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Weekend Bargains

New Trial Bin
Mixed Dozen

Final Weekend of Spring Bargains

On going wine blending trials serve many purposes though one of these is to learn more about making great budget reds.

‘Winemaker Red Trials of South Australia 2018’ Mixed Dozen Pack

The wine maker Benjamin has begun a new round of red wine Trials a process I watch with great interest. The reasons for Trials are many but at the back of both of our minds is a quest to perfect the best ever, value for money reds. Perhaps inspired by the Penfolds Koonunga Hill and Jacobs Creek creations that were released in the late 1970 which changed customers views of budget wines from no-way to yes-please. I was excited by a number of the Trials and asked for them to be bottled so three are new. This is a fabulous mix of what we do and to make them more attractivbe have an opening weekend price of $69.90.

I call this mix ‘The Winemaker Red Trials of South Australia’ mixed dozen which contains three bottles of the following four wines:

Trial Bin 656 South Australia Adelaidean Cabernet Grenache 2013
Trial Bin 657 South Australia Merlot Cabernet NV
Trial Bin 658 South Australia Cabernet Shiraz Merlot NV
Trial Bin 576 South Australia Carbernedro 2013/2016

Recommended Bargain from Adelaide Hills
Darby Lane Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016

Region: Adelaide Hills
Adelaide sprawls along a coastal plain with market gardens to the north while south are the coastal vineyard districts of Reynella-now housing - and McLaren Vale.

The eastern back drop to Adelaide is a rapidly rising fault scarp that lifts to 400 metres and further east peaks at 727 metres at Mount Lofty.

With some vineyards as high as 600 metres this provides a wonderful contrast in flavours to the vineyards of the warm coastal plain.

In general consumers favour whites from cooler regions which are crisper and lighter and retain natural acidity.


New Blend Improves Quality
Trial Bin 576 South Australia Cabernedro 2013 and 2016

Region: South Australia
Boldness will not come from dusting off old ways of winemaking or pretending to make natural wines but from rethinking how to get a good drink to the customer while lowering the price. Today I release a brilliant effort from the winemaker Benjamin Parker which shows what is possible.

To a delightful base of 2013 South Australian Cabernet all from premium regions including the Barossa he has added a large chunk of 100% Barossa Valley Bonvedro 2016.

The result is sensational as is the price. Boldness, directed where is should be, at the customer and without waffle. We have been trialling ideas which lower prices for 18 months now, the Trial Bin Range, so you may drink better for less.

We are not motivated as young Turks are to be awarded ‘Young Gun Winemaker of the Year’ as this we have ‘been there done that’. The real adventure is to rethink the whole world of wine from the ground up. Grab a box and see how we are going.


Drinking Well At Little Cost
Borderland Estates 'Flocking Galloots' Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016

Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Benjamin on a recent buying trip discovered a cache of Adelaide Hills Chardonnay and purchased the lot. Time and time again our purchases of gold quality wines come about for the same reason. Wineries like to get rewarded for well-made wines and refuse offers which are too low. This may work to their advantage though as time ticks by the selling job gets a little harder.

When you have in stock the 2017 vintage and a bumper 2018 harvest the time has arrived to get what you can for the older vintages. Yet consider this; wines are stored in stainless steel tanks at low temperature and are held in suspended animation, with changes being very slow.

Thus in-effect Benjamin has purchased a collection of Chardonnays at one third the price of the 2018s. This is what wine merchants do. The wines are shipped to the winery, tested and bottled under stelvin caps which also slows ageing. This is how wonderful bargains are created.


Great Vintage Great Prospects
Langdorf Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
Every ripening cycle of the grapes is different. This leads to vintage charts as they provide numbers to measure what nature has given the fruit. In cold climates a good rule of thumb is that a warmer season makes more interesting wines than a season when it is harder to ripen the grapes.

In a warm to hot climate like the Barossa Valley getting a ripe crop is not the problem yet striking seasonal differences occur between wines even when we see one summer much like another. These differences though are not so pronounced that you would prefer one over another, rather they are complex differences which are apparent when comparing wines.

Thus I like 2013, 2014 and 2015 and do not favour one over the other though I like the additional ripening time evident in our 2015s. The same vineyards give different results so if you are collecting the Langdorfs keep the sequence going as they strike me as getting richer the younger the vintage; at least in this part of the weather cycle.

At this stage the 2015 is a warm rich wine though cellaring will bring benefits suggesting others from our range are better at this moment.


Pioneer Vineyard Growers First was 2009
Colton & Hewett McLaren Vale Cabernet 2014

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
Benjamin is a bloodhound on the loose when he heads off to search for wines. All leads are followed but only a precious few make his ears lift. Being Barossa based we treasure the wines we find from the great regions further south as we wish to offer a broad selection of what can be discovered along the 300-kilometre arc of the Adelaidean-Mount Lofty range.

McLaren Vale fronts the eastern coast of the gulf country coast meaning the grape ripening is influenced by cooling, ocean breezes, flowing in from the great mega Southern Ocean. McLaren Vale then sits in a favourable, vineyard setting which extends from the ocean front in a widening V shaped wedge reaching 10 kilometres in width which abuts a fault scarp.

The result is a pocket of world class vineyards which make many of Australia’s greatest reds. Recognition of this is recent with a stumbling start dating to the 1960s. The first Colton and Hewett, a Glug revival was a 2009 McLaren Vale Shiraz. Please note this is for current drinking, will keep, but not for prolonged cellaring.


Barossa Valley Salt of the Earth
Goat Square Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
The Goat is a pure expression of Barossa Shiraz with a light dose of mature oak as it does not see new oak. Benjamin does not want the rich, ripeness and complex flavours developed from the fruit being clouded or masked with new oak. The wine does though have a lot of extract so stands easily on its own. The first vintage was the 2008 and with the Karrawirra is a staple of Glug.

Goat Square is an historic masterpiece as it was the old centre of Tanunda, Barossa Valley, and survives with three original cottages on the corners of the square with the oldest, the Rieschieck house built in 1850. This style of wine is what we wanted to do when coming to the Barossa which is let each vintage express itself and to do this we use simple wine making methods.

These can be summed up as pick, ferment in small open fermenters, settle and age for two years in old, oak puncheons. Benjamin does not over-use pump-overs which can extract unwanted hard flavours, there is no pre or post soaking and no new oak. Most vintages in the Barossa deliver all the flavour needed as in this 2016.


100% Barossa Valley - Guaranteed!

Glug 'It's All Barossa Valley - 100% Guaranteed' Mix

Contains 1 bottle each of the following wines:-

Explore our Rich Reds

Glug 'Exploring the Full Flavoured Reds of SA' Mix 1

The reds of South Australia are very special. The reason is the geography of the premium vineyard regions means the climate is a balance between cooling and ripening in a way which is not found anywhere else on the globe. The bunches of grapes are pulled towards the coolness of the Great Southern Mega Ocean which slows flavour development, which can alter quickly by the intense, inland, heat flowing in from the baking, red centre. It is this balance, constantly tilting, which makes complex, intense, interesting flavours which are best referred to as warm flavoured reds. Though a grower in Coonawarra may well disagree. Any-way this is the first mix of a wonderful new selection.

Contains 1 bottle each of the following wines:-


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