Halliday Wine Companion 2017 - Red Five Stars for Chateau Tanunda

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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The latest edition of the Australian Wine Companion 2017 has been released and we at Chateau Tanunda are all exstatic to retain our Red Five Star rating with 27 wines rated 90 points+. 

It is a great vindication of our commitment in all areas of the business to producing world class iconic wines.

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1 x 96

6 x 95

4 x 94

4 x 93

3 x 92

5 x 91

4 x 90

 68% of wines submitted rated 90 and above

18% of wines submitted rated 95 and above

23% of wines submitted offer special value

1.       The Everest Old Bush Vine Grenache 2010 – Rating 96

 Hand-picked from the Mattschoss family vineyard at Greenock, destemmed, open-fermented and matured in three used French barriques, 65 dozen made. It is indeed a mountainous Grenache, with deep, sultry fruits - as much black as red - and tannins of equal proportions. It needs a minimum of 10 years to soften its towering, indeed menacing, fruit and tannin mix. Out on its own in terms of durability and price.

Drink by: 2030     Date tasted: 12/Sep/2015             Price: $195.00     Alcohol: 15%

2.       150 Year Old Vines 1858 Field Blend 2013 – Rating 95

 The grapes come from a single vineyard in the Springton district planted in 1858, destemmed, open-fermented for 7 days, basket-pressed and matured in a single French puncheon (approximately 56 dozen) for 18 months. The colour is deceptively light, for the wine packs a fiery punch that will polarise opinions, but should be eagerly sought in the US. Not an easy wine to reduce to numbers.

Drink by: 2033     Date tasted: 12/Sep/2015             Price: $300.00     Alcohol: 15.7%

3.       The Everest Shiraz 2010 – Rating 95

 From two famous vineyards, open-fermented and hand-plunged, basket-pressed to one new French puncheon and two used barriques for 2 years maturation, 90 dozen made. An Everest indeed, but K2 Mountain might have been a better proposition, for the fruit power has been boosted by its alcohol; you can have too much of a good thing.

Drink by: 2035     Date tasted: 12/Sep/2015             Price: $195.00     Alcohol: 15%

 4.       The Château 100 Year Old Vines Shiraz 2012 – Rating 95

 From three small vineyards in the Eden Valley, Lyndoch and Nuriootpa districts, destemmed grapes were open-fermented, basket-pressed, matured for 22 months in new and used American and French oak. Mocha oak and plum cake flavours are allied with ripe, fine-grained tannins to produce a generous, medium to full-bodied wine that will please in its youth and maturity alike.

Drink by: 2032     Date tasted: 12/Sep/2015             Price: $125.00     Alcohol: 14%

5.       50 Year Old Vines Shiraz 2012 – Rating 95

 Made from vines planted ’60–’61, the standard Château Tanunda vinification. Retains excellent hue, and has strong focus and power, the rich fruit braced by acidity and oak.

Cork                       14.5% alc.            To 2032                 $75

6.       Terroirs of the Barossa Ebenezer District Shiraz 2013 – Rating 95

 A single vineyard wine, hand-picked, the grapes destemmed but not crushed, open-fermented and hand-plunged, oak-matured for 20 months, basket-pressed. While unashamedly full-bodied, the procession of black fruits glides smoothly along the tongue,

with a lift on the finish that reflects the alcohol; the bright, deep hue points to good pH and acidity.

Cork                       15% alc.                To 2038                 $49

7.       The Château Eden Valley Riesling 2014 – Rating 95

 From the relatively young Ahrens Vineyard. Its vibrant palate, with citrus fruit nestling in a trellis of natural, minerally acidity, promises much for the future, however good it is right now. Lovely wine, with a great aftertaste.

Screw cap            10.5% alc.            To 2029                 $24

8.       150 Year Old Vines Semillon 2014 – Rating 94

 From the Cirillo family’s single block in the Vine Vale district, planted in the 1850s, fermented in 8 French barrels followed by 7 months maturation. It is a full-bodied semillon in a traditional style, very different from the Hunter Valley. Its layered flavours provide plenty to sink one’s teeth into, but will cruise along past ’20 if you are curious to see how it will develop.

