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Auld & Burton McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Ripeness with Balance Are What We Seek
Auld & Burton McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Region:McLaren Vale, South Australia

The uniqueness of McLaren Vale comes from the ocean frontage and the inland heat flowing in from beyond the Adelaide Hills. The story of the wines is how the two climates, cool and warm, interact each vintage across the gently sloping vineyards of McLaren Vale.

There are many fine vineyard regions across the globe that are close to ocean beaches, yet none are positioned just like McLaren Vale where the tension of cool ocean breezes and the inland summer heat confront each other during the ripening period. The cooling ocean tempers the final flavour of the wine in ways that modify the mid palate sweetness created by the daylight heat.

An all-round drinker should balance the wines of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale to gather the best of both worlds while discussing the differences.

Price: $9.70

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Auld & Burton Barossa Valley Shiraz 2018
Last Barossa Red was the 2011
Auld & Burton Barossa Valley Shiraz 2018

Region:Barossa Valley, South Australia

With so many Barossa wines available today it may seem surprising that back in the 1970s it was difficult to buy 100% Barossa Valley reds.

The Barossa was the production centre for many of the large heritage companies such as Penfolds, Orlando, Seppelts and Yalumba and they were interested in making large volumes of multi-district wines. Certainly Barossa fruit was used in all of the wines to 'stiffen the back-bone' though this was not mentioned on the label. This really did not change until the 1990s when a smarter consumer insisted upon authentic regional specialties.

At last the real Barossa came to life and these days roars ahead.

When we arrived in the Barossa in 2004 we began bottling wines made by small family companies as P.B. Burgoyne, Oakley Adams and Auld and Burton. These are our wine merchant brands which give us the flexibility to take opportunities as they come along. The last Auld and Burton Barossa wine was from the 2011 vintage.

Price: $10.20

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Bagot Station Barossa Valley Shiraz 2018
Northern Barossa Full-bodied Rich Ripe
Bagot Station Barossa Valley Shiraz 2018

Region:Barossa Valley, South Australia

What is it about Barossa Valley reds that makes them so satisfying?

For me it has always been the weight of flavour, the feature that makes warm climate reds, so popular with Australian drinkers. As long as the flavours are in balance, they will be soft and assured and this is achieved with the correct picking time and appropriate fermentation methods.

It is easy to over extract Barossa Valley fruit, meaning the tannins then play a larger role than they should in the build-up of flavours across your palate. That is the point about balance, the wine should be harmonious with all the flavour components sitting comfortably together.

The other factor we like about making Barossa wines is that they deliver what consumers experienced last time. Wines from cool climate regions are very exciting though the problem is they are far more variable between makers with each vintage being all over the place.

Another great Bagot bargain.

Price: $10.50

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Auld & Burton Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
We Could Not Resist Purchase - So So Good
Auld & Burton Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Region:Barossa Valley, South Australia

At long last customers, Australia wide, are warming to the correct flavours of Barossa Valley Cabernet.

Since arriving in the Barossa in 2004 we have been wary of investing too heavily in Barossa Cabernet as this variety is recognised more as being from Coonawarra and Margaret River. Yet Cabernet thrives across many climate regions and the special flavours which make it so popular are still detectable. A Barossa wine though will be fuller and riper than that from Coonawarra.

I recall with fondness the Orlando Barossa Valley Cabernets of the 1960s and 1970s though they were discontinued I guess from lack of interest. Cabernet was of course scarce until the large plantings of the 1980s matured and it now sits in popularity just behind Shiraz.

As expressed, it is better when buying to imagine the likely taste of the region before selecting the variety. So for this Auld and Burton it is Barossa first and Cabernet second.

Price: $10.20

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Parawatta Eden Valley Shiraz 2018
First Release was the 2011
Parawatta Eden Valley Shiraz 2018

Region:Eden Valley, South Australia

Fabulous Shiraz with great depth of flavour and complex flavours which enrich the mouth feel.

