Stonehouse Neldner Vineyard Shiraz 2020


We have all seen those wonderful contoured vineyards (well, perhaps just in photos) found in the Barossa and surrounds. One of them, at Gomersal, has provided the fruit for this cracking Barossa Shiraz, from 80 year old vines. After cold soaking, the fruit is destemmed and the team have seen to it that it then enjoys a lengthy natural fermentation in open fermenters, for a period of ten days, with 10% whole bunches, before basket-pressing into a mix of oak, 30% new. Under diam, the heavy bottle may cause some of the more environmentally minded to grumble a touch, but the contents certainly will not. This is a seriously good Barossa Shiraz.

Inky magenta in colour, it is big, bold, ripe and rich with good concentration. Cassis notes, mocha, licorice, blackberries, coffee beans, bergamot and spices. There is some oak still evident, but it is showing every sign of further integration and is very much a positive. Good focus and direction here, through to very fine tannins with impressive length. Finely balanced in every aspect, it has six to eight years of improving ahead of it and it should then plateau for a decade.