Losing Weight

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By Rod Properjohn,

We know that winemakers are making their red wines lighter nowadays, especially in warmer regions. They are picking grapes earlier resulting in less alcohol and they are reducing the amount of new oak they use.

The regions famous for big reds, especially Shiraz, are the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek in SA and the Swan District here in WA. There are many consumers who prefer the traditional wines, so winemakers need to tread warily so as to not lose consumer support, but are progressive enough to accept that styles are changing.  The clever ones are subtle in their approach and are diluting the richness and power of their reds without losing regional identity and form. It’s tough to do and if successful they will retain drinkers’ endorsement and therefore keep the bank manager happy.

These two Barossa wines are modern examples;

Hentley Farm 2016 Villain & Vixen Barossa Valley Shiraz

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Clever label here, it says it offers an elegant red and not the blockbuster shiraz many consumers expect from the Barossa. It has good tannins, impressive blueberry fruit and richness, regional traits no doubt, but without the weight and intensity of some of its peers.
92 pts, Available in Liquor Barons Summer On the Vine


Torzi Matthews 2015 Schist Rock Barossa Shiraz

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This is commendable at an attractive price. It’s generously fruited, spicy, has judicious oak, gentle tannins and a soft finish. It’s a Barossa shiraz that will suit the nostalgic Barossa consumers, as well as new kids on the block.  Give it a nudge.
92 pts, Available in Liquor Barons Summer On the Vine