How great is the new Barossa shiraz?

IF big, musclebound Barossa shiraz doesn't appeal, you might be surprised by the more refined delights of a magic 2012 vintage. They're a.

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Climate change – the end of Barossa Shiraz as we know it?

“If the projections are right, a shiraz in the Barossa in 50 years’ time may well taste totally different to what it does at the moment”

A study by the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that up to 73 percent of Australian land currently used for viticulture could become unsuitable by 2050.

Temperatures in Australia’s main wine regions are projected to increase by between 0.3 and 1.7 degrees celsius by 2030, according to the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

The hotter temperatures would reduce grape quality by 12 to 57 percent, the agency’s modelling shows.

Wine makers are so concerned about the impact of global warming on the A$5.7 billion ($5.3 billion) industry that they funded a government-backed experiment in the Barossa vineyards to simulate the drier conditions expected in 30-50 years’ time.

For wine lovers, the upshot is that Australia’s iconic shiraz is already changing and could be unrecognisable in half a century’s time.

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Torbreck Vintners buys Gnadenfrei Barossa Shiraz vineyard

Australia’s Torbreck Vintners has secured long-term grape supplies for one of its top wines after buying Gnadenfrei vineyard in Barossa Valley.

Gnadenfrei was previously owned by Malcolm Seppelt and has been suppling grapes under contract to Torbreck for one of its top single vineyard wines, The Laird, since 2005.

Marananga-based Gnadenfrei has 2.8ha of south-east facing vines planted and was founded in 1958 with one of the original Barossa Shiraz clones. The average size of a Barossa vineyard is 17.7ha.

The deal is a sign of Torbreck proprietor Pete Kight’s long-term commitment to his Barossa Valley wine business, following the somewhat acrimonious departure of Torbreck’s founder and winemaker, Dave Powell, in September last year.

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Saltram’s Wells hailed at Royal Adelaide Wine Show

Saltram’s Shavaughan Wells was named winemaker of the most outstanding red wine at this year’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show.

Wells, who now shares the winemaking duties at Saltram with Richard Mattner, has helped catapult the winery back to its former glory with a string of outstanding wines and awards at major wine shows.

Among a brace of major trophies, Saltram also picked up the coveted Outstanding Wine of Prevance for its superb Saltram No 1 Shiraz, named by Saltram’s founder, English immigrant William Slater, who bottled his first Barossa shiraz in 1862.

The renowned Roseworthy College-trained Wells puts her passion for winemaking down to her grandfather and the influence of experienced winemakers Caroline Dunn and Nigel Dolan.

The widely experienced Saltram senior winemaker cut her teeth at Mildara, Yellowglen, Yarra Ridge, St Hubert’s and Wolf Blass before landing at Saltram, where she worked with the prodigiously talented Nigel Dolan.

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Thorn-Clarke Wines Barossa Shiraz wins at 2013 International Wine Challenge

Thorn-Clarke Wines Shiraz has wowed judges at the 2013 International Wine Challenge in London.

The 2010 William Randell Shiraz has been award the trophy for Best Australian Shiraz and Best Barossa Shiraz.

Senior winemaker of Thorn-Clarke Wines Helen McCarthy said it was a fantastic feeling to be awarded two international trophies.

“It is a fantastic achivement for us,” Helen said.

“The 2010 Shiraz is a slightly different style to past Shiraz.

“It has more Eden Valley grapes and is very elegant with a floral aroma.”

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Hill of Grace Barossa Shiraz “deserves its pinnacle”

Australian Shiraz is not the most timid of wines. In fact, it’s the sort of wine I would choose to keep me warm on a polar expedition, so an ambient temperature approaching 100F seemed far from ideal for a recent celebration of 50 years of Hill of Grace Shiraz at the Henschke family winery in South Australia.

For various logistical reasons, we 16 tasters first met up in the Hill of Grace vineyard itself and I still have the burn marks on my shoulders to prove it. It was almost too hot to talk, but Stephen and Prue Henschke, who met as science students at Adelaide University in the early 1970s and are now in charge of this celebrated eight-hectare vineyard, were determined that we should see the fat, gnarled “Grandfather” Shiraz vines responsible for Hill of Grace.

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Elderton Shiraz from Barossa Valley

Praise for Elderton Wines’s Barossa Shiraz from the Vancouver Sun:

Wine Spectator magazine describes Elderton as one of Australia’s modern classics. Certainly, the wines are considered as a benchmark in Australia’s most famous region for Shiraz – the Barossa Valley.

Elderton Wines is a small, family owned and operated winery. It shot to fame in 1993 after winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy, which is Australia’s highest award for Shiraz. A few years later the winery won the trophy for “World’s Best Shiraz” at the International Wine & Spirit competition in London.

One of the reasons for the success is the age of the vineyards. Some of the vines are over one hundred years old. This creates a wine of high intensity, with concentrated flavours and richness. The classic Shiraz notes of black cherry, raisin, vanilla and spice are present, and there is a long lingering finish.

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Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz: honestly branding the vintner

Barossa Shiraz label design commentary from Wine Hobbyist:

We’re now almost at the end of November, and that also means we’re nearing the end of our wine label design coverage, but we’re still on deck to deliver two additional labels and one of them, we’ll talk about today. Peter Lehmann’s Barossa Shiraz 2009, or otherwise known as the Shiraz of the Portrait line of wines.

The Portrait line of Peter Lehmann wines were created to celebrate 30 years of Lehmann’s production and 30 years of his support of the Barossa Valley and growers, given this, his Barossa Shiraz is the makeup of grapes from 60 growers, showing the fantastic style of the valley.

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Barossa winery Kellermeister’s flagship Shiraz, Wild Witch, has taken the world’s biggest international wine competition by storm, winning the Best Barossa Shiraz Trophy, Best Australian Shiraz Trophy and Best International Shiraz Trophy in London.

The International Wine Challenge (IWC), the world’s largest wine competition, is often referred to as The Oscars of the Wine World and in 2012 accepted more than 12,000 wines from every major wine producing country and region.

The trophies were announced today at the ‘Taste of Gold’ event at the Lord’s Cricket ground in London where Kellermeister CEO Mark Pearce and Senior Winemaker Matt Reynolds are pouring the wine for the UK wine trade and media.

Mark said “This win is incredibly exciting for Kellermeister and our winemaking team, but this is also a wonderful win for Barossa Shiraz“.

Winning the Best International Shiraz Trophy for a Barossa Shiraz is a significant achievement at a time where some wine commentators are becoming increasingly obsessed with less intense, less powerful cooler climate Shiraz.

“This result simply demonstrates the wisdom in staying true to who we are, and what we do best in the Barossa – making Shiraz in a traditional style that is faithful to the strengths of the Barossa” Mark said. “ We have some of the oldest vines, soils and unbroken family viticultural heritages in the world, and our wines should proudly show that”.

Read more at Winecompanion!