I’ve had a jam packed few days down here in South Australia. Starting our journey in Barossa, a two hour drive out of Adelaide.
The first thing I noticed is was how dry it is compared to New South Wales and altitude wise a lot lower. Barossa is about 100m above sea level on the valley floor and climbs to between 440 and 650 metres.
We began our tour at Jacobs Creek’s Steingarten vineyard at one of the highest points in the area. This is a subregion of Barossa, EdenValley known for its Riesling.
Riesling from Eden Valley is typically dry, with notes of lemon, lime peel and fresh herbs. Deliciously refreshing when young and a great match to shellfish or as an aperitif. It is also an interesting wine to put away. With a bit of age it will develop notes of lime marmalade, butter, wax and honey.
We had a fantastic tasting at Yalumba, where my favourite white wine was the Pewsey Vale ‘Contours’ Riesling 2007. (The name relates to the way the vines are planted on the contour of the hill) Still tasting really fresh, but the wine had developed an interesting complexity with notes of lemongrass, sage oil and honey. What a treat for me to taste a wine we stock over here where it was made! (£15.99 a bottle) and my advice would be buy a few bottles see how they develop over the years!!
Barossa is renowned in the UK for its Shiraz – and what has struck me is the shear diversity of styles between the valley floor grown grapes to the grapes grown higher up.
The old label of Barossa Shiraz being jammy and really high in alcohol is not true anymore, and there is a real freshness to the wines, fine tannins and personality -this comes from the older vines , lower yields and winemaking of course.
Yalumba winemaker Louise Rose
My favourites were Yalumba ‘Octavius’ Barossa Old Vine Shiraz ’06 which had a peppery, smokey nose with hints of violets and a long complex finish…and the Turkey Flat Conqueror Single Vineyard Shiraz 09, which had a lovely concentration of fruit and was incredibly balanced.