Spring wine reviews by Tyson Stelzer

96 POINTS // $165


Cabernet Shiraz


The brilliant varietal lift and structural confidence of Cabernet comes to life in the cool seasons, and its marriage with the depth and mid-palate completeness of Shiraz is impeccable here. It harks back to the classic blends of the Barossa, with an equally promising future before it. A dignified and enduring newcomer to the hallowed halls of the great Australian blend.

95 POINTS // $48

Grant Burge

Corryton Park

Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Now well established as a standout of Barossa Cabernet of purity and accuracy, the great Corryton Park vineyard is beautifully expressive in the cool 2021 season, with a compact core of dense blackcurrant fruit framed in cedary oak that carries a long finish of finely poised tannins.

95 POINTS // $65


The Signature

Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2019

The fanatical approach of Yalumba heightens the upright structural integrity of Cabernet Sauvignon to triumph in this warm and dry and season, fleshed out to profound effect by the generosity of plump Barossa Shiraz. The result is a force to be reckoned with, a dense core of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit of lofty magnificence, set purposefully into a frame of outstanding, fine-grained tannins and high class French and Hungarian oak of high cocoa dark chocolate allure.

95 POINTS // $115

Grant Burge


Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

There is real polish here. A dense core of blackcurrant defines the depth of the Barossa in the generous 2018 harvest. Dark chocolate and cedar oak has been impeccably played, building tannin resolution and persistence on a long and linear finish.

95 POINTS // $85


Cabernet Sauvignon


Cabernet Sauvignon rarely shows this level of varietal distinction or elegance on the Barossa floor. Refreshingly and unashamedly medium-bodied, it’s framed in a brilliant lattice of vibrant acidity and fine-grained tannin that promise a very long life. I love the effect of the elegance of French oak in this season, and the expansive and refined air of a new foudre is masterfully played.

95 POINTS // $80


The gask


The stars have aligned with the refreshingly elegant 2021 season heightening the lift, spice and violet fragrance of Eden Valley Shiraz, set to all the layers of blackberries, satsuma plums and liquorice that define the density and allure that sets Torbreck apart. Tannins are super fine and beautifully textured, with excellent medium-term promise. A fantastic vintage for one of the best wines in the Torbreck line up.

94 POINTS // $250




This is Utopos on another level of grandeur, with everything wound up – fruit depth, ripeness, oak, maturity, richness, intensity and impact. Mataro, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon coming in at a combined total just under the 15 per cent threshold serve to heighten structural tension of two years in 30 per cent new French oak hogsheads. Firm, fine tannins scaffold a finish that rumbles with all the supple concentration of the powerful 2018 season.

94 POINTS // $37



Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2022

I love the detail, floral lift, tangy brightness and sheer beauty that the cool seasons bring to Barossa Grenache and the result is one of the most delightful blends from Kym Teusner yet. I love the way he’s seamlessly woven the three varieties together here, no simple task with no oak to resolve tannins and a not insubstantial 30 per cent Mataro to integrate. His fine-grained, supple tannin management is magnificent, and promises surprising longevity.

93 POINTS // $85




Kym Teusner has cunningly blended 5 per cent Mataro into this Grenache and the effect is to heighten its structural poise – a smarter strategy than leaning on new oak in this elegant season. The result is about as refined as Greenock/Marananga Grenache comes, with a core of bright strawberry and raspberry fruit well commanded by fine-grained tannins, with seasoned French oak lending invisible support.

98 POINTS // $800

The Laird 2018

The supple, silky touch of magnificent old vines is mesmerising. The depth, density and dark-fruit presence of The Laird are on full and magnificent display in 2018. To achieve such magnitude and frame it in lift, purity, definition and vibrancy as strong as this is the unique hallmark of this wine and its inimitable site, brought to life more profoundly than ever by Ian Hongell and Nigel Blieschke in the first great vintage in which their efforts in the vineyard and the winery have aligned. One of the finest Lairds yet, and it may well go down as the greatest to date.

