Following Adam’s two week wine tasting tour with Wine Australia in November, we chose some of our favourite wines for this dinner.
Barossa in South Australia is one of Australia’s oldest and greatest wine regions .
We were hosted by Yalumba’s Chief Winemaker Louisa Rose who is one of Australia’s most experienced and talented winemakers. Her name is synonymous with Viognier in Australia. In 2014 ‘The Age’ named Lou Australia’s Best Winemaker. Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery founded in 1849 and unusually has it’s own cooperage and nursery.
Jansz Tasmania Vintage Cuvée 2011
Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier
Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier
Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz
Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz
Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz
Yalumba The Octavius Shiraz
Yalumba FSW8B Botrytis Viognier
Salt & pepper squid, chilli sauce
Pan-fried duck breast, baby vegetables , broccoli & wasabi purée
The Viogniers particularly shone through. The Eden Valley Viognier full of fresh ripe apricots with a lovely texture and finish.
The Virgilius was outstanding. Almost Burgundian with depth texture smokiness long finish and beautiful balance.
This will age well for 10 years.Scored 96 points in a recent Decanter review by Matthew Jukes.
There is a strong history and legacy of fortified wine production in Barossa , made in much smaller quantities today.Tawny styles are most common but a full range including sherry styles exist . Seppeltsfield produces stunning examples,their 100 year old para liqueur is world class. A visit to Henschke in Eden Valley and the world renowned Hill of Grace Vineyard one of the oldest single vineyard sites in Australia revealed some of the finest wines of the tour.
Seppeltsfield was established in the Barossa Valley by Joseph and Johanna Seppelt, emigrants of Silesia, just 15 years after the European settlement of South Australia. It was family run until 1984 and returned to private ownership under Warren Randall in 2007. Wine production started again in 2010
A fascinating tour of the estate included evidence of their own distillery ,vinegar production,Italianate gardens with rows of tropical Phoenix Canaries date palm trees , gravity fed winery built in 1888 with 120 open fermenters,the centennial cellar with an unbroken lineage of Tawny, every vintage from 1878 to current year.It’s only winery in the world to release a 100 year old single vintage wine each year.We also explored the vast solero nursery cellars containing a whole range of Apera.
Dp 117 dry flor apera aged 7 yrs green olive salty mineral nutty bone dry hay Long. palomino
DP 116 aged flor apera 16 yrs amontillado style med sweet 24 g/l salty savoury nuts walnuts biological and oxidative palomino
DP rich rare apera 18 yrs 3.6 Baume all oxidative palomino Grenache citrus walnuts long finish sl lower ph
Para grand tawny GSM 10 yrs brandy spirit fortified small oak smooth sweet long toffee coffee raisin 9 Baume
DP57 grand tokay 10 yrs min muscadelle small oak ageing lovely nose tea leaf++Toffee sweet smooth raisins long picked 18 Baume fortified high strength neutral to 17% luscious 230 g/l
DP63 Grand Muscat brown Muscat 10 years min,aromatic rich fruit cake
Next the highlight of the morning, a visit to the Century cellar …
We chose the barrel with our birth year, unhappily giving away my age I crept to the
1968 Port Prune raisin toffee thick viscous luscious coffee fruit cake
clove antique stoor smell rancio spice
1916 100 yr old port wow very viscous tar like rich Cardamom,
clove ,antique furniture, leather, spice, luscious coating glass
Lunch followed at Fino in the gardens surrounded by the most alluring aroma of orange blossom.
Visit to Henschke, Eden Valley.
Eden Valley is higher than Barossa valley at 400-500m, the ripening is one to two weeks later, the wines may exhibit more distinctive varietal flavours and higher acidities
Tasting in Julius room with Stephen Henscke
Julius Riesling 2016 from 1952 plantings
2016 drought year crisp lemon lime blossom
Julius Riesling 2004 wow,petrolic nose lemon, lime intensity palate rich texture and persistence
continentality, diurnal variation keeps aromatics lime character Eden may have greater ageing
Croft Chardonnay 2015
Restrained pineapple, subtle citrus pear, apple hint vanilla from 25% new oak sl more texture Adelaide hills higher cooler good acid core
Giles Pinot Noir 2014 Adelaide hills1/3 new oak.Beautiful nose wild strawberry and raspberry compote floral rose Lilly herbaceous fine soft tannins long focused finish
Henry’s seven 2015 Mix Shiraz Grenache Mataro Viognier, cherry spiced plums dried marjoram herbs pepper floral violets elegant lighter style fine silky tannins
Keyneton Euphonium 2013 cab sac Shiraz merlot cassis blackberry menthol eucalyptus sage cedar liquorice pepper spicy black palate same long fine silky tannins
Cyril Henschke 2012 78 cab sac 15 cab franc 7 merlot blackcurrant Leaf cassis cedar cigar box floral violets long silky fine grained tannins length persistence rich texture great +++
Cyril Henschke 2002 75 cab sav, cab franc and merlot .Double decanted pronounced smell as poured .powerful aromas cassis violets floral savoury meat blood long +++ wow
Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2012 100 % 100 yr old Shiraz vines pronounced nose cassis menthol blueberry ripe plum bay leaf cedar black pepper long velvety tannins soft textured length opened 24 hrs ago
Hill of Grace 2010 App 700 dollars per bottle 100% shiraz pre phylloxera from mid 1800’s. 65% new 35% seasoned hogsheads for 18 months.Dark complex spices pepper 5 spice exotic liquorice sage cedar crushed herbs bay leaf menthol long silky fine grained tannins
We drove out to the Hill of Grace Vineyard , single vineyard shiraz ancestor Vines dating from 1860’s.
We were allowed entry only after our feet were dipped in anti-phylloxera mixture. Prue is responsible for the meticulous, innovative viticultural management incorporating organic techniques , biodynamic composts , native grasses ,flower gardens and an insectaria.
Evening party hosted by John and Jan Angas at Hutton Vale Farm.
In attendance Prue and Stephen Henschke , Kin Teusner (Teusner) , Peter schell (Spinifex),Brett Grocke (Esperosa)
Ben Radford (Rockford)
Full on , massive , you can almost chew it.
If you enjoy a blockbuster Barossa Shiraz this is for you. Along the lines of an Amarone.
Delicious , lovely more unidimensional than hoped for but great body , length , intensity which
make it a worthy New Year 2014 wine of the month , though lacking in complexity.
Available via Exelwines and Cellarlink