2023 REVIEWS BY ANGUS HUGHSON FROM VINOUS

In a recent article featuring the new breed of Barossa Shiraz, vinous.com’s Angus Hughson reviewed a number of our Barossa wines. We are thrilled to have had 2 out of only 5 wines receive the equal top score of 97 points from more than 50 producers, 2016 My Hands & 2020 Invenienda.

“Although the news has been a long time coming, it’s official: the days of high-octane, oak-driven Barossa Shiraz are now just a distant memory. Sure, these wines still exist, and many are excellent, so fans of the style do not have to go elsewhere to get their fix. But the pendulum has swung since the last Barossa report at Vinous in 2021, and it has swung hard. Barossa has returned to its roots, from Nascar to Formula One, without missing a beat. Typically muscular Barossan Shiraz wines with plenty of raw grunt are now joined by sleeker, age-worthy wines with subtle balance and sophistication, a theme that is repeated across a range of other Rhône grape varieties. But have no fear. These modern styles are also unmistakably Barossa. Their regional power is still in place but now more tightly controlled – Thor’s hammer in a velvet glove.” – AH

Recent years have seen greater refinement and increasing focus in the vineyard. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in his Holy Grail vineyard, located in Seppeltsfield, where the quest for improved fruit quality is seemingly never-ending, obtaining stunning results.
ANGUS HUGHSON


My Hands, Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016 – 97 points – Secure your allocation of My Hands HERE
“This 2016 Shiraz My Hands from Barossa has an opaque color and is super impressive thanks to its blend of raw power and subtlety. Coal fire, roasted meat, soy sauce, and dried herb aromas draw you in over a rich chocolate and blackberry bed blanketed by fine mocha oak. The great density of dark berry flavors follows with dark earthy aged tones just beginning to emerge, although the overall impression is still its youth. Beautifully textured with significant manicured tannins already well integrated, it finally delivers a long, highly complex finish. It feels like it is close to peak but will remain there for a decade or more.” – AH


Invenienda, Barossa Valley Shiraz 2020 97 points – Discover Invenienda & en primeur order HERE
“Only 400 bottles of this utterly convincing 2020 Shiraz Invenienda from Seppeltsfield were crafted. It offers an incredibly focused and modern style, radiating with aromas of blackberry, leather, olive tapenade, rosemary, and dried herbs, all wrapped in a thick blanket of balanced new oak. It’s dense and muscular with layers of meat, soy sauce and umami over a rich bed of chocolatey dark berry flavors. Tannins are chewy but beautifully fit the package and support a cascading finish. This is a benchmark Barossa Shiraz to enjoy over the next two decades.” – AH


FLAGSHIP SERIES
Ares, Barossa Valley Shiraz 2019 – 94 points
“This opaque 2019 Shiraz Ares is classically styled – robust, bold and savory thanks to its hedonistic layers of mulberry, blackberry and roasted meat aromas well matched to spicy oak. Opulent yet nicely structured, it delivers heady chocolate-berry flavors before more savory earthy tones rise on a lengthy finish. Fans of full-throttle Barossa Shiraz will not be disappointed.” – AH

Aerope, Barossa Valley Grenache 2021 93 points
“There is superb purity of fruit to be found in this 2021 Aerope, a Barossa Grenache. It radiates with bright, vibrant aromas of red licorice, wild raspberry and damson plum underpinned by quality oak. Super moreish thanks to its slinky, silky mouthfeel punctuated by sandy, gentle tannins before gliding to an effortless finish. This a lovely example of modern Barossa Grenache to enjoy over the medium term.” – AH


SINGLE VINEYARD SERIES
Holy Grail, Barossa Valley Shiraz
2021 – 96 points

“This 2021 Shiraz Holy Grail single vineyard from Seppeltsfield is a seamless wine offering an aromatic feast of wood smoke, blackberry and roast spice with excellent purity and focus. Beautifully pitched with immaculate structure to standout, a firm seam of tannins supports layers of embryonic granite, earth and spice. The sheer composure and balance mark this as a classic with years ahead of it.” – AH

Dave’s Block, McLaren Vale Shiraz 2021 95 points (February review)
“The brooding 2021 single vineyard Blewitt Springs Shiraz offers impressive subtlety from the get go. Aged meat, spice and old leather aromas are interwoven with a powerful underlay of blackberry and mulberry. The palate then offers up a super tight core of fruit with a strong ferrous edge just starting to emerge on a finish of serious length. The muscular structure and immaculate balance provide the perfect base to enjoy this beauty over the long term.” – AH

Yacca Block, Eden Valley Shiraz 2021 – 94 points
“This 2021 Yacca Block, a single vineyard Eden Valley Shiraz, is powerful yet sleek. Beautifully formed blackberry, cloves, damson plum and high-quality oak aromas are all in unison. A composed, mid-weight shape holds more savory, earthy tones punctuated by reserved al dente tannins. The finish is elegant and super long, promising plenty with time in the cellar.”– AH

Secret Block, Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021 – 93 points
“The 2021 Shiraz Secret Block was a little shy to begin and much improved on Day 2. The beautifully manicured and seductive fruit delivers chocolate truffle, wood fire, and blackberry aromas interwoven with classy oak. Mid-weight and compact, flavors are bright and vibrant with cherry compote and a dusting of spice before driving through to a lingering finish. Tannins are relatively subtle, suggesting a wine best enjoyed over the medium term.” – AH

Coach House Block, Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021 – 93 points
“From a single vineyard in Greenock, this 2021 Coach House Block is a powerful Barossa Shiraz, although slightly more reserved in style than usual thanks to the vintage – which is not always a bad thing. There are waves of fruit pastilles, dark chocolate and coffee grounds supported by rich, balanced, classy oak. Great extract and flavor volume give a chewy, meaty impression, with fleshy flavors well integrated and delivering a long, seamless finish. Already surprisingly approachable but will continue to build over the medium term. “ – AH


GARDEN SERIES
Bella’s Garden, Barossa Valley Shiraz
2021
92 points –  Join the 2021 Garden Series Wine Club
“This 2021 Shiraz Bella’s Garden offers excellent fruit volume, delivering blackberry, mulberry and cocoa aromas with a gentle dusting of herbs and spice. Lovely shape to this wine that is full-flavored and mouth-filling but also has good structure and tension, the acid and tannins driving a lingering finish. ” – AH


PICTURE SERIES
Brave Faces, Barossa Valley Grenache/Mourvèdre/Shiraz
2022 – 91 points

“This 2022 Brave Faces is a modern style of the Barossa Grenache blend. Weighing in at a welcome 13.8% alcohol, it’s a graceful wine offering generous aromas of red licorice, new leather, and roast meats with a twist of pepper. The palate is beautifully pitched, with ample flavor entrenched in sandy tannins drawing out a lengthy, hearty finish. With great value, it promises to age surprisingly well for its price point.” – AH

Gnarly Dudes, Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021 91 points
“This 2021 Shiraz Gnarly Dudes is a chocolatey and generous wine delivering lashings of sweet fruit – primarily blackberry and mulberry. Thanks to the cooler vintage, there is also an attractive, gentle lift of dried sage and Szechuan pepper. There’s lots to like here with power but also subtlety, plus a finish of decent length.” – AH


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