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What Will Happen To Barossa Prices?



New Barossa Blend Sweet and Rich
Stonevale 'Red Barn' Barossa Valley Cabernet Shiraz 2016

Region: Barossa Valley
Sometimes we have Barossa Valley wines at this price and many times we do not. This is a blend from a collection of wines we purchased from a nearby winery late last year.

These reds did not make the cut for their own label which sits at $35 a bottle. When you charge the big dollars you must provide genuinely, great wines or risk destroying a reputation which may have taken generations to build.

Glug buyers will understand we have a carefully graded range of brands to suit all price points yet ‘overdeliver’ we do. So this sits in the day to day house red category but the Barossa being the Barossa delivers warmth and generosity.

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At Last Great Grenache Emerges
Postcards of The Future 'Whale Bus' Barossa Valley Grenache 2018

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
The greatest of all taste discoveries will be found in warm climate Grenache. Barossa winemakers now have decades of experience in bringing out the best of Grenache and an experience as great as that of Pinot Noir, awaits those who have yet to discover the charms of this heritage variety. Cuttings arrived in Australia likely as far back as the 1820s yet its role until the 1980s revival was to provide a base for fortified wines.

I like the thought of those who explain it as being a warm climate Pinot Noir as it is lighter in colour than Shiraz and Cabernet, and has a silky, soft texture, and while well-made wines have length, it is not the length of the tannic grip of the more popular red varieties.

Indeed when gently pressed it makes a very great Rose style and is used at Glug to make most of our Barossa Roses. Lastly it has a long history in the Rhone Valley and the best from this region sell for hundreds of dollars.

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Shining Example of Barossa Mataro
Village Belle Barossa Valley Mourvedre 2017

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
We make and purchase a lot of Barossa Valley Mataro. To build the flavours in Mataro we appreciate, requires a long, warm ripening cycle and for this the Barossa and Clare Valleys are the best. Mataro takes all of Summer and into Autumn to ripen and is one of the last varieties picked. This has an advantage as the other varieties having completed fermentation means that fermenters are available when the grapes are perfect.

Many varieties ripen at the same time which places a lot of pressure on the winery earlier in the season. Interest in Mataro has steadily grown since the 1980s and with many winemakers having handled 20 consecutive vintages the wine quality has soared.

The winemaker Benjamin Parker was so impressed with those from 2017 and 2018 to have a few barrels bottled as Village Belle. The concept behind this wine range is to feature high quality examples of lesser known varieties.

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High Value for Money Ratio
Old Moppa Road Barossa Valley Shiraz Cabernet 2016

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
For this Barossa blend the winemakers have returned to the Australian tradition of matching Shiraz with Cabernet. This historical blend likely has no particular starting date though Yalumba have been supporters since the 1940s.

Penfolds have also used the blend from the experimental wines of the 1950s to the Koonunga Hill of the 1970s. At times it has been argued that Cabernet lacks mid palate depth and winemakers have used Shiraz to fill this flavour hole. These days the blend is not particularly common so let us say at times blending the two makes a more interesting wine and plenty of times it does not.

In some vintages grape and flavour quality is uneven and they are the vintages when it makes sense to blend. A fine wine and well constructed by Benjamin and his team.

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The First Was Back In 2008
Kitts Creek Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Region: Barossa Valley
We purchase grapes and wine from many sources which are aged separately in barrels. This is not unusual for large companies since to make a wine with the quantity to supply stores across Australia, and perhaps supply the export market, means you create a single, big blend from a large number of wines. Glug being small is unusual as it retains the differences of the many wines and depending on the type of wine which evolves bottles these separately.

This means at times you will find half a dozen Barossa Cabernets for sale showing vintage and regional differences. Note that all of these are Barossa Valley and traditional first while the differences from regions and winemaking are really quite minor being a secondary component The Kitts was first made in 2008 and generally appears every vintage.

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Famous Australian Blend
Bagot Station Barossa Valley Shiraz Cabernet 2016

Region: Barossa Valley
The two biggest selling red varieties in Australia are Shiraz and Cabernet. Globally Cabernet is the largest thus to give consumers the best it became common practice in Australia many decades ago to blend the two.

Another reason offered in the 1970s came from the taste of Cabernet which was reasoned to have a flavor profile of a dough-nut, a flavor hole or short in the mid palate. To fill this hole winemakers added Shiraz which has enormous mid-palate flavor.

The blend is not so popular these days though Benjamin simply wants to provide the best taste for the price we ask and has reverted back to the solution of the 1960s-1970s.

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Exciting New Release
Crayford Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017

Region: Barossa Valley
When I began selling wine in 1975 it was not easy to locate and thus stock a range of 100% Barossa Valley Shiraz. The Barossa was a centre for wine production for large companies, Seppelts, Penfolds, Hardys, Yalumba, Gramps -Orlando, Kaiser Stuhl and others a bit smaller like Saltrams, Tollana and later Peter Lehmann.

Mostly they concentrated on large volumes of regional blends and the idea of promoting a range of Barossa reds was yet to develop. Now you can purchase perhaps 50 to 100 different Shiraz individual bottlings from each vintage which is of course the future for this unique vineyard setting. Glug specialises in a range as that is what the Barossa does best.

The most popular for a number of years has been the Crayford and it good to have it back and under $10.

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Explore SA's Richest Reds


Glug 'Exploring the Full Flavoured Reds of SA' Mix 9

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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