The large region of Eden Valley adjoins the Barossa Valley and extends eastward and south where the Eden merges into the Adelaide Hills district. Great wines come from the Eden Valley, the home of Henschke for example and others like the Yalumba wines of Pewsey Vale and Heggies. With that said consumer recognition is low yet there is no reason at all based on quality and price why this should be so.

Benjamin made his first Eden Valley wines shortly after we arrived in the Barossa though the first Parawatta was the 2011 vintage. The Eden Valley has a higher elevation than the Barossa Valley and with scarce water yields are lower. Advanced customers will readily understand the flavour differences and nuances of the Eden Valley compared to the Barossa and Adelaide Hills and for a superior wine start with this Parawatta.

Price: $14.50

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Shearers Lament South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Big Colour Plum Flavour
Shearers Lament South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Region: South Australia

The first Shearers was a Shiraz 2009 with many since making this release the 10th vintage though at times there has been three or four red varieties per vintage. We want the Shearers style to be full in colour and flavour and will take fruit from anywhere in Australia though this release is 100% from South Australia. Many years back I stopped at the Shearers Hall of Fame, Hay, NSW and finding the visit rewarding later developed this brand as our recognition of this major piece of Australiana.

Rich reds are now as symbolic of our country as this all-time miraculous feat: 'Jackie' Howe's records with hand shears are unequalled. On the 10th October, 1892 at Alice Downs near Blackall, Queensland, 'Jackie' shore 321 sheep in 7 hours and 40 minutes.

This record stood until 1947 when Daniel Cooper with machine shears shore 325 Corriedales at Glenara station, Langkoop, Victoria, over 8 hours. Today the record is 463 set in 1998 by Beau Guelpi’.

Price: $7.99

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Langdorf Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Top Vintage Substantial and Powerful
Langdorf Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Region:Barossa Valley, South Australia

Most varieties ripen over a wide climate range and why wine-writers are fixated with claiming there is a narrow band within which a variety attains maximum flavour continually annoys me.

Barossa Cabernet is a delightful wine, the equal of those from cooler more maritime climates. Let us instead of having narrow views write instead about the diversity that wine offers.

The oldest Cabernet vines in Australia are in the Barossa Valley and date to 1892 though Australia wide plantings of Cabernet did not happen till the 1980s. Its widespread availability is likely this reason that Cabernet from the Barossa has slipped off consumer’s radar.

Glug are keen supporters of Barossa Cabernet and as with all the reds we make we favour fuller richer styles so the use of new oak is limited. Barossa grapes have ample flavour and, in our opinion, do not benefit from prolonged ageing in new oak. For this a Cabernet needs softening and Barossa reds are soft enough when fermented. For this reason, they are mellowed in mature oak for two to four years.

Price: $16.00

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Bagot Station Barossa Valley Cabernet Merlot 2016
Fabulous Drink Full of Goodness
Bagot Station Barossa Valley Cabernet Merlot 2016

Observing the buying preferences of customers for decades teaches retailers that many red drinkers like full bodied, yet softer wines that display ripe flavours. This is also the preference of Glug which is why we located the business in the Barossa Valley in 2004.

Making enjoyable reds with full, ripe flavours likely makes the Barossa Valley the capital of the world for this style. Recall that many a Penfolds Grange is plus 90% Barossa Shiraz so we sit in great company.

I also like this style of red for another reason as it suits the many occasions where study of the wine is not warranted or inappropriate but each sip provides delight while discussing other matters.

This Bagot Station is what Glug set out to produce back in 2004. This 2016 is a great bargain.

Price: $10.00

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Crayford Barossa Valley Durif 2018
Perfectly Suits the Historic Barossa Taste
Crayford Barossa Valley Durif 2018

Region:Barossa Valley, South Australia

There are likely 10,000 wine grape varieties and perhaps several thousand of these are regularly used to make table wines. A far smaller number are the staple varieties grown across Australia. Then there are perhaps another 100 varieties in Australia that have devoted fans which we should all support as they add interest to our drinking.

