Having tasted their shiraz, GSM and now their cabernet sauvignon, the house style at Chateau Yaldara is focused on wines that celebrate ripe fruit supported by new oak (but not overwhelmingly so). This Barossa Valley cabernet sauvignon is another high quality wine. It has aromas of iron and cedar. The palate is full bodied with ripe, plush tannins and long length on the finish. This is a near outstanding wine that can be approached now or over the next decade. Rating: Very Good. Website: https://www.1847wines.com; wine-searcher.com. Source: sample. Reviewed: August 2020.
This is a first class expression of a GSM blend from Chateau Yaldara and the Barossa Valley. It has aromas of strawberry, chocolate, pepper and new barrels. The palate is full bodied and rich with medium tannins and long length on the finish. Approachable now and drink over the next decade. Rating: Very Good to Outstanding, Website: https://www.1847wines.com; wine-searcher.com . Source: sample. Reviewed: August 2020.
This is a very good and classically styled Barossa shiraz from Chateau Yaldara in the Barossa Valley. From the 2016 vintage, the wine has a deep colour, with aromas of mulberry, cedar and that unique Barossa earthy/spicy character. The palate is full bodied, with medium tannins that are soft and ripe in texture and medium to long length on the finish. This excellent wine can be approached now and over the next decade and probably beyond. Rating: Very Good. Read more: https://www.1847wines.com; wine-searcher. Source: Sample. Reviewed: August 2020.
This is the current vintage release and early to have opened a Rockford Rifle Range. The wine, a cabernet sauvignon, presents in something of a jumbly fashion. The aroma points in different green directions, none with certainty. Weeds, clove, cedar and green capsicum each present their case. The palate offers medium tannins that are fine in texture. Importantly its finish is between medium and long, suggesting its future is a bright one. This Rifle Range is too early to approach and I would suggest a further 3-4 years in the cellar for it to show its true character. Rating: Good. Website: https://www.rockfordwines.com.au. Reviewed: July 2020.
Rockford’s dry country grenache from the 2016 vintage and the Barossa is a small quantity wine that does not appear to be generally available. It was purchased directly from the producer. I don’t have much further information about it, but if you do, please chime in. I am not much of a grenache drinker and tend to gravitate towards the more savoury and humble unoaked Côtes du Rhône versions, than the richer styles from Châteauneuf du Pape, Spain and McLaren Vale. But I really enjoyed this wine. It is full bodied with flavours of cherry, light tannins and medium length on the finish. A balanced wine that is ready to drink now. Rating: Good to Very Good. Website: https://www.rockfordwines.com.au. Reviewed: June 2020.
The 2017 release of Rockford’s Rod & Spur shiraz cabernet has aromas of licorice and cassis. The palate is medium bodied and has fine, almost unnoticeable tannins. This is a very balanced wine and is approachable now. In fact, its principal attribute is balance – this is not a blockbuster Barossa style, and intentionally so. It is quite young, so may develop further. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.9. Price: $30s. Website: https://www.rockfordwines.com.au/. Reviewed: June 2020.
In these challenging times, it feels important to keep posting wine reviews and supporting local producers. Deeply coloured, the 2016 vintage of Rockford’s Rod & Spur shiraz cabernet has an aroma of iodine, dark fruits and licorice. The palate is full bodied, soft and graceful in its expression. This wine has entered its drinking window, but experience suggests that it should improve with 5-8 years of cellaring. This is a wine I purchase most years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.8. Price: $40+. Website: https://www.rockfordwines.com.au. Tasted: March 2020.
The 2016 Rockford Rifle Range cabernet sauvignon is a good, if not outstanding, vintage of this wine. These are generally wines for long ageing, so it is early days yet. Tasted in March 2020, its aroma evidences new oak influence with its obvious cedar character. The palate is dry, medium bodied and has a leafy varietal cabernet sauvignon expression and fresh acidity, with the oak appearing better integrated. The tannins are medium, rather than firm and the intent is earthy and savoury. This Rifle Range vintage can be approached now and over the next decade. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.9. Price: $40+. Website: https://www.rockfordwines.com.au. Reviewed: March 2020.
The “gold” label is the top of Pirathon’s quality hierarchy, trumping its “black” label. This is a near outstanding wine, and I much preferred it to the “black” of the same vintage. In the glass, there are correct shiraz aromas of spices and plums. The palate is tannic with long length and a well judged cedar influence. Ready to drink now, this wine should cellar well over the next decade or more, and is a classic and serious expression of Barossa shiraz. Rating: Very Good. Abv: NA. Price: ~$100. Website: https://www.pirathon.com. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.
The Pirathon “Black” shiraz from the Barossa Valley and the 2017 vintage has brooding aromatics of dark chocolate and spice. The palate is full bodied, ripe, with impressions of blueberry pie, menthol, vanilla and very warming sweet fruit. Ready to drink now, this wine has considerable intensity of flavour. Rating: Good. Abv: 15.3%. Price: ~$50. Website: https://www.pirathon.com. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.