Oz winemakers hail 2018 Shiraz ‘vintage of the century’

Drinks: Drinks, Wines
Location: Australasia

If you’re a fan of top-class Shiraz, then you need to pop a note in your diary for two years from now when the Barossa and Clare Valley 2018s start to hit the market.

Winemakers in the valleys north of Adelaide have been lining up to praise what looks like being a superlative 2018 vintage across the region, with Shiraz, in particular, looking truly exceptional.


‘Everything we have seen so far is pointing to a five-star vintage that will rival some of best wines we have ever produced,’ said Mitchell Taylor, MD of Wakefield Wines in the Clare Valley.

The vintage was dry, but cooler than average in the run-up to harvest, with small amounts of rain falling throughout the growing season. A lack of extreme weather events around vintage – heat spikes or rainfall – also helped.

White varieties, such as Chardonnay and Riesling are of high quality, but the highest accolades are being reserved for the region’s benchmark reds.

‘The colours and flavour concentrations in the young reds are the best we have seen in a long time,’ said Taylor. ‘The general consensus is that it’s looking like one of the best red vintages of the past decade – for Shiraz, in particular, possibly the past century.’

Tim Dolan, senior winemaker at Peter Lehmann in the Barossa described grape quality as ‘very high across the board.’

‘Highlights have included some small parcels of Barossa Cabernet, Eden Valley Riesling, and of course Shiraz,’ he told Imbibe.

A spokesman for Negociants UK, which import Yalumba, based in the Eden Valley, said early indicators are that it’s ‘superb across the board’.

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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