The 2018 vintage of Rockford’s “Dry Country” grenache proved a lesser wine than their 2017 and 2016 vintages previously reviewed (see below). It has taken me a little while to fully appreciate grenache, but a beauty of wine is that you get to do that. I tend to favour the grenache expressions that are not too high in alcohol (a challenge for this variety) or too intense (also a challenge) and appreciate the complexity of the old vine examples, particularly from South Australia. Rockford is a traditional producer from the Barossa Valley and a safe choice if you sympathetic to any or all of these objects. However, this vintage of Rockford’s grenache didn’t seem to have the complexity of the earlier reviewed vintages and proved a little too primary. Turning to the analysis of the wine, it is pale in colour and the 2018 vintage has a jammy aroma, together with a touch of char. The palate has some warmth from its 14.1% alcohol and mid range acidity. 14.1% is reasonably low for grenache and the alcohol is well integrated into the wine. The wine finishes on a primary expression of sweet cherries, with some savoury characters in the background. While enjoyable, the 2018 vintage does not have the complexity at this stage to warrant medium term ageing and is ready to consumed now as a quite good example of Barossa grenache. Rating: Good (★★★, 88 points). Website: Rockford Wines. Source: Sample. Tasted: October 2023.
For previous vintages reviews, see: