The fruit for Elderton Shiraz was traditionally sourced from the Elderton vineyard situated on the banks of the North Para River, Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley, South Australia. Today, this wine includes fruit from the three exceptional estate vineyards that the Ashmead family own. Elderton was transformed from a vineyard supplying quality fruit to other wineries to a winery in its own right in 1982, and have since won much recognition for all of the wines, especially the Shiraz. Barossa Shiraz is now highly collectable worldwide, and the Elderton is always a benchmark for the region. There are many blocks of Shiraz on the three Elderton estate vineyards, some as old as 100 years. Some of the best parcels from each of these single sites (Nuriootpa, Greenock and Craneford) are blended to create what one can only describe as ‘the perfect Barossa Shiraz’. The grapes, which are lovingly tended to by Peter Wild and his team, are mainly harvested at an optimum maturity of about 14 – 15 Baume.
First released from the 2008 vintage, the Grand Tourer Shiraz – a wine named after and produced in honour of Elderton co-founder, Neil Ashmead. Neil, who along with wife Lorraine, established Elderton and was a vital link in creating the Barossa’s currently enjoyed status as one of Australia’s most important viticultural areas. Infectious enthusiasm was one of Neil’s drivers in helping to pioneer the revitalisation of the region from the doom and gloom era of the late 70s and early 1980s. Neil was a ‘Barossa Road Warrior’ like no other. Driving tirelessly from city to city with a car loaded with wine, doing tastings and dinners with whoever would listen, and generally spruiking the Barossa in a time where people were not really interested in a region that was stereotyped as a fortified producer. It was his love of fast cars that made this pursuit a little easier, thus the unusual choice for the name of this Shiraz. Unfortunately Neil passed away prematurely in 1997, however is succeeded by his two sons – Cameron and Allister, who believe this wine to be a very fitting tribute to an amazing individual who was always willing to push the boundaries of expectations and limitations.
The winemaking team at Elderton believe this is truly the hidden gem in the Elderton portfolio of premium reds. A Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot blend was added to our portfolio from the 1992 vintage. It was a belief that through blending only the best parcels of fruit from the Elderton vineyard, a truly wondrous and complete wine could be made that showed the highlights of the three grape varieties. The decision was made from the 2002 vintage onwards for the wine to be renamed (from CSM) in honour of co-founder of Elderton Wines, Lorraine Ashmead. This wine is dedicated to a woman who is greatly admired in the Barossa for her passion, dedication and commitment to not only Elderton, but to all the wondrous things our beautiful valley produces.
The Ashmead family purchased their first estate vineyard in the middle of Nuriootpa in the late 1970s and since making their first wine from the 1982 vintage, have developed a great reputation and an enviable history of success. The 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon won the prestigious Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy in 1993, showcasing Elderton’s ability to make great Cabernet. Second generation brothers, Cameron and Allister, have since purchased two other exceptional vineyards in the east and west of the Barossa, with fruit from all three vineyards going into this 2018 Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grenache has been an integral variety in the Barossa since the early days of grape growing in the region. Today, it is easy to make the case that Grenache blended with its Rhone brethren of Shiraz and Mataro are the up and coming stars of the Barossa. A bright and elegant style with the Grenache bringing freshness, lifted red fruits and spice, Shiraz for structure and palate length, whilst the Mataro provides an attractive textural savouriness.
The 2019 vintage shows how superb Merlot can be in Australia, when handled well, and this wine sits proudly in our portfolio with its harmonious power and elegance.
This is the seventh release of Western Ridge. Giving significance to the place that the wine comes from is integral to the future of the Barossa and, of course, Elderton. The hamlet of Greenock sits on the Western Ridge of the Barossa Valley. Our gorgeous contoured, old and gnarly Grenache vines sit at the highest reaches of the Greenock vineyard, and the tiny patch of ancient Carignan sits among the sandy lower area of the property. When the fruit is blended together, we feel the wine has equal part of ambition, audacity and deliciousness. This is not a wine that strives to be the biggest, but simply a wine of beauty that leaves a lasting impression and a yearning for more.