The Loechel Eden Valley Shiraz is sourced from a single vineyard at the Southern tip of the Eden Valley township. It was planted over half a century ago by the Loechel family to granitic loam, at 440 metres altitude.
The vineyard is planted on a steep Easterly aspect with high drainage and low yields, resulting in concentrated fruit and rich, complex wines. The vineyard is picked in three individual components which are kept separate throughout vinification. The wines spend between 18 and 22 months in 50% new and second use French oak barriques. One third of the vineyard’s fruit is retained to produce the Loechel Shiraz which is determined at blending prior to bottling.
“The Loechel shows generous dark ripe fruits of blackberry, cherry liqueur and cassis which is supported by dark chocolate and mocha tones and subtle herbs and spice. The palate reveals pronounced dark fruits, underscored by smoky, savoury and meaty notes: olives and charcuterie with subtle reductive funk. The palate is medium to full-bodied, yet maintains a mouth-staining inkiness to provide a long and satisfying finish with a persistent orange-rind like acid backbone.”
The Herrmann brothers are old school Barrosan grape growers and were disappointed when the large winery they were growing for informed them that the fruit off their 80+ year old vines were not of a quality high enough to justify the boys keeping the vines in the ground. I have heard this story many times in my career and as I have known this particular vineyard for years did not believe that to be the case. Once you try the wine you will understand, like me, the thought that what were the big boys thinking! This is the only single vineyard wine produced from a vineyard not managed by me, but it could not be in more capable hands than those of the Herrmann’s.
Kalimna is quintessential North-western Barossa. The soils are rich red-yellow clays with a veneer of white sand as topsoil. The sands provide beautiful, perfumed aromatics of blue fruits while the rich clays provide structure and depth to the wine. As with all our wines the fruit is open fermented, basket pressed and the aged for 22-24 months in a combination of new and second use French oak barriques.
“Intense aromas of blueberry, blackberry jam, vanilla musk and olive tapenade with subtle notes of cured charcuterie, graphite and tar.
The palate reveals a soft, sensual, mouth coating texture. People often describe the wines from this type of vineyard as “neck oil”, which is in reference to the sleek, mouth coating tannins and brooding dark fruits. The Herrmann Shiraz speaks of true Northern Barossa style: rich, deep and opulent.”
The Brennecke Vineyard is located on the North-Western corner in the Seppeltsfield district of the Barossa Valley. Marilyn Homes is the custodian of the vineyard, her maiden name being Brennecke. The vines were planted at the turn of the twentieth century in 1901.
I have been managing this vineyard with Marilyn since 1992. The Brennecke vines are dry grown and pruned by the bush vine method. The vines experience a steep South-Easterly slope and grow in heavy red clay, over limestone subsoils. These factors together allow the fruit to accumulate a high phenolic content at ripeness, which translate to tremendous palate structure and tannin backbone in the wine.
My belief is that very few Grenache vineyards have the potential to produce a single varietal Grenache wine, with only rare examples like this one able to provide structure and age-ability. After decades of working with many of the great Grenache vineyards of the Barossa, I believe the Brennecke vineyard to be unique and unrivalled in the style of Grenache wine that it produces.
The wine is aged for 24 months in new Troncais French oak barriques , I must admit something that I would have considered heavy handed if I had not seen it done before by my great friend Alvaro Palacio in Priorat.
“Ripe red cherry and redcurrants are intertwined with aromas of rhubarb, kirsch, Turkish delight and subtle notes of cedar and white pepper. The palate reveals a sensual, sleek tannin profile which supports a red-fruited core of cherry and cranberry. The palate is multi-layered with complex flavours: red fruits, cedar, spices, hints of vanilla and cinnamon. A truly sensual wine; plush and generous through to the finish”
The Kleinig clone of Mataro is locally known as the great original Mataro clone brought over from Europe two centuries ago. Many of the renowned Mataro vineyards throughout the Barossa have been planted from cuttings of this original clone, as was our old vine Mataro vineyard in Greenock.
Greenock is an ideal sub-region for producing Mataro wines. The combination of its red clay and ironstone outcrops as well as highly alkaline calcareous subsoils allow for great intensity of flavours, while maintaining high natural acidity and vibrancy and a strong backbone of mouth-puckering tannins that Mataro is known for.