Glug are big supporters of variety and bottle many of these 'alternative varieties'. Large companies do not as they are geared to large volumes and wait until the popularity is proven before adding the variety to their portfolio. We support all alternative though have a few favourites and one of these is Durif from the Barossa Valley.

The French botanist Francois Durif crossed the pollen of Syrah (Shiraz) with the flowers of Peloursin to produce this new variety in the 1860s. It was later referred to as 'plant du rif' and then Durif and found its way to Australia and was planted in Rutherglen in 1908.

Durif makes lovely wines, on the big side, from the Barossa Valley.

Price: $12.50

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Farmers and Growers 'Wheatsheaf' South Australia Dry Red NV
Exciting Second Release
Farmers and Growers 'Wheatsheaf' South Australia Dry Red NV

Region: Barossa Valley
The first Wheatsheaf was a Shiraz Cabernet 2008 and the brand comes and goes as we find suitable wine. If you still have past vintages you will be pleasantly surprised.

Currently the winemakers enjoy taking an old vintage and refreshing it with say a 2017. This makes the wine a non-vintage but brings together maturity and youth, ideal for a tasty budget red.

This is a complex blend as it contains wines from many regions, all in South Australia, with a slant towards Cabernet. As expressed younger vintages lift the fruit of older vintages in ways which benefit both. Good wine for general purpose drinking.

Price: $6.99

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Glug 'The Holy Cow' Eden Valley Shiraz 2018
Singing the Praises of Eden Valley Reds
Glug 'The Holy Cow' Eden Valley Shiraz 2018

Region: Eden Valley, South Australia

The region of Eden Valley abuts the Barossa Valley to the east and south east. In general the Eden vineyards are several hundred metres higher while being further from the coast-line, part of the region is drier than the Barossa Valley.

We adore the whites from Eden Valley and over the decades have offered a range of Rieslings and other white varieties. Suitable reds have been almost impossible to discover as apart from the wines of Henschke they never found consumer favour.

Over the last two decades new grower-makers have established themselves in the Eden Valley with the determination to make the reds as famous as the whites. Some of these are now being offered to Glug and very choice they are.

This Glug 'Holy Cow' is an example of not only the revival of reds from Eden Valley but of a more thoughtful way to make them which emphasises warmth and ripeness rather than coolness and elegance.

Price: $14.60

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Glug Reserve Eden Valley Shiraz 2018
Recall this is Henschke Country
Glug Reserve Eden Valley Shiraz 2018

Region:Eden Valley, South Australia

The importance of the Eden Valley for red wines has been understood since the 1950s.

Being higher than the Barossa Valley the temperature is cooler in the evenings and the picking time later than the Barossa Valley. The wines in turn do not reach the enormous proportions of the Valley and are noted for different aromas and longer length of flavour, features that make them desirable for blending with Barossa Valley wines.

Even so as a shop retailer I found it hard to get customers interested in 100% Eden Valley reds and companies like Tollana which specialised in reds from Eden Valley did not prosper.

I remind customers that our Glug Reserves reach our highest quality while also pointing out that the expensive reds of Henschke are of course from Eden Valley.

This Reserve is an exceptional Shiraz which will repay with cellaring.

Price: $19.40

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Mount Eagle Eden Valley Merlot 2018
Discovering the Value of Eden Valley Merlot
Mount Eagle Eden Valley Merlot 2018

Region:Eden Valley, South Australia

The embrace of table wine by Australians from the 1950s naturally caught our growers with vineyards of the wrong varieties as they were geared for fortified wine production. To replant with the desirable varieties for table wines would take time and for the next decade the industry improvised with what it had.

Steadily the plantings of the right varieties expanded yet with swings in drinking fashion there was never enough of one variety or almost nothing of another.

Out of no-where a fashion grew for Merlot, I recall it spread from the U.S., yet almost no plantings existed in Australia. By the 1990s there was enough Merlot to supply demand which by then had receded. Now there are mature plantings of Merlot the value of which is unrecognised.

With this knowledge Benjamin has been searching for Merlot among the growers and makers we like. This extraordinary example was discovered in the Eden valley where the climate and variety match.

