Some favourites from the huge range:
Vermentino 2015 – only the third year of release this is another example of the Italian varietal mania currently sweeping South Australia and a very convincing one. Pale lemon in colour, this really succeeds with its refreshing lemon and green herb fruit and fine acidity. A little bit of weight and texture have been added through some lees ageing.
Barossa Grenache 2015 – much of the company’s old Grenache goes into the fortified wines but chief Wine Maker Fiona Donald has introduced a non-oaked Grenache table wine of real distinction. Interesting this $30 wine (roughly £15) is intended to be drunk young and you can see the appeal to a generation of drinkers brought up on clean fruit flavours and intensity rather than complexity. Raspberry cordial on stilts!
Über Shiraz, 2012 – at the other end of the scale in ambition and ageability, this $150 wine has incredible depth to its rich and fragrant fruit, well balanced by acidity and sensitively aged in 30% new French oak. Despite the richness, it finishes with a fine acidic line and ripe tannic structure.
21 Year Old Para Tawny – named after the local Para river, this Syrah, Grenache, Mataro blend has achieved a state of serious unctuousness while retaining fruit. A fine example from the extensive range of wines modelled on Port and Sherry.
With many thanks to Nigel Thiele who gave us a great tour and to Fiona Donald who generously gave us her time to walk us through the winemaking process for the Shiraz: the key to those soft tannins is ripe but not raisined fruit, careful handling and reining in the extraction, 7 days on the skins with a pump over every 12 hours.
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