Turkey Flat Shiraz, Barossa Valley
The historic Turkey Flat property, near Tanunda in the heart of the Barossa Valley, lies on rich, alluvial soils adjacent to Bethany Creek. The Turkey Flat wine includes parcels of original, old-vine material from estate-owned, low-yielding, low-vigour vineyards of varying ages in the Bethany and Stonewell sub-regions.
The wine is vinified in open, stainless-steel fermenters, followed by around 20 months maturation in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads. Turkey Flat Shiraz is the result of an intricate blending process. Each parcel of fruit with potential for inclusion is individually vinified and barrel-aged. The final blend excludes all but the very finest components, providing certainty as to quality, consistency and longevity. The wine is typified by dark cherry and chocolate-like aromas and flavours, ripe, textured tannins, plenty of fruit sweetness, concentration and flavour length.
Turkey Flat has slowly, slowly become a more sophisticated wine over the years. It’s the same same, but different. This release has it where it’s been wanting to be. It’s not impenetrable, it’s not monolithic, it’s not simple or necessarily easy to categorise. For a Barossa shiraz in 2014, these are all positives. It’s ripe and licoricey but it has nutty, herbal notes too and quite a deal of them. Smoky oak plays a role, but it’s easy to miss. It’s clean, juicy and well-fruited, but it has a sinewy aspect. It’s medium-bodied with fine-grained, fruit-filled tannin. It benefits from being given time to breathe in the glass. In all, it’s a top Turkey Flat release. Drink 2017-2026+94 points, Campbell Mattinson, Wine Front, April 2014
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.