Screw cap            11.5% alc.            To 2034                 $49

9.       Terroirs of the Barossa Greenock Shiraz 2013 – Rating 94

 From the 40yo Mattschoss Vineyard, and vinified in the standard Château Tanunda fashion for its single vineyard wines. Black fruits, a touch of bitter chocolate and rippling, soft tannins all stake their claims immediately the wine is tasted; oak, too, has made a  positive contribution. All the Château Tanunda wines fall in the love or leave category.

Cork       15% alc.                                To 2035                 $49

10.   Newcastle Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre Cinsault 2014 – Rating 94

 38/28/27/7%, each component made and matured separately in various oaks for 19 months before blending and bottling. Clever winemaking has produced the maximum result, with a suite of predominantly red fruits on a palate notable for its freshness and drinkability. Great value.

Screw cap            14.5% alc.            To 2025                 $22

11.   125th Anniversary Limited Eden Valley Riesling 2014 – Rating 94

 From the Ahrens Vineyard. A singularly finely detailed expression of Eden Valley riesling, purity and balance its watchwords; Meyer lemon juice flavour runs in a clear, smooth stream across the palate, precisely measured acidity bracing the finish and aftertaste.

Excellent value.

Screw cap            10.5% alc. To 2029 $17

12.   Newcastle Marsanne Viognier Roussanne 2014 – Rating 93

 50/45/5%, each variety fermented separately in stainless steel with 14% wild-fermented in barrel followed by 9 months maturation on lees. The wine has excellent texture/mouthfeel, the flavours in balance, freshness retained.

Drink by: 2019    Date tasted: 19/Jan/2016             Price: $24.00       Alcohol:12.5%

13.   Mattiske Road Shiraz 2013 – Rating 93

Matured for 18 months in French and American oak. Very good depth and hue; a tapestry of blackberry and satsuma plum with a brocaded fringe of supple tannins and integrated oak. The one question is the impact of the alcohol on the finish and aftertaste.

                Drink by: 2020    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $30.00       Alcohol: 15%

14.   The Château Single Vineyard Shiraz 2012 – Rating 93

 From an estate vineyard planted in ‘60 on the sandy soils of the Vine Vale district, the grapes vinified in standard Château Tanunda fashion. It is medium-bodied, and the fruit, oak, tannins and acidity are well balanced and integrated. A good wine from an exceptional vintage.

Drink by: 2027    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $29.00       Alcohol: 14.5%

15.   The Château Shiraz Primitivo Montepulciano 2013 – Rating 93

Primitivo is, of course, durif (sic), which doesn't sound as poetic. The blend works well, red cherry plays hide and seek with the darker fruits that dominate the medium-bodied taste profile, the tannins fine and soft. Seriously pleasing wine.

Drink by: 2023    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $30.00       Alcohol: 14.5%

16.   Terroirs of the Barossa Lyndoch Shiraz 2013 - Rating 92

The grapes were destemmed, not crushed, open-fermented, basket-pressed, matured for 20 months in new and used American and French oak. Deeply coloured; this is a rock of ages, the large body of black fruits within the walls of a fortress of savoury tannins. Approach with a white flag waving, and negotiate the number of years to pass before it is opened.

Drink by: 2043     Date tasted: 12/Sep/2015             Price: $50.00        Alcohol: 15%

17.   125th Anniversary Limited Shiraz 2013 – Rating 92

 A four-district blend from a series of distinguished vineyards. It is medium-bodied, and has a well-balanced mix of fruit, oak and tannins; all the flavours also fit neatly into place, with gently spicy/cedary overtones to the traditional blackberry and plum flavours. Well priced.

Drink by: 2025     Date tasted: 12/Sep/2015             Price: $20.00        Alcohol: 14.5%

18.   Grand Barossa Dry Riesling 2014 – Rating 92

 From estate vineyards in the Bethany, Tanunda and Vine Vale districts. Early picking was the right decision, preserving natural acidity and giving the lime/lemon fruit an edge that is a distinct plus. Excellent outcome from the Barossa Valley floor.

