Deep crimson. Dark chocolate/ginger snap/vanilla/biscuit aromas. Sweet generous palate with strong underlying malty tropical oak, ripe tannins, plenty of concentration, some meaty complexity and plenty of sweet fruit finishing long but drying.
Andrew Caillard MW, 2002
Medium to full red-purple; the bouquet shows the sophisticated use of oak (20 months in French and American) with perfectly ripened Cabernet fruit. The palate is rich and impeccaby balanced and structured, offering layer-upon-layer of cassis, blackberry and chocolate fruit flavour, sustained by fine tannins. Winner of the Jimmy Watson trophy in 1999, and several trophies at the Barossa Valley Wine Show. An odd double success; the only surprise is it has not won more trophies. 96 points, Wine Companion.
South Australia is the driest state on the world’s driest continent. Covering almost 1 million (984 377km) square kilomteres, it represents 12.8% of the Australian land mass. Sweeping plains are intersected by a spine of relatively low lying ranges, the Mount Lofty/Flinders Ranges which extend through the heart of the State. Over 50% of the state is elevated at under 150 metres. The Great Artesian basin covers almost one-third of the State. The major river is the River Murray which lethargically makes its way into the Southern Ocean. This water mass has a moderating effect on climate, particularly in the southern regions of South Australia where most vines are planted.
Summers are generally hot and dry with relatively mild nights. Winters are cool. Rainfall occurs mostly during late autumn/winter (May, June, July, August). Drought and salinity are major concerns.
The principle wine regions in South Australia are; the Adelaide Hills, Barossa (comprising the Barossa and Eden Valleys), Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Coonawarra and the Riverland. Vineyard expansion has also extended to Wrattonbully, Mount Benson, Bordertown, Robe, Southern Fleurieu and the Flinders Ranges.
It is a tradition for many wine companies to make multi-district blends from South Australian fruit – the idea of house style taking precedence over regional definition. Penfolds pioneered this concept. The vagaries of vintage variation can be evened out by fruit selection, ensuring quality at a high level. However there is debate that this concept comes at the expense of the ‘soul’ of the wine. Penfolds Grange is probably the most famous multi-district blend and is an excellent counter-argument.Andrew Caillard MW, Langton's