Neil and Lorraine Ashmead, moved to the Barossa Valley in 1979, after Lorraine’s father located a lovely residence as a great place to live and raise their family. The property, in the heart of the township of Nuriootpa, was surrounded by extremely old Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The Ashmeads were offered the homestead with 72 acres of vineyards, which they transformed into Elderton wines three years later. The second generation, Cameron and Allister, took the reins of the business in 2003 and today work together to run Elderton Wines, with Lorraine still involved through her role on the Board.

 

This 100% Shiraz was aged for 24 months in American and French Oak. The dark purple color reveals aromas of black fruits, forest floor and a cast of vanilla. The upfront fruit is heavily concentrated with a mid-palate that offers chocolate, a salty edginess with tar and a spicy finish. This classic Shiraz brings me back to the amazing Australian Shiraz of the 1990’s.

 

By Perry Miroballi

Torbreck, in Barossa Valley, Australia has been focused on crafting Rhone-style red and white wines since 1994.  Proprietor Pete Kight believes that Barossa is the most exciting place to make wine in the world, with its Mediterranean climate and 175 years Silesian and English commitment to winemaking and grape growing. The multi-generational growers, whose descendants arrived in Barossa Valley nearly two centuries ago, are the backbone of Torbreck’s winemaking.

 

The 2018 Steading Blanc is a blend of 50% Roussanne, 30% Marsanne and 20% Viognier that is aged for five months in new French Oak. The light straw color yields to an expressive floral bouquet of honeysuckle and roasted nuts. This medium-bodied white is balanced with a silky texture that sails through the mid-palate. There is a hint of minerality spice and acidity that completes this wine.

 

By Perry Miroballi

 

Described as unique, unconventional and curious about everything, Michel Chapoutier began his wine journey at the age of 26. As a negociant and winemaker, he is one of the most recognized figures in the Rhone Valley of France. Michel ventured into Australia in 1998 and established Tournon in 2007, shortly after purchasing 123 acres in the heart of the Victorian Pyrenees and Heathcote.   The cool weather patterns and remarkable diversity of the soil and exposure in this region would allow him to make distinctive wines.  Named after the Hermitage commune, Tournon leads the movement toward elegant, balanced wines.

 

This single-vineyard Grenache is bright ruby with mixed aromas of raspberry, blackberry and strawberry. The bright fruit is obvious from the get go with a creamy core that is complemented with cracked pepper, spice and finely integrated tannins.  Tasted the next day, this medium-full bodied wine showed softer with more elegance.  It is great now, but should age up to 5 years.

 

By Perry Miroballi

 

These vineyards were planted in 1946 and the grapes from this biodynamic farm are sourced from a single-vineyard of 20 year old, 100% bush vine Shiraz. The wine is aged in large French Oak casks. It is currently within the Jackson Family Wine portfolio. The opaque purple rim reveals enticing aromas of violets and rose petals. This finesse-driven Shiraz is part of a new era of Australian Shiraz. Not overly extracted or weighty with ripe black currant jam intertwined with layers of brown spices and dried flowers. It is juicy and approachable.

 

The Campbell family winemaking history with Muscat in Rutherglen dates back to 1850. Now celebrating its 150th year anniversary, five generations of family members have influenced this style of Muscat over the years. These wines are blended using the “Solara” barrel aging system.

 

Amber-light brown in color, it is like biting into grandma's freshly baked apple pie dusted with cinnamon and drizzled with caramel. The typical Campbell’s style expresses a creamy richness with a covering of orange marmalade, apricots and chopped walnuts. This elixir is mind-blowing.

Some vineyard parcels within this region of South Australia date back to 1858. The Hickinbotham “Clarendon Vineyard” lies in a steeply sloping site that was established by Alan Hickinbotham in 1971 with dry farmed, terraced blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. They source some of their select fruit to premium Australian producers such as Penfolds for Grange.

 

This premium rendition of Shiraz from Hickinbotham is opaque, opening with broad aromatics of orchard fruits and dried flowers. Accents of creme de cassis are  framed with a blanket of baked red and black plums. The entry leads you into a silky core of complex, warm savory spices laced with olive tapenade and cracked pepper. This meticulously crafted Shiraz has a youthful structure that will evolve gracefully over time.