Drink by: 2024    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $25.00       Alcohol: 10.5%

19.   The Everest Shiraz 2013 – Rating 91

 From two vineyards, open-fermented, hand-plunged, matured for 2 years in either two new French puncheons as per marketing material, or new and used French and American barrels ex the back label. The cork has extensive wine stains along its sides; the super weight bottles often need a 25mm, not a 24mm cork to prevent this. A wine that is over-oaked, whichever version of oak use is correct.

                Drink by: 2023    Date tasted: 19/Jan/2016             Price: $195.00    Alcohol: 14.5%

20.   150 Year Old Vines Semillon 2015 – Rating 91

From the Cirillo family vineyard at Light Pass, hand-picked, destemmed, basket-pressed (!), fermented and matured for 7 months in French oak. This is a striking semillon, the barrel ferment and oak far from obvious. There has to be a question mark about the acidity, which slices like a scalpel through the finish and aftertaste - and I was more tolerant of acid than my fellow judges in the Australian wine show ring.

Drink by: 2030    Date tasted: 19/Jan/2016             Price: $50.00       Alcohol: 11%

21.   The Château 100 Year Old Vines Shiraz 2014 – Rating 91

 From vines at Lyndoch, Nuriootpa and Eden Valley, hand-picked, destemmed, small open fermenter, 15 days on skins, matured in American and French oak for 20 months. Good colour; black fruits with a savoury/foresty overlay, but are too tightly bound together as yet. Will unquestionably relax their grip and allow more texture to build; right now still sulking about the shock of bottling.

                Drink by: 2039    Date tasted: 19/Jan/2016             Price: $125.00    Alcohol:14.5%

22.   The Château Old Bush Vine Grenache Rosé 2014

From a 1.6 acre block, crushed and given 3 hours skin contact, then cool-fermented in stainless steel. Early picking has paid big dividends with crisp acidity offset by just a touch of residual sweetness to the red fruit flavours. Will please many palates.

Drink by: 2016    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $24.00       Alcohol: 11.5%

23.   Dahlitz Single Vineyard Merlot 2013 – Rating 91

The vineyard is in the Tanunda district, the wine vinified in standard Château Tanunda fashion, except for the exclusion of American oak. The varietal expression isn't obvious, but it's there in the texture and weight of the wine, and in the mix of cassis with blood plum. An enjoyable surprise packet for merlot addicts.

                Drink by: 2023    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $20.00       Alcohol:14.5%

24.   The Château Bethanian Shiraz 2013 – Rating 90

 From an estate vineyard, the usual Château Tanunda vinification for its second-tier wines. Plenty of presence, but a spine of acidity jars (partially added?); the flow on the back-palate and finish. Looks better each time it is retasted.

Drink by: 2023    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $29.00       Alcohol: 14.5%

25.   Matthews Road Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – Rating 90

 This estate vineyard is high in the Eden Valley, destemmed, not crushed, open-fermented, basket-pressed, matured for 2 years in new and used French oak. Only light to medium-bodied, but it has fully sufficient varietal expression, and there is no threat from the tannins. Good cabernet for early consumption.

Drink by: 2020     Date tasted: 12/Sep/2015             Price: $15.00        Alcohol: 14.5%

26.   Barossa Tower Shiraz 2013 – Rating 90

 Matured for 18 months in a mix of new and used French and American oak. A well-made and well-balanced, medium-bodied wine with expressive black fruits shot through with spicy tannins and plum cake, the oak integrated. Very good value.

Drink by: 2020    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $19.00       Alcohol: 14.5%

27.   Barossa Tower Shiraz Primitivo 2014 – Rating 90

 Contract-grown by many Barossa Valley vignerons. Standard Château Tanunda vinification, no blend percentage stated. An attractive wine with a tapestry of spiced black fruits, illuminated by red berry spices here and there. Neatly priced.

Drink by: 2020    Date tasted: 01/Oct/2015             Price: $19.00       Alcohol: 14.5%