Ballandean Estate’s award-winning single vineyard premium Shiraz is sourced from the Opera Block’s oldest vines, planted in 1968, some of the oldest in Australia. Winemaker Dylan Rhymer has delivered a delicate balance of fruit and French oak in the 2015 vintage. This Shiraz is an eloquent demonstration of the Granite Belt’s terroir, boasting ripe berry and cassis aromas. On the palate, intense blackcurrant, light pepper and spices combine with medium tannins for palate structure and a smooth, lingering finish. Aged for 12 to 15 months in air dried French oak barriques; this wine is one of our most consistent award winners.
Australian Shiraz – a survival story
Australia can lay proud claim to the some of the oldest commercial Shiraz vines in the world. We owe this extraordinary vine heritage to our isolated location and quarantine law, as most of the world suffered the ravages of phylloxera, the vine eating louse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,
However in the late sixties, the Australian market turned from sweet fortified ports towards table wines—especially Chardonnay. As late as 1989, the Australian government was still paying growers to uproot old Shiraz vines—a travesty! Sadly, many growers unable to sell their Shiraz crops once the taste for sweet fortified ports lapsed in the early seventies lapsed crops would pull up the old vines and replace them with white grapes.
Most Shiraz vines in Australia are young, barely teenagers, with the exception of a few in the warm climate of the Barossa Valley, where a few families with foresight maintained some vines in a time of flux. Did you know that Yalumba was known as the Oporto of Australia? Or that the backbone of Penfold’s Grange is made up of old vine shiraz?