Barossa Shiraz news from Hong Kong

Jacob’s Creek enjoys both the best and the worst of Hong Kong’s fickle wine market.

The more than 160-year-old Barossa Valley-based winery – and producer of famous Barossa Shiraz – is one of the city’s most widely available labels; it sells in every Wellcome and ParknShop supermarket from Central to Tin Shui Wai.

Sam Kurtz, Jacob’s Creek group red and tawny winemaker, was in Hong Kong recently to introduce rare vintages that are still priced competitively, but would please the most discriminating of connoisseurs.

Read more at China Daily!

Fiona Donald, Barossa winemaker of the year

Barossa winemaker of the year, Fiona Donald, says it is an honour to be recognised by her peers.

Her award was announced at a ceremony at Tanunda at the weekend to mark the start of vintage.

Ms Donald is a senior winemaker at Seppeltsfield Winery.

She says after last year’s challenging vintage, she is looking forward to a good season.

“The crops that have set are probably on the lower side but the first batches we’ve had coming through, the colour is absolutely terrific, it’s deep and vibrant and there’s a lot of wonderful rich, you know, dark-fruited berry flavours as well, which is a hallmark of Barossa shiraz,” she said.

(ABC News)

AC/DC Back in Black Barossa Shiraz hits the UK

UK independent wine store Laithwaites Wine today announced its launch of AC/DC The Wine, including the Back in Black 2011 Barossa Shiraz.

Laithwaites’ on-the-ground Australian wine buyer, Dan Parrott — who travels Australia’s vast country seeking out wonderful wines for their customers — comments: “The AC/DC project was music to our ears at Laithwaites. For us, wine is about pleasure, passion and fun and AC/DC The Wine enables our customers to indulge two great passions: great wine and great rock. Our relationships with dynamic wineries, like Warburn Estate, means we can make these fantastic, fun and quality wines available to our customers. And be sure, these wines are no novelty act; we have two signature styles with the Barossa Shiraz and the Marlborough Sauvignon, with the volume turned up!’


Barossa’s fine Henschke Hill of Grace shiraz worth a royal toast

A SPECIAL drop from South Australia will grace the table of the Queen at Sunday lunch when an $800 bottle of Barossa shiraz accompanies a fillet of our finest beef.

The Queen, who arrived in Canberra last night, will be served 1994 Hill of Grace, the product of some of the state’s oldest vines tucked away in the rolling hills of the Barossa’s Eden Valley.

Details of the lunch at Government House have been closely guarded, with only a few of the 47 guests who will dine with Her Majesty revealed.

They include legendary actor and The King’s Speech star Geoffrey Rush.

The makers of Hill of Grace, Stephen and Prue Henschke, are not on that guest list.

The only downside to the proof their famous wine is in fact fit for a Queen is that they won’t be there to see so for themselves.

“We are delighted to hear that our Eden Valley ’94 Hill of Grace has been chosen as one the highlights of Australia for the Queen,” Mr Henschke said from the United States where he is attending a conference.

“The ’94 was an exceptional vintage in SA, wonderful fruit quality with superb flavours, structure and balance. This was one of our best years on record.

“It is drinking beautifully now and should do so for many years to come. Prue and I wish we could be there to share the moment!”

The Hill of Grace is perhaps Australia’s most famous single-vineyard wine and revered around the world by collectors of fine wine.

Read more

Fruits of vintage vines wins battle for Torbreck

David Powell, of Torbreck Vintners in the Barossa Valley, is a confident and larger than life figure.

His distinctive wines have a cult following in Australia and overseas. Starting in the mid-1980s when the SA government was paying people to rip out unwanted Shiraz vineyards, the then unpopular Barossa Shiraz style was reinvented as a big mouthful of soft, ripe, plump, dense, long and delicious Shiraz flavours.

Read more here.

Barossa Shiraz winemaker a “Dark Horse”

Renowned wine writer James Halliday has named Barossa Shiraz winemaker Rocland Estate a “dark horse” in his latest Wine Companion for 2012.

Rocland has hitherto been content to hide its light under a bushel, then it comes up with 2005 Ex Gratia Barossa Valley Shiraz that spent five years in American oak and lived to tell the tale triumphantly.

Read more at the Barossa & Light Herald.

Barossa Shiraz a highlight at Barossa Gourmet Weekend

Barossa Shiraz fans will be out in force this week as the Barossa Valley, South Australia hosts Barossa Gourmet Weekend 2011.

This year sees the introduction of some special events guaranteed to delight locals and visitors alike at several wineries known world-wide for their Barossa Shiraz wines. Take in a movie at Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre on Friday 19 August, or relax with selected museum wines at the Penfolds Supper Club. For those with a culinary leaning, the Regional Cooking School at Yalumba on Sunday 21 August will be the hottest ticket in town.

For more info visit

2008 Langmeil Barossa Shiraz scores with Halliday

In 2010 the highest score given by Australian wine doyen James Halliday to any wine was 96 points. This year we’re thrilled to report that he has awarded 96 points to the 2008 Langmeil Orphan Bank Barossa Shiraz and – even more astoundingly – he has awarded 97 points to the 2008 Langmeil Freedom Barossa Shiraz.

Langmeil Freedom Shiraz 2008 (97 points)
“Fractionally more developed colour than Orphan Bank; likewise picked before the heat and with exceptional depth, richness and intensity to its multifaceted and layered aromas and flavours; open-fermented, basket-pressed and matured for two years in two-thirds new French barriques. Excellent tannins. Both wines have wonderful drive and length.”
Langmeil Orphan Bank Shiraz 2008 (96 points)
“Strong crimson-purple; a top quality shiraz, picked before the heatwave and made using the same techniques as Freedom, and has similar intensity, focus and length; here only one-third new French barriques, but the oak is a positive contributor.”

Congratulations to the team at Langmeil Winery – producers of some of the finest Barossa Shiraz wine!

Barossa Shiraz – oldest Shiraz/Syrah in the world?

Could Barossa Shiraz be the product of the oldest Shiraz/Syrah vines in the world?

Australia is home to the oldest Shiraz (and Syrah), Grenache and Cabernet vines in the world. Luckily, for the Aussies, phylloxera never made its way to their wine regions. Because of that, Australia now has some of the longest surviving vines in the world. Other countries like France and Argentina have long histories with wine, but the annoying pest known as Phylloxera decimated vineyards in the 1800′s.

Rick Bakas

Australia possesses a ‘Jurassic Park’ of old Shiraz clones which can be found nowhere else in the world – why is that, you ask given that Australia is a relative newcomer to the world of grape growing. European traditions are older, with grapes being grown in Egypt and Europe several hundred years BC. France one would think would have the oldest vines in the world, but alas no – that accolade definitely belongs to Australia.

As we all know, Phylloxera wiped out most of the old vines of the world in the 1870s, and many people (including the author of the book of that name) believe that the oldest surviving shiraz vines in the world are Chauteau Tahbilk’s 1860 vines in central Victoria.

This is actually not the case.

At Langmeil in the Barossa valley, there is the Langmeil Vineyard and Winery, where many of the vines date to between 1843 and 1847.

These vines were out of production for many years, but were restored to wine production with the 1997 vintage of the Langmeil ‘The Freedom’ Shiraz, truly one of the finest wines of the world, and a wine which, in blind tastings, is often preferred by wine experts over Penfolds Grange.

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