2018 Six Origins of Barossa Shiraz
The first Six Origins project release from the extraordinarily strong 2018 vintage focuses on the Barossa’s hero – Shiraz. Six winemakers have each been charged with producing a wine that presents as a distinctive expression of Barossa Shiraz determined primarily by its origin.
Grape Variety: Shiraz
Region: Barossa Valley, Eden Valley & High Eden
Reviews & Awards:
2018 High Eden - Peter Schell, Spinifex Wines:
With family roots and extensive wine-making experience in the South of France, there is a strong French connection which drives the style and feel of Spinifex. Started in 2001 by Peter Schell and his wife Magali Gely, Spinifex sources grapes from some of the oldest Barossa and Eden Valley vineyards planted to classic Mediterranean varieties that have been successfully grown in the Barossa for over 150 years. With a winemaking philosophy that embraces sustainable vineyard practises and minimal intervention in the winery, there is a strong focus on producing wines where balance, purity of fruit and restraint is key.
"Peppery and spicy, blue and black fruits, meaty and perfumed. It’s medium bodied, tight and shapely, lithe yet packed with flavour. It’s what you might call a ‘very articulate wine’, or at least I would. Acidity is fresh and juicy, but unobtrusive, and the tannin is ultra-fine and graphite in type. The finish is particularly emphatic and long. It’s a magnificent, cool and blue expression of Barossa Shiraz." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
"Dry-grown 20yo east-facing vines at 500m above sea level, two-thirds destemmed, the balance whole bunch with 14 days on skins, matured in a single used 600l French demi-muid. Particularly fresh and elegant red and black fruits on the palate with fine, but persistent, tannins carrying a savoury message." - James Halliday (Halliday Wine Companion)
2018 Light Pass - Jason Schwarz, Schwarz Wine Co.
The Schwarz family most definitely qualifies as ‘local’ in a Barossa sense. Five generations a resident, then two generations as grape growers, and now Jason Schwarz as a first generation, self-taught winemaker. Jason hasn’t strayed too far from home either when it comes to sourcing fruit for his brilliant wines. The vineyards his parents planted are now the very same ones that form the backbone of his wines. Jason’s approach to winemaking is purposely low intervention, with a hands-off approach that ensures the qualities of the vineyard are to the fore in each of his wines.
"Ripe cherry, raspberry, a little chocolate and plenty of sweet baking spice. It’s fleshy, but fine in its way, succulence and gentle sweetness tempered with ‘mineral’ and pencil character, dense fine-grained tannin of insistent baby-finger grip, a subtle creaminess, and a ripe berry and spice finish of plushness and admirable length. Superb balance and satisfaction in glass here." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
"Light Pass is named in honour of Colonel Light who discovered the break in the hills leading from the Barossa Valley to the Eden Valley. Medium-bodied, and literally flows along the supple palate, unfolding black fruits then spices allied with fine, balanced tannins. No hint of alcohol heat, instead a splash of red fruit." - James Halliday (Halliday Wine Companion)
2018 Keyneton - Greg and Allison Hobbs, Hobbs of Barossa Ranges
Greg & Alli Hobbs and their 3 children moved to the Barossa in 1995 leaving the city behind for a new life amongst the vines. The vineyard that encircles their home high up in the Eden Valley is one of the district’s oldest. The connection the Hobbs’ have to the Eden Valley is like few others. They look over it every morning when they wake up, they pass through it every morning taking the dog for a walk, they work in their vineyard every day…and each evening they enjoy a glass of wine from the fruit they’ve grown from the vines that surround them.
"Chocolate, dried rose and mint, black fruit and vanilla cream. Plush and chocolaty, deep dark berry flavour infused with sage, milk chocolate tannin, firm but even acidity, slightly saline and beefy on a good long finish. Softly softly. It’s a warm cuddle from Keyneton." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
"An immediately delicious bouquet and palate, blackberry and plum fruit, ripe tannins in perfect balance. Length and focus are part of an indissoluble whole, but with the grace of a medium-bodied shiraz." - James Halliday (Halliday Wine Companion)
2018 Angaston - Corey Ryan and Simon Cowham, Sons of Eden
The Sons of Eden winery takes its name from the partners Corey Ryan (winemaker) and Simon Cowham (viticulturalist) who learnt and refined their respective crafts over many years working in the vineyards and cellars of Eden Valley. The Sons of Eden approach to wine is simple - to produce wines with flavour and personality from Barossa vineyards of unique character. The combination of winemaker and grape grower working in unison defines Sons of Eden and makes them one of Australia’s great winemaker/ grape grower double acts.
"Plum, blackberry, dried mint and sage, a kiss of smooth vanilla oak. Smooth and ripe, perfumed with garden herbs, rich tannin with a gently tacky tactile touch, all the berries and that sticky tannin grip on a good finish. Stylish, polished and very seductive." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
"40% of the fruit was whole bunch and hand-plunged for 25 days, pressed to French hogsheads (45% new) for 15 months maturation. A powerful, evocative wine, its spicy/peppery notes coupled with a long, zesty, red berry-accented palate with detailed tannins providing both texture and structure." - James Halliday (Halliday Wine Companion)
Gomersal Road - John Lienert, Lienert Vineyards
The Lienert family settled in the Gomersal region in the mid 19th century, and after six generations as crop farmers, John Lienert became the first member of the family to branch out to plant vines in the rich red soils of the Barossa’s western ridge and make wine. As a winemaker, John’s wines reflect both the distinctive imprint of the Gomersal region and his own approach to winemaking and wine enjoying. Preferring to keep things simple, John makes wines that express a sense of place, wines with plenty of rich and juicy flavour and a good strong backbone – the style of wine for which the Barossa’s Western Ridge is renowned for.
"Dark cherry, BBQ fennel sausage, spice, toast and sage. Rich, saline, ample flavour of black fruit with a savoury edge, powdery slightly chalky tannin, juicy acidity, and a solid finish. A more traditional expression of Barossa Shiraz, and none the worse for that." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
"The wine is powerful and very focused, but is unexpectedly light on its feet thanks to mouthwatering juicy fruit flavours that coexist with the tannins." - James Halliday (Halliday Wine Companion)
Ebenezer - John and Tim Duval, John Duval Wines
Quiet consideration, patience and a commitment to doing things ‘just right’ are engrained with John Duval’s DNA. His humility, gentlemanly demeanour and ‘think then act’ approach hugely admirable. From a family boasting four generations of South Australian vignerons, John Duval is one of the world's best-known winemakers. After 28 years with Penfolds, including 16 years as Chief Winemaker, John launched his own label in 2003 with the aim of producing wines of structure and elegance from exceptional Barossa vineyards. In John’s own words “John Duval Wines will never be another Penfolds - it is simply my chance to express my 40 plus years of premium winemaking knowledge using some of the best fruit in the world.” Leaving a career in law, John’s son Tim has recently returned to the family wine business.
"Textbook Ebenezer style here, delivered with typical Duval finesse. Blackberry, spice, Milo, a sprinkling of dried herb and subtle vanilla oak. It’s ripe but evenly-weighted, delivering flavour to all corners, plump, balanced, bright and long. It’d be hard to imagine anyone not loving this little beauty." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
"The grapes were grown by viticultural master John Scholz in the driest and warmest part of the Barossa Valley, cool nights due to the vineyard's 290-305m elevation and east-west row orientation. This wine has a pulsating bouquet, the palate laden with blackberry and stewed plum flavours; plus dark chocolate added for good measure. The ripe tannins leave it until the last moment to appear." - James Halliday (Halliday Wine Companion)
Thanks to Different Drop for the kind introductions.