Illustrious, exalted, revelation,eminence, pure escapism, fine and rare.

Pictured Rockford Black Shiraz (Disgorged 2010) – Photo Courtesy of Alex H W Khoo

Decanter Magazine UK – South Australian Shiraz Article # April 2014
“The 2010’s Barossa Shiraz were just insane, having lovely, elegant balance, and the best wines shone for control of power, with acidity and tannin working in harmony. They’re exploiting their best asset, which is some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world. I think some of the 2010s will last 30 years, no problem.” Brett Crittenden (International Wine Judge)

In the latest April 2014 Issue of the Decanter Magazine three U.K. based wine critics have praised 2010 Barossa Shiraz, unanimously proclaiming this a superb vintage!

These old vine reds offer another option to the dominance of the ‘Old World’ as the benchmark for collectible luxury red wines that can live and cellar for 20 years or more! And at a price that is still relatively affordable, in comparison to the best reds from the ‘Old World’.
What few remaining stocks of this classic vintage now hitting the market, will be snapped up by high-end restaurants, smart collectors, and connoisseurs, who will buy as much as they can afford, of the big Barossa names, from 2010.
The wine educated understand that in the future these wines will be hard to source, and will make part of a perfect wine cellar/investment/collection, just like the last previous stellar vintage 1998.

My Top 10 Barossa Valley Reds from the 2010 vintage

In Alphabetical Order

1. Clarendon Hills ‘Liandra’ Syrah 2010 – Sold out                                                                                       
Owner/Winemaker Roman Bratasuik established Clarendon Hills in 1990, with a dedication to single vineyard terroir wines that would rival the best in the world. Robert Parker  latched onto the wines early, and they quickly attracted global aficionados & collectors. The grapes are all hand-picked and pruned – wines are matured in mostly new Burgundian Tronçais barriques and bottled without fining or filtration to capture the individual character of each vineyard. Here Old-World Winemaking meets New World fruit.                                                     The ‘Liandra’ vineyard is 25-years-old and is Clarendon Hills classified as (Premier Cru). It sits alongside it’s sibling the ‘Moritz’ vineyard which is older 60-years+ and is also classified as (Premier Cru). The sandy soils of the ‘Liandra’ site, typically expresses itself with florals, apricot stone fruit elements and smokey bacon, adding to the plush flavour intensity, ripe tannins and good acidity. If the ‘Liandra’ is reminiscent to Côte-Rôtie, then the ‘Moritz’ is more like Cornas with it’s leathery/meaty/earthy flavours. From the illustrious 2010 vintage, this bottling is fine and rare! A do not miss for all collectors!

2.Elderton ‘Command’ Shiraz 2010 – Sold out
Nuriootpa based family owned winery. The ‘Command’ is from a single estate vineyard planted circa 1894 (centenarian vines) on original rootstocks. Celebrating the 25th release of the ‘Command’ Shiraz from these 120-yo-vines, this rich and generous shiraz spent 30 months in a mix of USA and French oak puncheons.The Ashmead family believes the 2010 Command is up there with other pinnacle vintages. Note there was no 2011 Command produced due to the poor vintage. Bottled under Screwcap – 14.8%-ABV Rated 95+ points by The Wine Advocate.

3. Henschke ‘Mount Edelstone’ Shiraz 2010 – Sold out
The Eden Valley Mount Edelstone vineyard was planted in 1912, with the vineyard being managed with organic/biodynamic practices, and yields here range from 0.5 tonnes/2-tonnes per acre.
The higher altitude Eden Valley vineyard has leaner, rockier soils, that lead to energy, elegance and restraint in this Shiraz.Aged for 2-years in a mix of 65% French – 35%  USA Oak with 90% being new the Mount Edelstone Shiraz recently celebrated it’s 50th anniversary release.
The absolute quality of Henschke’s 2010’s are exquisite, and magnificent, expect a real potpourri of Asian spices, sandalwood, blackcurrant, bramble, and graphite oak. They really do let this centenarian vineyard tell the story of terroir and vintage. 14.5%-ABV Bottled under Screwcap.

4. John Duval ‘Eligo’ Shiraz 2010Sold out                                                                                                                                      
John Duval was the former Penfolds Chief winemaker, and for 16 years was custodian of the Penfolds Grange. The experience of having completed forty vintages in the Barossa Valley, lends weight to his comments on the quality of both the 2010 and 2012 vintages.
He departed Penfolds in 2002 too set up his eponymous wine label.The 500 case Reserve ‘Eligo’ represents the best barrels of Shiraz that he makes during vintage and is sourced from several (100-yr+) vineyards in both the Barossa Valley & Eden Valley. Maturation takes place in French oak (80% new) for a period of 20-months.
Duval aims to make elegant, richly textured Shiraz that sits in the blackberry/blueberry fruit spectrum. 14.5%-ABV- Bottled under cork. Rated 98+ points by The Wine Advocate.

