The pure, well-balanced 2003 Shiraz Bella’s Garden is a blockbuster. Dense ruby/purple with a perfume of smoky oak, bacon fat, black cherries, and sweet cassis, it possesses tremendous fruit, a wonderful texture, and a long, heady finish with sweet tannin. It should drink well for a decade or more.
95 Points, Robert Parker Jr, Wine Advocate
Medium ruby.Intensely floral nose displays fresh rose, violet, lavender and anise notes along with rich dark berries. Thick and very primary, with ripe, almost tarry cassis, blackberry and licorice candy flavors. Finishes with excellent sweetness, verve and cut.
91 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous (July 2005)
Powerful. Densely packed and oozing rich cherry, blackberry, licorice, pepper and exotic spice flavors, showing gorgeous balance and even elegance as the flavors persist in a lovely chorus. Has strength and grace, and no intrusive oak.
94 points, Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator (March 2005)
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.