Fermented for 6-8 days, six pump-overs per day, matured for 18 months in new and used American oak, plus six months in bottle. Deep crimson-purple and full-bodied, sultry dark fruits guard the door, prised ajar on the finish by pleasingly edgy tannins and a twist of oak. Sure to flourish in the years ahead. 95 points, James Halliday (winecompanion.com.au)
St Hallett is on another winner with this... Dark colour with vibrant edges. Rich, cuddly, plum-soaked flavour with smoky vanilla-cream oak melted straight into the fruit. The bear comes to give you a hug. Tannin stretches through the finish; the fruit’s given just enough rein. Terrific big-flavoured Barossa red. 95 points, Campbell Mattinson (winefront.com.au)
…expresses exceptional definition of flavour and structure, driven by pure and precise black plum and black cherry fruit, framed in a confidently scaffolded structure of prominent, firm, velvety tannins. Excellent acid tone reinforces its medium-bodied demeanour and compounds its considerable longevity. This is a Blackwell for the long-haul, and looks set to go down among the finest in the 20 year lineage of this celebrated label. 95 points, Tyson Stelzer (tysonstelzer.com)
Very deep, dense red/purple colour. The bouquet is chocolaty and vanillan, the palate full-bodied and forceful, dense and rich and opulent, if a trifle firm in its tannins. A wine with a cellaring future. Impressive depth and amplitude. Well worth cellaring. 94 points, Huon Hooke (huonhooke.com)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
The Lindner Family established St Hallett in the heart of the Barossa Valley near Tanunda in 1944. After a relatively sleepy beginning producing fortified wines, the winery restructured its ownership. The rumbustious pioneering energy of Barossa legend Bob McLean during the 1980s and 1990s saw an extraordinary metamorphosis. Stuart Blackwell, St Hallett’s winemaker since 1972 oversaw the development of Langton's Classified 'Excellent' St Hallet Old Block Shiraz, perhaps one of the most successful ultra-fine Barossa Shirazes and an early cult-type wine. Alongside Old Block, St Hallett makes a range of wines that consistently over-deliver including the classic reserve style Blackwell Shiraz.