Château Tanunda 100 Year Old Vines Barossa Shiraz 2018

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This wine makes the ’50 Year Old’ look positively adolescent. I have had the good fortune to follow the work of the team, under John Geber, at Château Tanunda for many years and for me, these latest releases are as good, if not better, than anything they have done. Sure, if you have access to material like this then so you should be making great wine, but many other wineries have found that there is indeed many a slip…

These vines were planted around the time the Château was established, pre-1917. They are dry grown, bush vines and are among the oldest Shiraz vines on the planet. Hand harvested, the grapes were not crushed but destemmed and then spent a week on skins in open fermenters, hand-plunged four times a day. Basket pressing and then two years in a mix of French and American oak, 20% of which is new. The wine is neither fined nor filtered. From two small vineyards, one at Vine Vale with deep sandy loam, and the other at Nuriootpa which is alluvial sandy soil over red/brown earth. 

A seriously dark purple with intense aromas. This is special. The impressive structure and incredible persistence is immediately apparent. While wines like these are hard to keep your hands off, drinking this right now would be vinicide. This is a wine that future generations will be able to open to show just how good Shiraz from the Barossa was back in the day. The early hints of complexity appearing here now will really make their mark given time. There are lashings of chocolate here and oak is immaculately integrated. Black fruits dominate, though there are hints of blueberries, cassis, leather, cloves, black olives and blackcurrants. Silky tannins and wonderful balance. What is not to love?

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