In this wine I draw inspiration from the great wines of Bandol in South-Western France, in which the greatest wines are produced solely from Mataro. The wines are wild, gamey and spicey. While having great intensity of flavours, the palate maintains its freshness with high natural acid and assertive tannins. As with my single vineyard Grenache the wine spends 24 months in new Troncais barriques prior to bottling.
“Ground Indian spices, cloves and game meats are underlaid by red and black berry fruits with notes of cedar spice and cinnamon.
The palate shows rich red to dark fruits, cured meats and great vibrancy and freshness. The powerful, mouth-puckering tannins carry the wine through to the finish.”
The Steinert vineyard is situated in the high hills of the Eden’s Flaxman’s Valley and contains some of the most prized and ancient vines of the Barossa. These historic, dry-grown, rod and spur pruned vines have now passed 120 years of age. The Steinert family still own the vineyard to this day.
The vineyard slopes provide an East to North-Easterly exposure and the soil consists of dark quartzitic loam. The Steinert vineyard for many years has provided the backbone for famous wines of the Barossa, though until now has never had the opportunity to produce a wine on its own to show its true character.
The 480 metres altitude and North-Easterly exposure allow the vines to experience a very long and cool ripening period, producing fruit with outstanding accumulation of complex flavours and elegant, powerful tannins. At maturity, we hand pick the fruit from the five acre vineyard in three seperate passes and ferment it using traditional open-top concrete vats and pump overs.
Once fermented the wine is racked and the skins are basket pressed slowly to encourage gentle extraction of tannin . The wine is then transferred to new Dominique Laurent barriques for wild malolactic fermentation followed by 18 months oak maturation before bottling without fining or filtration.
“The Steinert’s perfume is beautifully complex, displaying dried herbs and spices, lifted florals, dark cherries, red currants, charcuterie meats and smoked wood. Its palate is supple but refined, with a firm backbone of fine-grained tannins providing the framework for a kaleidoscope of flavours. It sings with dark fruits accompanied by thyme, lavender, cedar and cloves, finishing with a crescendo of soft, powdery tannins. The Steinert Shiraz is the epitome of the beauty and grace of the Eden Valley.”
The Kraehe family were amongst the original settlers to come to the Barossa Valley in the middle of the 19th century. Though the family has all but left their original home on the slopes of Marananga, many of their vineyard plantings live on today. The oldest vines on our Kraehe property are now over 100 years old. I first began working with the vineyard in 1994 and has been making wine from these vines since. The wine produced from these centurion vines have always produced the backbone of my most premium wines and it now makes a single vineyard wine of its own named after the original settlers of the area.
The Kraehe vineyard is at 235 metres altitude and planted to a gentle Eastern exposure on Marananga’s ironstone ridge. Its soils are red, ironstone-rich clays. The vineyard is East-West trellised and rod and spur pruned.
The wine is aged two years in Dominique Laurent ‘Magic Casks’, of which I am lucky be one of the few producers outside of France that have an allocation of the barrels. The Magic Cask oak is hand selected by Dominique Laurent and then air dried for four years before cooperage. The staves are 45mm thick, double the thickness of many regular barrel staves, which provide very long and consistent oxidation throughout maturation and slow oak character integration into the wine.
The Shiraz produced from this vineyard is the epitome of the world renowned style that is Barossa Valley Shiraz. The wine is rich and generous in fruit: plum, dark cherry and blackberry. It provides a deep, dark svelte tannin backbone and mouth-coating palate. The wine stands alone in intensity, opulence and concentration of flavour. It is a style unique to the world of wine – the style that put Australian wine in the realm of global fine wine – and a style which we are truly proud to be its upholders of.
“The Kraehe Marananga Shiraz jumps out of the glass with blueberry and plum fruits, underscored by sensual oak characters and meaty complexity. It shows ground coffee and mocha, fertile earth and dried herbs.
The wine stains the palate and develops layers from beginning to finish – it displays blackberry compote and kirsch, before developing into woodsmoke, cured meats and olive through to the finish. The tannin profile is assertive, yet fine grained and tight-knit. The full-bodied concentrated palate provides a very long-lasting finish.”