This wine has its origins dating back around 160 years ago when William Salter cleared the land at his Mamre Brook property and planted Shiraz. This was in 1859. The operation, dubbed Saltram, harvested and crushed its first grapes from these plantings in 1862. The 1,800 gallons of wine which was produced were dubbed, ‘No 1 Shiraz’. This made ‘No 1’ the obvious name for Saltram’s flagship Barossa Shiraz many years later. It has proved a great success, both critically in shows, and with the drinking public.
These days, the grapes usually hail from old vines on the eastern edge of the Valley floor. They are harvested and then gently crushed into traditional open fermenters, for a long, slow ferment. After pressing and racking, it is off to French oak barrels, including larger formats, with a small percentage new, for up to two years. The result is inevitably a wine which ages impressively if given another decade or two in a good cellar.
The colour of this vintage is an inky opaque black. The nose confirms that this is a bold and concentrated effort. Look for chocolate, coffee beans, cassis, mocha and blackberries. Some axle grease notes, in the most positive sense, with leather and cloves emerge on the palate. Nicely balanced and with a well-crafted structure, there is good oak integration here. A seamless texture through to very fine tannins and excellent length all stamp this as a powerful yet superb Barossa Shiraz. It has fifteen to twenty years ahead of it, and more.