Orlando is one of the most historic names in Australian wine. Founded in 1874 by the Gramps family, this winery has won over 1000 awards and accolades, particularly for the Orlando legends and wines such as Steingarten Eden Valley Riesling, Jacaranda Ridge Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and Lawson’s Padthaway Shiraz. These wines have a fantastic pedigree and have been vital markers in the rise of Australian wine.
Today Orlando is branching out with a new range of modern Australian wines to showcase various terroirs and vintages lead by Chief Winemaker Ben Thoman. These first wines released in the New Heroes range are some classics – the Hilary Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, the Cellar 13 Barossa Grenache, the Printz Shed Northern Barossa Shiraz and Bungalow Lane Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s the new face of Orlando, food friendly wines that are generous and showcase some of South Australia’s top wine regions, all selling for $35.
Orlando Hilary Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2019
Tony Love – 94 Points
More than 90% Piccadilly Valley sourced, so already a great start. And while this drinks with an energetic freshness and plenty of zing to it, the magic here is how all its chardonnay flavour and shape has been retained: typical white stone fruits, certainly on the crunchy side, with its lemon juices and citrussy elements in play along with clever oak management, just a tweak of it on the palate with a sense of nutty creaminess. But none of this is anywhere near being overworked or overblown, the wine’s acidity in the driving seat for the whole journey. Don’t drink this too cold, as the acidity will be accentuated above the fruit – and you want to see the lot of it for its best expression.
Jeni Port – 91 Points
Definitely cooler climate chardonnay but within the Adelaide Hills usual chardonnay criteria, Hilary is generous, especially across the middle palate.
Enticing aromas, so delicious, welcome the drinker. All the Hills’ favourite qualities are on display: apple tart, nougat, grapefruit, stone fruits. Oak is folded in seamlessly, succulent fruit sings but the star attraction is the lovely creaminess in texture and developing complexity. This wine fills the mouth with flavour.
Lots of lime and granny smith apple skin, yellow grapefruit and white nectarine. There is a cucumber freshness with an oyster like minerality. On the palate the oak is generous and supports the frame with a touch of phenolic grip that sits on the front palate.
The concentration of this wine is a great example of the slow ripening of Piccadilly Valley and the freshness and pristine of cool climate chardonnay but with a mouthfeel that all Chardonnay drinkers will love.
Orlando Cellar 13 Barossa Grenache 2019
Tony Love – 95 Points
From a range of Barossa Valley estate and grower vineyards, ranging from 32 to 91 years old. The winemaking team, including now head honcho Ben Thoman, included some whole bunch and matured parts of the make in stainless steel to retain freshness – the result being enhanced, and delightful grenache aromatics, the wine fragrant with herb garden, stones and crushed rocks, and warm soils. All those elements that the French describe in similar wines as “garrigue”. The variety also can display a faint saltpetre/cured charcuterie note, and yep, that’s here as well, while the fruit mode is selected to crimson rather than black: cherry and raspberry and plum. Through all that the aromatics swell, while savoury layers check over-exuberance, with a light to mid grip tying everything together. Much to love.
Jeni Port – 95 Points
Australian grenache is being reinvented as a medium-bodied, bright, crunchy, red berried wine highlighting the grape’s brilliant fragrance and aromatics.
Cellar 13 is all of that, an exploration of old vines, youthful freshness, spice and a celebration of a winemaking lightness of hand. The latter is important, the act of doing less in order to do more with grenache isn’t always appreciated by winemakers.
Fruit drives this wine. Cherry-cerise in colour and so pretty in aromas with black cherry, plum, raspberry, lifted spice and earth. Dried raspberry intensity – it’s quite a distinctive feature– and pot pourri, heaps of plummy flavour and spice with a light pepperiness to close. Grainy tannins promote structure and freshness.
A new-fashioned style of grenache with bite.
Lots of black and bright red fruit with savoury spices like toasted cumin, paprika and clove that adds a lot of interest. This is a food wine for richer pork and lamb dishes needing that acidity to cut through. Preferably match with Moroccan spices and you’ll be transported to the Marrakesh markets.
Orlando Printz Shed Northern Barossa Shiraz 2018
Jeni Port – 92 Points
Sourced from the noted Greenock and Ebenezer sub-regions of the Barossa Valley, areas with a long history of delivering rich, ripe, generous shiraz. It is worth noting that French and American oak play a big role here, a Barossa shiraz tradition offering a mix of elegance and power in the oak department that is more than a match for the abundant fruit.
Black, deep and dense in colour. Sumptuous blackberry, chocolate, licorice, cedar aromas. Nothing shy about this wine. The palate is velvety and chocolatey rich with a layer of meaty savouriness, but it is the enduring spice and sweet fruit that is perhaps its most alluring strength.
Angus Hughson – 91 Points
As Chief Winemaker Ben Thoman points out the Northern Barossa is home to the biggest and most brooding Barossans – wines that really showcase a hot South Australian Summer with their intensely ripe fruit flavours. The wine is unsurprisingly deep in colour with ripe dark fruit aromas reminiscent of cocoa, tar and blackberry which are matched up with toasty sweet oak. It is then big and bold in the mouth – fleshy fruit and plenty of oak again with great impact and supple tannins. It is an oaky Barossan red for sure that will hit the spot for many big red fans. Match it up with a well-done Tomahawk steak for full effect.
Orlando Bungalow Lane Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Jeni Port – 92 Points
Love the reference on the back label to the “brooding dark flavours” in this wine. So apt. It’s a picture of black fruit and prolonged intensity, a rich, chewy, densely textured wine.
Vintage 2014 was a top year and it shows. Deep purple colour and a developed nose of dark berries, dark chocolate and high spice with dusty, earth and cedary oak. A complex group of ripe flavours across the palate, matched with generous oak and taut tannins. Wouldn’t guess it was six years of age so I’m betting that it still has a long road ahead of it.
Angus Hughson – 90 Points
If you didn’t already know it the Barossa can make exceptional cabernet. So good in fact that Max Schubert made the odd Penfolds Grange Cabernet so the style has plenty of pedigree and this wine shows it.
There is a good mix of youthful mulberry fruit, aged cedar and baked earth aromas with spicy oak. The palate continues on the same line showing both youthful and some subtle aged characters – blackcurrant, graphite and earth all sitting pretty. It is in a good spot right now with the tannins softened which help to draw out a lingering finish. Pair this wine with Middle Eastern Lamb.