2018, Barossa, Shiraz, The Blonde, The Brunette, The Redhead

Our most anticipated release in years!

By Alex Head /

For the first time, we are offering our Limited & Icon Series Shiraz from the famed 2018 vintage.

There is no doubt that this is the best we've seen since the previous La Niña year in 2012. 2018 was helped along by a moderately wet growing season with a mild and dry Indian summer during ripening. There is overall brightness and balance due to a tight rein on sugars, with alcohols between 13.6% & 14.2% — a key defining character for a long and rewarding life in the cellar. Vin de garde!

2018 The Blonde

Stonewell, Barossa
In 2006, I was blinded every day on my way to work at Torbreck. And back. A deep, limestone cutting on Stonewell Road reflected the sun. White and brilliant. Limestone is calcium-rich, rare and coveted for making Grand Vin, particularly in warmer sites.

It was a sign I couldn't ignore. And so, The Blonde was born.

100% de-stemmed and matured for 17 months in 40% new French oak barrique and puncheon. Alcohol, a respectable 14.2%. It should cellar comfortably for 15 years and start to peak in 2-3 years. With ample acidity, it'll match a garlic herb-crusted roast rack of lamb.

94 POINTS – Huon Hooke, The Real Review         
95 POINTS – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front


2018 The Brunette

Moppa, Barossa
In contrast to the pale limestone of Stonewell, The Brunette earns its name from the rich, brown ironstone of Moppa to the north.  

The Brunette fared extremely well in 2018 with its trademark northern Barossa characters of dark, spiced mulberry and chocolate. Muddled with higher altitude (380m) characters of earlier physiological ripening, freshness and fineness of tannin.

We used 20% stem retention in the ferment and 17 months in 40% new barriques for added complexity and long life. Alcohol here is 13.8% — bang on, in my opinion! I'd love to see this wine with a richly sauced venison back-strap.

95 POINTS – Huon Hooke, The Real Review         
95 POINTS – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front



2018 The Redhead

Menglers Hill, Barossa
2018 The Redhead is a rare pleasure, being only the fourth to be made. Sourced from within the Mattschoss family's "Wilton Hill Vineyards" in the Eden Valley, it's borne from an unusual parent rock and soil profile. Not only granite and quartz, but a lot of ironstone normally found in parts of the Barossa Valley's north and western ridges.

This wine contains two clones of Shiraz: EVOV (planted c. 1929) & 1654 (2004) planted at an elevation of 500m. Both blocks are spur-pruned to increase the intensity of fruit and also allow the canopy style to protect the fruit from sunburn at this elevation.

Here the stems have time to catch up to the fruit in their ripeness so we push more (30%) into the ferment. These stem tannins then help balance the wine after maturation in 50% new French barriques (Old Forrest of Troncais) for 17 months. Ultimately this very special wine is for the long-haul. Afford it patience and time in the cellar before opening. 

For those who can’t wait, please decant and share with flamboyant decadence.

95+ POINTS – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
95 POINTS – Huon Hooke, The Real Review


Thank you for your ongoing support in these remarkable times. We hope you can create wonderful experiences with these wines and continue to share them with loved ones for many years to come!