Exceptional Langtons Classification. The Rockford wineworks and apparatus on Krondorf Road at Tanunda date back to the 1850s. The artisanal proprietors employ traditional techniques to assemble one of the nation's most singularly commanding wines. Parcels of the best dry grown old vine Shiraz, some of which were planted in the nineteenth century, from a select cabal of growers, operating vineyards in the Barossa, Kalimna and Ebenezer, Moppa Springs and the Eden Valley, are treated to an ancient basket press followed by vinfication in old fashioned open fermentation vessels.
The batches are matured in a selection of mostly well seasoned French and American oak barrels, before a rigorous selection to determine the final assemblage. Deeply coloured wine. A dense bouquet of aromatic dark fruits and berries with a twist of spice before the most engaging palate of reductions, power and richness over background oak and complex spice.
Difficult season, but it's not a difficult wine. Fans of the label with some already stashed in their cellar can breathe easy. It's fuller in body than the season might have predicted, but more elegant than is usual for this wine. Blackberry, raspberry, coffee grounds, toast and vanilla fill it out, with herbs and peppers whispering through the finish. Tannin is the key: it's ripe, fine, marked by its finesse and yet determined to get its point across. Perhaps not a long-termer, but no doubting either its merit or drinking appeal. Date Tasted: Oct 2014; Alcohol: 14.2%; Rating: 95 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion
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