Chris Ringland's Barossa Ranges Shiraz is steeped in the Barossa’s post-colonial story and the high art and science of winemaking. Typically deep in colour with intense dark berry, paneforte, espresso roasted chestnut aromas, it displays a plush and concentrated palate with blackberry, mocha, paneforte spicy flavours and dense fine chocolaty tannins. Despite the opulence, flamboyance, richness and concentration, the wine has superb percussion and freshness. The wine is a small vinification of around four to five hogsheads or 1500 litres. The "unusually thick skinned" Shiraz is entirely sourced from Chris Ringland's dry-grown vineyard on the edge of the Barossa Valley, but technically in Eden Valley, along Flaxman's Valley near Randall's Hill.
The wine is "painstakingly hand-made" in open fermenters and regularly pumped-over to extract colour, flavour and tannins. After draining and pressing through a traditional basket press, fermentation is completed in 100% new French oak hogsheads. A period of up to 50 months oak maturation follows to achieve optimum complexity and balance between oak and fruit. The extraordinarily high release prices (higher than Penfolds Grange), limited production and reputation make Chris Ringland Barossa Ranges Shiraz the stuff of legend.
Winemaker Chris Ringland talks about the 2013 vintage of his famous Dry Grown Shiraz for Langton’s.
"Coming from Chris Ringland’s tiny “home” vineyard of ancient Shiraz vines in the Eden Valley/Barossa Ranges, the 2007 Shiraz has a deep garnet-black color and is intensely scented of baked plums, Christmas cake and earthy, meaty notes with suggestions of incense and exotic spices. The very big, richly fruited and full-bodied palate is multi-layered with dried berry and baking spice flavors, plus a touch of leather. It has great length, yet the tannins are just a bit astringent and it finishes a little hot."
93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (October 2016)
"Full bodied, ripe, plush Shiraz with a voluptuous, mouth-filling palate of sweet dark berries. The palate offers layers of vanilla, cocoa, dark choclate flavors with more than 17% of alcohol. The texture is more like Port than dry red wine. This wine is a full meal in and of itself."
94 points, Jeannie Cho Lee (October 2015)
Former Rockford winemaker Chris Ringland’s high octane Shiraz from his dry-grown 1910 planted Eden Valley vineyard caught Robert Parker’s eye when he tasted it. High in everything save bottles produced, this robust cult wine has piercing intensity to its oily rag-edged black fruit, perfumed oak, firm acid and dense but fine tannins. Its balance and gravelly, mineral finish, which Ringland attributes to unusually thick-skins, really take you by surprise.
95 points, Sarah Ahmed, Decanter
Barossa ValleyColonel 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.