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Barossa Valley

vineyard in the southern Barossa valley

The Barossa Valley, Australia's premium wine region, is located 35 miles north east of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. If, as has often been claimed, South Australia is equivalent in wine terms to California, then the Barossa is analogous to the Napa Valley such is its reputation for producing world class red wines. Although Barossa can boast some extremely fine Cabernet Sauvignon it is its Shiraz, (a.k.a. Syrah in Europe) made from vines some of which are in excess of one hundred years old that has forged its reputation.

The Barossa wine zone also includes the contiguous Eden Valley and wines which state “Barossa” on the label may be a blend of grapes from both areas. The Barossa Valley itself is a 20 mile long stretch of the North Para river originally planted by German settlers in the mid 19th. century and consisting of mostly unirrigated, ungrafted bush vines. Due to strict quarantine regulations phylloxera has never been an issue here. The climate is perfect for viticulture, long hot dry summers with cool nights. Today there are more than 13,00 hectares of vines planted at altitudes between 200 and 500 meters the majority of which are on clay and limestone soils.

The big, bold Barossa Shiraz style features rich fruit with chocolate and spice, a certain smooth sweetness derived from partial barrel fermentation using both American and French oak together with a high alcohol content. These are therefore big wines which repay some bottle ageing with the very best, such as Penfold's Grange, lasting decades. Producers such as Torbreck, Dutschke, Two Hands and Lehman make first class examples. Recently there has been a trend towards earlier harvests with more emphasis on freshness and expression of terroir which is becoming increasingly a factor. Sites such as Ebenezer, Kalimna, Marananga and Stonewell are particularly prized. It is expected that the not-too-distant future will see the emergence of sub-regions based on recognition of such terroirs. Many large wine companies such as Wolf Blass and Penfold's are based in the region producing wine from grapes supplied by more than 750 growers.

While Shiraz has become almost synonymous with wines from Barossa the region also has a very good reputation for its Cabernet Sauvignon as well as old vine Grenache and Mataro (the French Mourvèdre grape variety). Due to similarities in climate with France's southern Rhône wines made from a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre (GSM blends) are both of good quality and popular commercially.

There are also some delicious white wines made in the Barossa Valley too. The ubiquitous Chardonnay is accompanied by plantings of Riesling (illustrating the German connection) as well as Barossa's own pink-skinned clone of Sémillon. The better examples of the latter rival the best from the Hunter Valley, commonly recognised as Australia's prime exponent of this grape variety.

  1. Torbreck, The Bothie, Barossa Valley, 2009 (1/2 Bottle)

    Torbreck, The Bothie, Barossa Valley, 2009 (1/2 Bottle)

    Torbreck's 2009 vintage Bothie displays beautifully fragrant aromas of fresh pine/lime, melon and lychee accompanied by extraordinary floral notes.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Country Australia

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  2. Torbreck, The Bothie, Barossa Valley, 2010 (Half Bottle)

    Torbreck, The Bothie, Barossa Valley, 2010 (Half Bottle)

    Australian "sticky" Muscat dessert wine which is sweet, crisp, silky and pure. Its freshness is atypical and all the more welcome for it.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Country Australia

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  3. Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa Valley, 2008

    Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa Valley, 2008

    GSM blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro. Deep ruby red wine with hints of violet and delicate aromas of truffle, five spice and spring flowers underpinned by licorice, saddle leather and Herbes de Provence.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Grenache, Mourvedre, Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  4. Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa Valley, 2010

    Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa Valley, 2010

    Torbreck Wine's The Steading is made from a classic Rhône GSM blend in Australia's Barossa Valley with possibly more weight than is typical of French versions of this blend.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Grenache, GSM Blend, Mourvedre, Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  5. Torbreck, The Struie Shiraz, 2010

    Torbreck, The Struie Shiraz, 2010

    A big, deep purple wine with intense, ripe fruity aromas. Although drinking well now this wine has at least another 5 years of development.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  6. Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz Barossa Valley 2007 (Imperial, 6L)

    Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz Barossa Valley 2007 (Imperial, 6L)

    A deliciously rich, big, multi- layered red with well-balanced acidity and ripe, integrated tannins.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

    £168.50

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  7. Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2006

    Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2006

    The 2006 vintage of Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz shows just what this grape variety can produce in the Barossa Valley and at a very keen price.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  8. Burge Family Winemakers, Olive Hill SGM Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2001

    Burge Family Winemakers, Olive Hill SGM Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2001

    This Burge Family Winemakers, Olive Hill SGM Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2001 is ideal for drinking now and it presents a nose of black fruits with notes of tobacco, spices, vanilla and white pepper. A well-balanced Barossa Valley wine with good acidity and tannins coupled with a good silky texture.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Grenache, Mourvedre, Shiraz
    Country Australia

    Out of stock

  9. Craneford Wines, John Zilm Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley, 2003

    Craneford Wines, John Zilm Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley, 2003

    The John Zilm Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley 2003 vintage, by Craneford Wines, is a deep ruby/purple in colour the nose of which produces notes of graphite intermixed with black currants, new saddle leather, and tobacco leaf.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Cabernet Sauvignon
    Country Australia

    Out of stock

  10. Craneford Wines, John Zilm Merlot, Barossa Valley, 2003

    Craneford Wines, John Zilm Merlot, Barossa Valley, 2003

    An unassuming nose of new leather and musk gives way to an expressive wine with full, 'jammy', body of black cherries and plums.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Merlot
    Country Australia

    Out of stock

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