Settled in 1847 by the Silesean Lutherans, Krondorf was one of the most important settlements in the Barossa Valley. Their practices of self-sufficiency and early adoption of “not putting all your eggs in one basket” allowed the community to prosper and produce an alumni of the industry’s greats. Bound together by the values of ‘love, faith and hope’, it is not dissimilar to Elizabeth Gilbert’s personal memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and collectively, I’d predict, are some of the most tattooed words… however I digress.
‘Eat, Pray, Love’, made famous by Julia Robert in more recent times, is based on the need to go in a different direction to find quality, purpose, and place. The Krondorf brand shares a similar narrative. Acquired by Endeavour Group in 2011, for over a decade it has worked behind the scenes to forge a new identity.
With head winemaker Nick Badrice at the helm, Krondorf is committed to rediscovering its sense of place and earning a reputation for quality in the premium wine sector. The 2023 collection is the brand’s third annual release and, thanks to Badrice’s craftmanship paired with the exceptional 2021 vintage, a testament to the proverbial third time’s a charm.
Old Salem Shiraz 2021
Ruby with an aubergine hue. There is purity and fruit concentration on the nose, untainted by lashings of oak. Kudos to Nick for respecting the bi-product of this vintage – a raspberry kaleidoscope. Fresh, choc licorice bullet and conserve colliding with musky plum, black cherry, freeze dried blueberries and a hint of potting soil. My type of green thumb. Almost gelatinous consistency, from appealing fruit sweetness and weight that is kept bright by youthful acidity. Cacao-like tannins hold those blue fruits, which give way to a cedary, cinnamon finish. Approachable, sophisticated and a real crowd pleaser.
Kingship Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
Intense crimson. Barossa Cabernet – the forgotten child. Like Hugo, Bart’s twin brother, for those Simpsons fans. Every bit varietal – sweet mulberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, graphite opening to lifted mint, eucalypt, bouquet garni and cacao. Mirrored on the palate, very attractive blackcurrant pastille, blackberries, choco-mint and black olive cameo held together by black tea tannins. Finishing firm, a slight greenness on the palate paired with mouthwatering acidity, derived from the cooler vintage, allude to a promising future.
Stone Altar Grenache 2021
Medium deep ruby. My, what a perfume! In my notes I had ‘so aromatic’ with a succession of ‘o’s (potential addition to the WSET lexicon?). Macerated strawberries, red frog confectionary, cranberries, and soft graphite shading. Pinot-esque; its sweet, juicy fruits, velvety tannins and sprinkle of vanilla open like the pleats of a cockade fan – to form a complete circle. A svelte wine with misleading force on the palate. Delicious.
Stone Altar Shiraz 2021
Deep crimson. A sultry bouquet; morello cherries, musky plum, mulberries, star anise, black licorice and hints of sweet sundried tomatoes. Like barely set jelly this is a voluminous wine of decadence – testament to the 2021 vintage’s concentration and depth. A mélange of dark fruits dusted with cinnamon spice, shaved dark chocolate and a hint of cracked pepper. Commendations for the skillful integration of acidity and supple tannins – a beautifully balanced wine with captivating length.
King’s Mantle Shiraz 2019
Deep ruby with aubergine hue. A sensory labyrinth – fragrant blackcurrant pastilles, blackberry, pencil shavings, black olive, red and black licorice mix, chinotto and ferruginous undertone. This is an evocative wine, with depth and intrigue – acting like a chameleon in the glass. Firm, chalky tannins parallel a piquant raspberry/rhubarb finish, indicating that this wine has many fine years ahead.