Oh how the Barossa shines
If you've ever been to Switzerland, you quickly realise why they make such good chocolate (and cheese). It's the cows! Every cow I saw in Switzerland was walking around with this nearly perceivable grin. Beautiful countryside, clean fresh air, the greenest grass you've ever seen and no threat of the butchers knife.... we hence dubbed them "Happy Cows". Well, if ever there was a parallel in wine, it must be the grape vines of the Barossa. This beautiful alluvial valley is home to some of the oldest vines on the planet. As the sun slowly sinks behind the western range, washing the valley with a warm autumn glow, I'm left with no doubt as to why. For a grape vine, this place rocks!
One of the amazing things about the Barossa is the accessibility to old vine material. Whilst old vines are not the 'be all and end all' they certainly help. This is none more evident in the much loved but often maligned grenache grape. I simply LOVE grenache, the elegance, spice and mid weight style can be almost pinot noir like (an example below). And as the vine ages, it sinks deeper roots and becomes less vigorous; producing smaller yields with more inherent complexity. Now when great Grenache is combined with the super sexy Barossa shiraz and the serious and structured mourvedre, you have a match that is more than the sum of it's parts. Below are some of my top picks from a recent trip to the valley. These are dangerously impressive wines.... so please support the small producers we love and grab some for yourself.