underlined confidently by dark chocolate oak, accented with a touch of Malbec. Juicy, supple and immediate, this is a Shiraz as playful and approachable as its name and label.

90 POINTS // $70

Barossa The Easting 2018

Shiraz from the eastern grounds of the Barossa. Slick and polished, with a generous smear of milk chocolate oak, built around a core of dark berry/cherry/plum fruit, supported by fine, supple tannins.

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