(2021) What a beautiful wine this is, marrying the absolutely classic ripeness and abundance of Barossa Shiraz, with a hint of Old World elegance and savouriness. Coming from 20– to 70-year-old vineyards, fermentation was traditional with plunging and pumping over twice daily prior to basket pressing. The wine was matured in larger sizes of barrel, new and old, of French and American oak. The aromatics here really do leap from the glass, mulberry, blueberry and tons of lifted, violetty aromas, a great, deep pool of velvetty fruit. On the palate that very natural depth and concentration from these old vines is sumptuous, but the firmness of the structure here: peppery, creamy tannins and good blueberry-tart acidity, gives freshness too. Long, sweet, tangy, and delicious.
(2021) From Blewitt Springs, arguably the home of the new wave Grenache movement. From vines planted in 1952 in deep sandy soils, open-topped fermenters then aged in the lees in tank for 12 months. Very pure, very direct fruit, combining red and black fruits, a background of firm, leafy green herbs. Super-juicy on the palate, still with a good mouthfeel but great alacrity, keen fruit, elegant and edged by fine, sandy tannins and pert acidity. So drinkable.
(2021) The vines here are 95 years old, on red clay soils. Made in open fermenters, aged on fine lees in steel for 12 months. Lovely pale colour, translucent on rim, quite herbal with small red berries. The fruit is firm and elegant on the palate, savoury, juicy, less overtly sweet fruited than some but has that clean, long, elegant character.
(2020) The latest incarnation of the original wine from British MW Giles Cooke's charitable label, Our Fathers, where all profits go to support worthwhile causes in the UK and back in Australia, home of the 125-year-old vineyard that is the source of this wine. Only 750 bottles are produced, the wine fermented with wild yeasts and aged 18 months in French oak (30% new). The nose is terrific, deep with mulberry, blackcurrant and spices, a little hint of a herbal cherry edge adds a top note, the oak an infill of smoky, vanilla-dusted depth. In the mouth the wine walks that lovely line between silky, velvetty plushness and ripe, mouth-filling fruit, and the tension of tight but very fine tannins and juicy black fruit acidity. It is pretty irresistable now, but will cellar of course. A six pack is available from the ourfatherswines.co.uk priced at £150 with free shipping. At £25 a bottle I'd call it a bargain.
(2020) Made by Yalumba since the early 1990s, and one of the most popular wines among the Yalumba staff. There are vine components here from plantings that span the 1890s through to the 1970s, the average age of vines for the wine has been calculated as 75 years old. A hugely juicy, again leafy and earthy style, that basil or curry-leaf component is there again, and that fairly striking tart raspberry juiciness with an axis of red fruit and acid. Tannins are a little smoother than the GSM, but it still grips the finish giving that savoury appeal.
(2020) Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is the trio of Rhône grapes on which Barossa’s reputation was partly founded. This wine was first made in 2010, and the 2016 is led by 55% Grenache (a similar blend having previously been led by Mourvèdre ). A nice, quite transparent ruby colour, there’s loads of juicy, summery fruit and spice on the nose, a little slick of vanilla smoothing things out. In the mouth there is grip here, a bit of basil and leafiness as well as a savoury fruit character, quite a creamy texture. Keen acidity and a rustic, savoury bite of tannin gives great gastronomic possibilities. This sees a mix of barrels for ageing, from barriques to large oak vats, but overall only around 15% of oak is new.
(2020) From a cold, wet year before the drought started, but long hang time allowed full ripening. Grapes are de-stemmed but not crushed, so around 20% whole berries. Long cool ferment. There's a fine Cabernet expression here, with a touch of olive and background herbaceous character, but much more minty black fruit and a touch of violet perfume comes through. The palate is medium-bodied and super juicy, lots of zip and freshness, plus there's a gamy, ripe nuance to the black berries. There's a smoothing, chocolaty quality to the oak and to the tannin profile, giving this creamy and supple qualities too. A lovely style. £15.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2020) Matured for 18 months in a combination of French and American oak hogsheads, fruit comes from selected parcels of Schild's Barossa vineyards. Deep crimson in colour, plum and cherry aromas also suggest something mineral and meaty in the background. The palate has a nicely savoury, steely edge thanks to the tannins and bright, juicy acidity, so the fully ripe and sweet fruit stays fresh, a spicy tobacco touch adding another dimension to the finish.
(2020) Schild's GMS southern Rhône blend marches to quite a different beat from the two Shiraz wines tasted, given only very light oak treatment, and all about juiciness and prettiness of fruit. Significantly lighter in colour too, the aromas are buoyant with cherry, red plum, even a hint of strawberry. A little spice adds to the bouquet. In the mouth the sweet fruit is allowed free expression, smooth but relatively gentle tannins, a creamy acidity and just a polish of oak add to the long, very drinkable character of the wine.
(2019) Named in homage to Max Schubert, the Cabernet is sourced from three regions of South Australia: Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra, and the wine aged in French and American oak, only around 7% new. It's a bold, luxurious style of Cabernet, fully ripe, licked with tobacco and smokiness, bursting with black fruit and yet with a hint of cedar and blueberry cool precision. In the mouth it has substantial presence with its 14.5% alcohol, no shortage of ripeness and plummy weight, but the smooth tannins and balanced cherry-skin acidity is very well handled. A fitting partner to the Max's Chardonnay. Watch the video for more information.