96 POINTS // $150

The Octavius Old Vine
Barossa Shiraz 2018

The density and magnitude of Barossa Shiraz is fuelled by the generous 2018 season, toned and controlled exactingly by the refined approach of Yalumba and the talent of Kevin Glastonbury. A powerful core of blackberry, satsuma plum and liquorice projects impressive definition and life, confidently supported by the dark chocolate influence of French and American oak barrels. Fine tannins provide spine and structure to a long and linear finish.

96 POINTS // $300

RunRig 2020

The warm, low-yielding density of the 2020 season is on larger-than-life display here, A core of red fruits is attributed to the old heritage clones, and these old vines lend a deep spectrum of exotic spice, supported by supple, slippery, fine-grained yet confident tannins. A RunRig of tremendous character and opulence, with the structural fabric to go the distance in the cellar.

95 POINTS // $60

Bin 21 Barossa Valley
Grenache 2022

Capturing all the fruit flamboyance of Grenache and marrying it seamlessly to the signature confidence of Penfolds’ tannin structure is no easy task in the absence of the support of Shiraz, Mataro and any meaningful level of new oak, and this is not only a decent first attempt, it’s a downright outstanding Barossa Grenache. Alluring fruit purity with the bright radiance of the great 2022 season meets masterfully executed, super fine-grained tannins that carry a long and linear finish. A worthy newcomer to the distinguished Penfolds lineage.

95 POINTS // $60

Bin 138 Barossa Valley
Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2021

The cool 2021 season has set off Barossa Grenache with delightful fragrance and exciting, vibrant acid drive, wonderfully enlarged with the depth, structure and black fruit presence of Shiraz and Mataro. Dark chocolate oak provides well-executed support, setting off a frame of firm, fine-grained tannins for the long-haul. One of the greatest Bin 138s yet.

95 POINTS // $100

Bin 150 Marananga
Shiraz 2021

The supple, glossy allure of Marananga basks in the brightness and definition of 2021, set off confidently with fine-grained French and American oak that build a brittle tannin frame that screams out for longer than ever to fully integrate. It holds outstanding persistence of black fruits and liquorice. This is set to go down among the greatest and most enduring vintages of Bin 150.

94 POINTS // $30

The Struie 2021

A juicy, glossy core of spicy black fruits, liquorice and black pastilles highlights the highest proportion of Eden Valley fruit in the blend yet, at once deep, dark and immensely spicy and at the same time lifted and wonderfully poised thanks to the cool 2021 season. Fantastic Struie completed impeccably with the fine-grained graphite tannins of the Eden.

93 POINTS // $135

Tappa Pass Shiraz 2020

A Tappa Pass that encapsulates the glossy, spicy dark berry fruits and liquorice of a warm season in the Barossa, cuddled by soft and supple tannins, well cradled in subtle milk chocolate oak. It presents impressive persistence and immediate appeal.

93 POINTS // $200

Wolf Blass
Platinum Label Medlands Vineyard
Barossa Valley Shiraz 2019

The warm and dry 2019 harvest presents a strong and brooding expression of the Medlands vineyard, brimming with impressive depth of colour and power. Ripe, dark berry/cherry/plum fruits are framed in dark chocolate French oak, instilling a structural framework that promises to hold it strong for the medium-term.

91 POINTS // $27

Samuel's Collection
Viognier 2021

Sourced from seven separate blocks across five different vineyards, fermented and matured for 10 months in older French oak puncheons and barriques, this is a fleshy and supple Viognier, boasting a creamy mouth feel accented with almost ripe apricot and pear fruit. It holds good length and gentle spicy appeal, capturing the elegance of the season within the body and presence of the variety.

90 POINTS // $35

Bungalow Lane
Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

A core of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit contrasts the supple generosity of the Rowland Flat district of the southern Barossa with firm, finely structured tannins and dark chocolate attained from 18 months maturation French and American oak. It holds good length and balance.

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