WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations

Wine Australia Tour November 2016 – Barossa Valley (II)

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Barossa is home to some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world dating back to the 1840’s.They are typically full bodied with ripe plush tannins.The very best examples moderate this natural richness with balanced acidity and focused pure fruit character .Shiraz is the Variety of the region and occupies 50% of plantings , but there are significant Cabernet Sauvignon plantings especially in the cooler sites.Grenache is also popular either as a single varietal or blended with Shiraz and Mourvedre.

Barossa Old Vine Vineyard Visits and Tastings hosted by the Barossa Grape & Wine Association

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Langmeil winery  has the worlds oldest surviving Shiraz vineyard from 1842.Langmeil started by Christian Auricht fleeing Persecution in Prussia.

2014 Jackamans Cabernet Sauvignon 1960 planting 2 tonnes per acre low yield,Mint cassis spice length smooth lovely tannins

2014 Orphan Bank Shiraz  beautiful transplanted vines, saved from developers bulldozer,  dates  from 1858  perfumed nose,chocolate spice concentrated  finish of candied sweets

The Freedom Shiraz 2014 from 1843 vines !Smoky toasty blueberry complex herbs sage leaves dried  delicious long +++ complex savoury and herbacous  wow !! Trophy wine

The Freedom Shiraz 1998 Some tertiary leather spice herbs lighter colour

Kalleske old vine Grenache 2015 wild yeast open fermenters old oak rose floral raspberry sweets on finish soft chalky tannins beautiful finish and balance

Kalleske old vine Shiraz 2009 single vineyard from 1875 low yield unirrigated organic biodynamics open fermentation wild yeast 2 yrs barrel.Dark fruit savoury meat charm elegant length +++ amazing wines all.


Elderton vineyard  with Cameron and Allister Ashmead


Elderton 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Ashmead 1870 cab vines.Plum spice cedar cigar box tobacco mint soft chalky tannins

Elderton 2014 cab sav  Ashmead

Liquorice herbaceous cassis hint green bell pepper soft chalky tannins length ++++ goes on and on sustaining very well made

Elderton Command 2002 single vine 1894

Mocha leather tobacco herbaceous 100 new oak French turmeric nutmeg spice floral on finish fine silky tannins

Elderton 2012 Command cassis liquorice long spicy finish pepper chocolate


Torbreck with Scott Mcdonald Winemakerimg_0630

Torbreck Runrig 2006  Shiraz viognier not coferment 2.5 yrs French oak  50% new herbaceous medicinal creosote cough syrup spice soft mouth coating ripe tannins sustained long spicy finish

Torbreck Runrig 2013 as above current release chocolate coffee black fruit liquorice complex full bodied incredible concentrated depth

Schwarz wine company

Old bastard Kaesler Shiraz 2013

Mineral plaster limestone blackberry sl lactic blueberry soft velvety ripe tannins long and complex

Old bastard 2010 1893 almost black initially closed opened up with black fruits and pepper good backbone soft chalky tannins admirable structure and balance hint of cocoa on finish.Old vine as no phylloxera.Long roots low yield

The Schiller 2014 Shiraz sl composty nose earth animal meaty savoury low tannins soft

Toby St Hallett old block 2013 made since 198o oldest 1870 up to 1906 vines.Floral sweet cherry bright red fruit seamless soft velvety tannin


Cirillo  Marco 2011 ancestor old vine Grenache   Med body red floral lifted fruits perfumed elegant nose wild strawberry raspberry rose soft silky tannins beautifully integrated long long finish balance superb oldest producing Grenache vineyards in world

1848 Cirillo old vine sémillon Sandy citrus crisp hay wet crisp acid

1853 Hewitson  Barossa Mourvèdre 2013 Med ruby,star anise spice soft silky tannins lovely balance length spice nutmeg turmeric herbal  rosemary



Jane Ferrari met us at the Cirillo vineyards and gave us a history lesson of Barossa. img_0690

Jane has great enthusiasm for the region  and explain how lots of  old plantings were initially for fortified wine to supply the  British empire.

Yalumba nursery –  We took part in Omega Grafting joining rootstock to desired cuttings.

Tasted 3 clones Shiraz made same way exactly Bvovs10 115 yr old,Bvov 60 yr old, Bvov age unknown

and discussed therole of epigenetics passing on features, changing RNA/DNA by external factors.



Heggies lunch by the lake with Peter Gambetta and winemakers-Chardonnay  and Riesling Masterclass.

Another gourmet lunch in the most serene setting. The wine selection of the highest precision and quality




img_0749Heggies Chardonnayimg_0745

2013, 2010, 2006, Reserve 2006

Pewsey vale Riesling

2016 and Contours 2011




Yalumba  Cooperage tour and Cabernet-Shiraz blends tasting.

A discussion on why blend ? Cab sav needs support /Lots Shiraz available gives mid palate richness/Mid palate depth when young.

Yalumba the scribbler 2013 Goat cheese animal soft chalky tannins simple not much length intensity

Yalumba the signature 2013 premium blend   Cassis cedar blueberry chalky tannin young

Yalumba the signature 2006 Concentrated dried fruit nose cassis prune violet floral pepper smooth long depth soft sl chalky tannins long raisin finish sprinkling cocoa powder +

Yalumba FDR1A 2012 Gamey nose blueberry tannins chalky Med plus intensity young needs time

Yalumba FDR1A 2008 Cassis chocolate violet liquorice herbal soft tannins length cedar leather,Change from densely extracted powerful dark wines to lighter style fragrant purity

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This had been a full day so far but was still in it’s infancy as we then headed North to Clare Valley and a memorable dinner with Peter Barry and family ….

Reflections on the day

Old vine wines really are worth all the hype .

Tasting wines in the vineyard adds to the experience and is a great idea.

I was surprised to see eminent wine tasters order and served coffee during a tasting.

Quality of wine is important but quality of company is more , Peter Barry is a hoot, have a box of funny hats available at dinner parties, full details to follow in the  Clare valley review…..


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