Possible even likely: The 2021 Barossa vintage reds equal the legendary 1996’s

I’m annoyed with myself for not understanding the significance of the 2021 vintage reds from South Australia, specifically those from the Adelaidean Mount Lofty Range.

Writing copy that overhypes wine is tiresome for customers, so I prefer a low-key style, though almost missed the 2021’s which are worthy of hype.

The final clues came with the ‘five-star red haul’, the Clare Valley purchase of Shiraz and Cabernet from 2021 and 2022.

Then the other day as Brad was preparing bottlings of the Crayford Barossa Valley reds from 2021, I took a large glass of several back to my desk for detailed study. These wines nail this vintage and are outstanding. Later I felt a bit unsteady walking to the car if you must know.

So, I give my strongest recommendation for Karrawirra Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021Goat Square Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021Crayford Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021, and Mount Eagle Eden Valley Shiraz 2021.

A colleague in Adelaide is singing the praises of the 2021 reds which he purchased at the recent tasting weekend. You must buy the Fareham Estate Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2021. Somehow the weather altered the normal ratio of flavour compounds in the bunches of grapes in the vineyards along the Adelaidean Mount Lofty Range, so also look at Langhorne Creek and we offer Glug The Regions Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2021.

Climb aboard quickly. There is something rather special about the reds from 2021 from the Adelaidean Mount Lofty Range. I have come to this conclusion after sampling a wide range from districts like Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale. You can drink with safety.

Wine really is an odd drink. The fresh veg retailer selling greens means picked in the last week. With wine we can rave about the new vintage, the  vintage ports of 1931, the importance of the Chateau D’Yquem 1921 or the wines from the year of the comet 1811.

The same weather flavours an apple as it does the grapes in an adjoining block. Then wine magic takes over as we can go crazy, quoting all sorts of facts to justify the purchase, and one of these is the vintage.

Vintages do vary though the big difference is really one way. The cooler the vineyard the greater the problem of ripening the grapes. The clever makers of Champagne, which is marginal for ripening, sold the idea that a blend of several vintages to make a non-vintage Champagne produced a more balanced taste. Nice way to use the lesser vintages.

You may recall I often refer to the ‘other French paradox’, a play on the paradox of the Mediterranean diet being good for health, this being about how the great French vintages occur when they get Barossa style heat yet declaim Barossa wines.

So a great vintage comes from an evenness in the weather. Every day passes quietly without the drama of heat waves or nasty storms. That perfect Australian summer which now a days is not so common. That where the winemaker says ‘the wines made themselves’. No drama and no fuss.

We make up stories in the wine business as marketing says, customers love the stories and that sells wine. You read it all the time. How the couple triumphed over a devastating hellish hot period or cold spell, the cruel hail which wiped out the neighbours, and the one I like is how the old vines while struggling over the long dry summer again came up trumps. As any gardener knows what they needed was a drink of water.

My weekend walk takes me past the old ‘unirrigated’ bush vines of Turkey Flat planted in 1847. They have lost many in my Barossa tenure by clinging to folk lore before putting drippers along the rows. There is only so much old chaps can take in old age.

So back to what to buy. We have further 2021’s to release though buy what is currently on sale as they don’t get much better.

So, Drink Widely Drink Well

David Farmer

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