Hayes Family Wines is a relatively new name for the Barossa Valley, but its roots date back to the middle of the 19th century. The property, which previously supplied fruit to other Barossans, was bought by former corporate adviser Brett Hayes in 2013 as something of a sea change, with the first vintage in 2014. The aim from the start with experienced winemaker Andrew Seppelt has been to take advantage of what are considered the Barossa hero varieties; shiraz, grenache, mataro and semillon from established vineyards.
The vineyards are now certified organic, and in the winery there is a minimal intervention approach with no fining and no filtering of the reds which are also vegan friendly. Organic certification in a dry-grown vineyard presents challenges. Synthetic herbicides and pesticides cannot be used and natural methods of control must be adopted. Native plants have been introduced to encourage native insects, while chickens and ducks control the pests. It’s an excellent range of wines that are worth checking, especially if you are looking for contemporary examples of organic Barossa wines.
Hayes Family Wines Centenarian Semillon 2021 ($30)
With all those fabulous reds, varieties like semillon in the Barossa can sometimes be overlooked. This one is a crackingly good example from an excellent vintage in South Australia. Lively citrus aromas which carry through into a lemon tang on the palate. Crisp, bright and thoroughly beautiful drinking in the short term.
Score: 92/100 Cellar: 5 years
Hayes Family Wines Sam’s Grenache 2020 ($34)
This is such a deliciously appointed example of this variety in the Barossa. Loads of ripe plummy, slightly raspberry fruit flavours are supported by chalky tannins and a little older oak. It’s plush and vibrant delivering through to a long finish. It will cellar for some years but, for me, this is so much fun to drink now and over the next few years.
Score: 92/100 Cellar: 9 years
Hayes Family Wines Familie Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2019 ($34)
An elegant and restrained medium to full bodied GSM, which the Barossa does so well. Floral high tone notes on the nose with a mix of roses and fresh turned earth provide an engaging opening. The palate has a bright red fruit confectionary-like character, with fine tannins and a sliver of older oak in support. Great drinking over the next few years.
Score: 93/100 Cellar: 7 years
Hayes Family Wines Shiraz 2019 ($43)
An excellent shiraz from an excellent vintage in the Barossa. It comes from the northern vineyards in the Barossa and shows those vibrant dark berry characters of the region’s shiraz. Earthy floral lift on the nose with a little cedary oak. The palate is quite tightly held with a wrap of oak and tannin, yet there is deep inner fruit intensity that will gradually release with further ageing and a bright, focused finish.
Score: 94/100 Cellar: 12 years
Hayes Family Wines Primrose Vineyard Shiraz 2019 ($80)
This comes from the highly regarded Schulz Primrose Vineyard in the Ebeneezer subregion. The distinctive feature from this region, and you see it time and again in other wines from around here, is the ironstone, slightly ferrous character, especially on the palate. It’s super concentrated and powerful with firmish, assertive tannins and a decent whack of oak, all required to take control of such dense fruit intensity.
Score: 96/100 Cellar: 20 years