Category Archives: Barossa Shiraz

Apr 04 2017

The seriously delicious Hentley Farm Clos Otto Shiraz

Posted on April 04, 2017 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In the early years of this century, Americans couldn’t seem to get enough of Australia’s top wines, especially the full-bodied and sometimes ridiculously rich shiraz from the Barossa and beyond.

But a spiralling Aussie dollar, changing tastes and some serious competition from both the New and Old Worlds led to an almost sudden collapse in fortune for the Australian wine export market.

As The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown highlights in a recent report, today the South Australian wineries which have continued to make a mark by actively selling internationally “largely fall into one of three categories: 1) those coming from well-established 30+ year-old wineries that, like their ancient vines, have the quality foundations to weather the vagaries of difficult times (think Henschke, Yalumba, Jim Barry, Elderton, etc.); 2) the 10- to 30-year-old wineries that survived the storm by being not just a cut above the rest, but several cuts above the rest (e.g. Torbreck, John Duval, Glaetzer, and Hentley Farm); and 3) a precious few newcomers that have managed to get overseas representation, because they are seriously impressive (e.g. Powell & Son and Sons of Eden).” (South Australia Part 1 – Slow Burn by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate 30 June 2016)

Certainly, no-one can deny the pedigree and staying power of The Hentley Farm Clos Otto Shiraz. Made with vines planted by previous owner Otto Kasper using a cutting from an ageing and “secret” shiraz clone, and tended to “with almost antique machinery and a well-practiced hand”, the Clos Otto vineyard (purchased by Hentley Farm in 2004) consistently yields super low quantities with ultra rich flavours. Yet its ability to combine richness and intensity with complexity and elegance has earned it a very loyal following and a serious price tag.

Here’s Perrotti-Brown’s 96+ review of the 2013 vintage:

Maintaining a very youthful deep garnet-purple color, the 2013 Shiraz Clos Otto is a little coy and mute to begin, opening out to crushed blackberry, cassis and licorice notes with dark chocolate,.. [Read More]

Feb 02 2017

John Duval Eligo Shiraz 2013 – Named by the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown as one of her favourites for 2016

Posted on February 02, 2017 | By merrill@cellarit.com

I couldn’t help thinking that John Duval would have been chuffed to see his 2013 Eligo Shiraz share company with the 2012 Penfolds Grange and the 2013 Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay as the best current release Australian wines from 2016 according to the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown. (Current Releases: Best of Australia 2016)

After all, Duval started his own boutique label in 2003 after a legendary career as chief winemaker at Penfolds. He was responsible for making the Penfolds Grange and developing the highly successful RWT label… [Read More]

Jul 07 2016

Powell & Son – A “Seriously Impressive” new wine label

Posted on July 07, 2016 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In her recent report on South Australian wines, the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown singled out two newcomers, Powell & Son and Sons of Eden, as “seriously impressive.”

Anyone familiar with the Barossa’s fabled Torbreck Wines would have already guessed that the Powell in Powell & Son is none other than Torbreck founder Dave Powell. Dave teamed up with his 22 year old son Callum a couple of years ago to start a new small-scale eponymous wine label at the Riverside Vintners in Lyndoch… [Read More]

Sep 09 2014

Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz – The Wine You Choose to Impress your Guests!

Posted on September 09, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In a recent review of Yalumba’s The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 2008, The Wine Front’s Campbell Mattinson referred to it as “one of a select group of Ultimate Business Lunch Wines. When Barossa Shiraz is all that is called for, and nothing else will do.” (The Wine Front, 29 January 2014)

This comment sparked quite a bit of discussion from readers about other popular wines people like to order at important business lunches. Favourites include Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz,.. [Read More]

Jun 06 2014

2010 Penfolds RWT Barossa Shiraz: Another winning wine from the stellar 2010 vintage!

Posted on June 06, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Gourmet Traveler Wine recently assembled an expert wine tasting panel to judge 58 shiraz wines from the Barossa and McLaren Vale. The entrants were across vintages so the overall winner cannot be declared best of vintage. But the fact that Penfolds RWT Barossa Shiraz 2010 received the highest score of 96 points is a testament to the success Penfolds has so far achieved with the release of its icon and luxury 2010 shiraz wines. As you may recall, the Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2010 recently received stellar reviews and is flying off the shelves!.. [Read More]

Mar 03 2014

Kaesler Old Bastard Shiraz 2009 – Stellar Reviews for this Vintage of a Top Rated Shiraz

Posted on March 03, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Readers of the Wine Advocate may recall that in 2013 Lisa Perrotti-Brown gave perfect 100 scores to two Australian wines: Penfolds Grange 2008 and Torbreck The Laird 2008. But in her year-end report, Guide to the Best of 2013: Current Release Wines, she drew attention to three of her favourite “near perfects:”

Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz Clare Valley 2010

Torbeck Run Rig Barossa Valley 2009

Kaesler Old Bastard Shiraz Barossa Valley 2009

The 2009 Kaesler Old Bastard received a rating of 98 points and,.. [Read More]

Mar 03 2014

5 Top Boutique Barossa Shirazes that you must try!

Posted on March 03, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you think all Barossa shiraz is full bodied, overripe and too alcoholic then now is probably no better time to take another look!

Over the past 15 years the Barossa has undergone a real transformation. An astonishing number of  high quality, boutique wineries, headed by dedicated winemakers with impeccable credentials, have emerged on the scene. Brilliant wines from these younger wineries alongside established players like Penfolds and Henschke prove that Barossa is still home to most of Australia’s very best examples of shiraz… [Read More]

Feb 02 2013

50 Wines to Try in 2013: No. 6 Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz 2010

Posted on February 02, 2013 | By merrill@cellarit.com

When Two Hands Wines founders Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz started their winery in 1999 they wanted to highlight how the character of  Australian shiraz is shaped by specific regions. Over the years they have created a total of six wines in their Garden Series, each an individual expression of the the unique terroirs of their respective regions in South Australia and Victoria: Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Clare Valley, Padthaway and Heathcote.

No. 3 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2012

In 2012 the Wine Spectator awarded the Barossa Valley Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz 2010 95 points and ranked it Number 3 on its Top Wines of 2012 list… [Read More]

Jan 01 2013

50 Wines to Try in 2013: No. 4 -Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz 2011

Posted on January 01, 2013 | By merrill@cellarit.com

You may recall that when Best’s owner Vic Thomson accepted the coveted 2012 Jimmy Watson Trophy for Best’s Great Western Bin 1 Shiraz 2011, he declared the 2011 vintage the “worst ever.” Poor vintage conditions, the result of unseasonably cool weather and too much rain, affected the eastern half of Australia and South Australia.  This was especially true in the Barossa Valley – home of one of Australia’s most famous wineries, Torbreck. So bad in fact that Torbreck didn’t make its top wines including The Laird and Run Rig… [Read More]

Aug 08 2012

Kilikanoon: Exceptional Wine and Music Making go hand-in-hand!

Posted on August 08, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Having previously worked in the arts, I’m always intrigued by stories of people who have made the transition from one art to another. Nathan Waks, executive director and proprietor of Kilikanoon, used to be the Principal Cellist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. But by all accounts, he is having just as much fun promoting Kilikanoon overseas, and still occasionally playing the cello to  appreciative audiences at Kilikanoon promotional dinners!

Not that he needs to put on much of a show to sell the Kilikanoon portfolio… [Read More]