If you’re looking for detail, freshness, delicacy or finesse; look away. But for power, length, curls of tannin and straight-out impact, this puts some serious runs on the board. It tastes of prunes, dates, saltbush and licorice, its more earthen/spicy notes playing third fiddle. It also shows clear signs of alcohol warmth. But it has to be said that the finish of this wine, complete with a cappuccino-like sprinkling of chocolate, is impressively firm and rich. 94 points, Campbell Mattinson (winefront.com.au).
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.