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’.