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-5-lderton Wines FacebookElderton Barossa Merlot 2018 (S)EldertonCommand Single Vineyard Shiraz 2015 (S)RRP¥3,500Until 1992, Elderton used the small amounts of Merlot produced from the Estate as a blending tool with Cabernet. In 1992, the individual parcel of Merlot was exceptional and the decision made to create a single varietal that encompassed the best that Merlot had to oer. Aromas of plums, red berries and spice carry through to the palate, together with vanilla notes. Vibrant and juicy with a soft subtle palate.An iconic Barossa Shiraz, fruit in the 1894 vineyard was harvested by hand, with ve small parcels harvested over ve weeks to attain complex nuances. Aromas of blackberry fruit, aniseed and spices carry through to the palate which is rich, warm and generous. Drink now or cellar condently for 15-20 years. James Halliday 95 pts.RRP¥10,800 CODE11120CODE11119Both the Command Shiraz and the Fifteen Shiraz are treated very similarly in the vineyard, low yield, high intervention, everything by hand. They are pruned, with about 25-30 buds per vine, and picked by hand. In the winery, the Command goes into oaken fermenters where it gets a cool fermentation around 20°C, with fermentation for a little over a week and then into American and French oak for 30 months ‒ 80 per cent new and 20 per cent older, then bottled and held for 18 months before release. It used to go into all new oak for 36 months but that is evolving.There aren’t many producers around the world who do things like this. Normally it goes into the bottle and straight to market. We like to bottle age the Command Shiraz. It is a big investment, but we have been doing this for almost 40 years, are a mature company, and our overarching mission is excellence from Barossa Vineyards, so everything we can do to get a small uptick in quality we will do.The Fifteen Shiraz goes into 1500-liter French oak rotary fermenters where it stays on skins for approximately 6 weeks, then into exclusively French oak for around 14 months. The Merlot is something we absolutely love, the vineyards on average are about 35 years of age. It’s a variety we push to the absolute limit to get fuller avours showing, and generally it goes into second and third ll French oak for 9 through to 14 months depending on the vintage.◆ Classic Barossa style ‒ what is it and how is it evolving?Wines in the Barossa have generally evolved over the last 10 years, those big, alcoholic Parkerized wines have virtually disappeared, and Elderton never made them in the rst place. Our magic number for alcohol is around 14.5 per cent, which we believe is the best level for showing fruit ripeness and having balance. At Elderton over the last 10 years we have evolved dramatically, it is all about balance ‒ I know it is an over-used word in the winemaking world ‒ the wine you enjoy has to have the four keys of fruit, acidity, tannin and oak singing in harmony, otherwise you are doing it wrong. For us it about having wines that are enjoyable to drink when you buy them, and also important for our top single vineyard sites if you want to cellar them for 30 years you can, and they will provide magical results. To achieve this in the vineyards we are being more pro-active, more intervention, more inputs, to get the best quality grapes. Everyone is trying to do this as well, but what is dierent at Elderton is that we have a more classical house style we are very proud of and our customers love, with less up-front juicy fruit, a lot more natural acidity, and the ability to age than most of our friends and compatriots, so they can be cellared really well. Whereas some of the newer winemakers in the Barossa love that juicy, jubey fruit which is ne on release at 18 months, but sometimes don’t cellar as well as they should. Also we have older vine clones, in fact they are so old we don’t know what they are. But we don’t grow the newer clones which many people have planted recently that produce dark jubey fruit. Julie will evolve that style a little bit, and make the wines with even more concentration and longevity, and keep on working on one per cent quality improvements. You can’t get signicant increases in quality any more because standards are so high, so most of the improvements will come from the vineyards which we are working hard on at the moment.◆ How has the Barossa changed over your time and where is it heading?If you look at the Barossa generally, we are so lucky because we proba-bly have the biggest concentration of old vine vineyards anywhere in the world. Even after the vine pull scheme, we still have these amazing old sites. The Grange 1990 put the Barossa back on the map in 1995 when it was named ‘Red Wine of the Year’ by Wine Spectator. If you look at the Barossa then compared to what it is today it has really changed. When we rst started there were only about 30 producers whereas today there are 180 producers in the Barossa. In those days there weren’t a lot of accommodation options nor were there a lot were dining options, but today there are 8 world class restaurants while there is only 20,000 people living permanently in the region. It has the best of everything ‒ the country charm but also big city sophistication.Before the 1990s, every decade there were a couple of hundred hectares of vines planted, and then in the 1990s and the 2000s (Prime Minister) John Howard’s tax break meant there were thousands of hectares planted. So today there are approximately 14,000 hectares of vines in the Barossa (red 11,400ha / white 2260ha), and we produce between 40,000 and 80,000 tonnes of grapes per annum ‒ which represents between 2-4 per cent of Australia’s wines. So even though we are relatively famous we don’t make a lot of wine. Building on its reputation as Australia’s most famous wine region, the Barossa has a rosy future. With a tendency to reinvent itself over time, it is in a really good place at the moment. Business does go in cycles, right now grape prices and vineyard land are at record highs, and there is substantial overseas investment in the region which is positive. There are lots of smiles on people’s faces, which wasn’t the case 8-10 years ago. The Barossa Grape and Wine Association which is funded by over 550 grape growers and 150 wine producers was established in 2008 with a remit from grape growers and winemakers to further the interest and future of the wine region. It has been very successful on numerous fronts from spreading best practices to pro-active marketing, so most other wine regions are trying to copy what the Barossa is doing. There is a lot of diversity in the Barossa ‒ some of the old Barossa Deutshes are 6th or 7th generation.Region:Barossa Valley, South AustraliaVariety:Merlot 88%, Shiraz 12%Region:Barossa, South AustraliaVariety:Shiraz

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