5. Penfolds ‘Bin 389’ Cabernet/Shiraz 2010  - Sold out                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     A 51% – 49% blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz. This multiple Trophy Winner and not strictly from the Barossa Valley, with only a portion of the fruit coming from the Barossa. Matured for 14-months in new (40%) and 1 and 2 year-old American oak hogsheads. In 2010 this release was extraordinary, with it’s rich palate of cedar oak, dark chocolate, cassis, violets and subtle hints of mint. A dark soulful beauty that will keep for decades. 14.5% ABV- Bottled under Screwcap.

6. Penfolds Cellar Reserve ‘Kalimna Block 25′ Mataro 2010   - Sold out
The Penfolds Cellar Reserve ‘Kalimna Block 25′ Mataro 2010 is from a single 50-yo-block within the famed Kalimna Barossa Valley vineyard.Winner of Best Red Wine at the London U.K. Wine Trade Fair 2012.
The Cellar Reserve label – established by Peter Gago as an ongoing project – is a range of handcrafted, limited production wines, created in the spirit of innovation and diversity. Deep and plush with classical lush blackberry jam, spice minerally aromas and flavours. Bottled under Screwcap – 14.5%ABV.

Peter Gago- (Penfolds Chief Winemaker) “When 2010 Penfolds Grange arrives, I think it will blow all before it for a decade or two out of the water!

7. Penfolds ‘St.Henri’ Shiraz 2010 – Sold out                                                                                                                                   
This is 100% Shiraz, with a significant proportion of the fruit coming from the Barossa Valley in 2010. Sadly the 2010 has long since sold out, but it shone with it’s liqueured fruits, wild raspberry, praline, almond, dark plum and mocha/coffee grinds, luxuriousness.
The first commercial release of St.Henri was in 1957 as has always been ranked second in the totem pole of Penfolds Shiraz reds enabling it second pick of the best completed Shiraz barrels . Unlike most Penfolds reds, it does not rely on new oak, instead it’s matured for a year in old (1460 litre vats) that allow the wine to develop with minimal oak influence.Bottled under Screwcap 14.5%ABV – Rated 97+ points by The Wine Advocate.

8. Torbreck Vintners ‘Runrig’ Shiraz 2010  – Sold out                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The 2010 was awarded the perfect 100 point score by the influential USA Wine Advocate Magazine. The name originates from the practice of Highland clans using a “RunRig” system to distribute land amongst their clansmen in a series of widely dispersed holdings.
Here Shiraz from old dry grown vineyards (60-140YO) is blended with viognier,complementing the strengths and complexities of these individual parcels of fruit, whilst giving the resulting wine a further dimension.
Each of the eight parcels of fruit were gently destemmed into both wooden & concrete open top fermenters where they were carefully nurtured for 6-7 days on skins. After basket pressing the wine was run directly into both new and old French barriques where they spent 30 months with one racking.
Possessing a dense, saturated, almost ink like hue, the aromas of black raspberries, crème de cassis, smoke, graphite and melted tar soar from the glass. Full bodied with great intensity, amazing freshness and extraordinary concentration, the multi-layered palate displays the fruit purity that only the most fastidious farming can achieve.Tissue Wrapped,Cork Closure. (15.5% ABV)

9. Rockford ’Basket Press’ Shiraz 2010   - Sold out                                                                                                                        
Fruit for this highly regarded Australian shiraz is sourced from 30 local Shiraz growers, with the vines ranging in age from 60-140-years-old. Handmade in the traditional style, using the original basket press, it’s deep, brambly aromas of dark cherries, blueberries, blackberries, sweet coconut ice/vanilla oak overlie meaty, smoky and slightly reductive complexity. This quintessential Barossa Shiraz is highly prized and collectible within Australia. 14.5% ABV- Cork closure.

10. Rusden ‘Black Guts’ Shiraz 2010 - Sold out
Owner/Winemaker Christian Canute is a 6th generation Barossa grape grower who trained at Rockford winery.His ‘Black Guts’ bottling is produced from a blend of two individual blocks within his 40 acre vineyard.
The first block planted in 1959 is cropped at 1/tonne acre, here the soils are dark clays and the Shiraz produced is rich in fruit and tannin. The second block grown on the sandy sub soils of the Eastern Barossa foothills, offers perfume and natural acid to the blend.
The vines are hand-picked, and open-fermented, basket pressed, with the juice fermented on lees in 100% AP Johns new oak (seasoned for 3-years). This method of maturation and malo in barrel on lees, gives the finished wine a creamy, silky feel in the mouth, too counteract the depth of fruit. 14.5%-ABV- Bottled under cork