Price: $12.60

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Grandma Raethel Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
9th Vintage Release of Grandma
Grandma Raethel Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Barossa Valley Cabernet deserves a far higher rating than it currently receives.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s Barossa Cabernets were rated as some of the country’s best wines though these days fine Cabernets are more often associated with cooler climate regions. Cabernet ripens well across a wide spectrum and think of the Lakes Folly Cabernets of the Hunter Valley.

What to favour and what to drink are influenced by fashion so take advantage and swing back to warm climate Cabernet while they are under-priced.

The first Grandma Cabernet was the 2009 and the 2016 is the fourth. The source varies across many vineyards in the Barossa Valley rather than being a single vineyard wine or one associated with a small region.

The 2016 year has left us with a great vintage as is now apparent as they mature.

Price: $19.50

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Goat Square Barossa Valley Shiraz 2018
First of Three Small and Concentrated Vintages
Goat Square Barossa Valley Shiraz 2018

Region: Barossa Valley, SA

This is the thirteenth vintage of the Goat Shiraz which we refer to as the ‘Salt of the Earth’.

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 competing with the raw flavours of new oak. Wines like this have a lot of extract and easily stands on its own.

The first vintage was the 2006 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 sums up as letting each vintage express itself. To achieve this we use simple wine making methods, and these can be summed up as pick, ferment in small open fermenters, settle and age for two years in old, oak puncheons.

Benjamin is careful with over-use of pump-overs which can extract unwanted hard flavours, and there is no pre or post soaking and no new oak.

Price: $14.50

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Landaus Vintners 'Blockies' South Australia Shiraz Mataro 2018
Good Enough for Blockies Good Enough for Us
Landaus Vintners 'Blockies' South Australia Shiraz Mataro 2018

Region: South Australia
A sensational new wine from Parker and his team and a personal favourite. As I adore Mataro because it’s the rich beef broth that makes the sauce. The first Blockies blend was made in 1996 though while I was around it was left to winemakers as I lived in Sydney. Now I can get my hands closer to how it's made the quality is far better.

The first we made when we moved to the Barossa was not until the 2009 which was a creation of Benjamin and Phil Lehmann. The shiraz came from a selection of South Australian barrels and the mataro from our resources of the best Barossa.

Good mataro is the back drop of many a good blend and it strengthens the final taste. This is a quality all purpose red with lots of meat on the bone. The final wine was blended and bottled in the Barossa Valley.

Price: $7.99

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Brutus Barossa Valley Shiraz Durif 2017
Big Colour Plum Flavour
Brutus Barossa Valley Shiraz Durif 2017

Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia

The idea of Glug was to bring together many threads about the wine business, one being to become producers. Not only to make wines from the best-known varieties but to become familiar with many specialist varieties. Over decades a desire had formed to work with the heritage varieties Mataro and Grenache while also testing the potential of other often obscure varieties which likely had huge, hidden potential, of which one was Durif. In 2007 Benjamin began trialling blends of Shiraz and Durif and the first Brutus appeared with the triumphant 2008 vintage which was released in May, 2011.

As we learnt more about the varietal combination of Shiraz and Durif, the range of wines was extended to include cheaper products such as The Smithy and Pressman which appear from time to time. Barossa Shiraz is unique in its appeal and at times can overwhelm the mid-palate with intense. weighty fruit ‘sweetness’ and this we find is perfect for Durif which explodes much more on the far back palate. What a combination and what a wine.

Price: $29.90

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Explore SA's Richest Reds


Glug 'Exploring the Full Flavoured Reds of SA' Mix

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.

Contains 1 bottle each of the following wines:-

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Winemakers Create Great Bargain


Glug Winemakers SA Best Value Mix

Over the last few months the winemaking team of Benjamin, Greg and Brad have made many incredible value for money wines which are a Glug specialty. These have been collected into this South Australia Best Value Mix which at the price offers incredible value.

Contains 1 bottle each of the following wines:-

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