Tasting notes and some interesting history: Elderton Wines (SA) »

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Golden Semillon, Semillon and Eden Valley Riesling from Elderton Wines

Golden Semillon, Semillon and Eden Valley Riesling from Elderton Wines

Cellar door at Elderton Wines in the Barossa Valley
Greenock one, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from Elderton Wines in the Barossa Valley


The Barossa Valley's Elderton wines has a long history with the first vines planted at Nuriootpa in 1894 by early German settlers, the Scholz family. Today another family has firmly placed its roots on the banks of the North Para Para River and is producing wines that are renowned as excellent traditional examples of their regions.

The original vineyard at Nuriootpa fell into a derelict state in the mid 1970s but was rescued by the Ashmead family who bought the homestead as a family home and had the 72 acre vineyard "added into the deal as bonus".

After much hard work, the vines began to thrive with the first Elderton wine made in 1982. In 1993, a Jimmy Watson Trophy was added to the accolades and reinforced the quality of the wines.

In 2007, the Ashmeads bought a small vineyard in the Eden valley followed by another vineyard in the northeast corner of Greenock three years later. Maintaining sustainable practices means these three vineyards are now producing low yield, high quality fruit for wines that are balanced and truly representative of their local terroir.

Here are tasting notes for a range of Elderton wines. Also see links below for further information

2012 Greenock one

History: this is the first release of Greenock one. Shiraz is the number one variety in the Barossa. No one can argue the importance of this variety and the place it has reached in many hearts of fine wine connoisseurs around the world.

Whilst the wine is proudly from the Barossa Valley, Elderton also wants to take their friends on a journey to show that the Barossa has as much sub regional diversity as any of the great wine regions of the world.

Vineyard information: the vineyard, located in Greenock in the west of the Barossa Valley was added to the Elderton family in 2010 and is a great addition to the portfolio. The 60 acre vineyard has plantings back to 1915 and a terroir that has been in demand by many of the Barossa’s elite winemakers. This wine is from vines ranging 20 - 35 years of age.

Yields are extraordinarily low due to the toughness and free draining nature of the soils, the lack of rain and also the fact that the last owners almost succeeded in running the vineyard into the ground. In many blocks we still struggle to get more than one tonne an acre.

Winemaker’s comments: the fruit was put in traditional open top fermenters with header boards used to submerge the cap of skins for 8 days. Fermentation was finished in barrel. Aged in predominantly older (second fill) French and American puncheons for 15 months.

Style: structured, rich and powerful with vibrant but forceful tannins

Colour: deep dark purple, very dark hues

Aroma and palate: ripe dark fruits with hints of vanillin oak

Cellaring: drink now to 2022

Alc/vol: 14.5%

RRP A$28 (direct from winery)


2015 Barossa Shiraz

History: 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 has 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.

Vineyard information: 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.

Winemaker’s comments: the 2015 vintage was outstanding with wines ripening before sugar levels became excessive. The wines of 2015 show great intensity and suppleness. I think this is another amazing vintage of the Elderton Shiraz, following in the footsteps of many of the phenomenal wines made under this label in the last 30+ years.

Style:  full bodied, rich, classic

Colour: a rich and vibrant dark purple

Aroma:  black forest fruits, chocolate, vanilla

Palate: plum and berries, chocolate and a spice finish

Cellaring: drink now or cellar confidently for 10-15 years from vintage

Alc/Vol 14.5%

RRP A$RRP A$28 (direct from winery)


2015 Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon

History: the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown exclusively on the three Elderton Vineyards situated on the banks of the North Para River in Nuriootpa, on the western ridge near Greenock and the Eastern ranges in Craneford.

The 1988 vintage was chosen by Qantas for first class, the 1992 vintage won the prestigious Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy in 1993 and for the next two years won Gold and Trophy at the Barossa Wine Show. The 1994 vintage gave Elderton its first international Gold medal at the 1996 London International Wine Show. The 1998 once again won Gold and Trophy, in the Barossa Wine Show for the Best Regional Cabernet, and the 1999 won a trophy in Belgium for the best wine imported into the country. A proven consistent performer, we believe that the 2014 will easily continue in this trend.

Vineyard information: the majority of this fruit has been sourced from our Nuriootpa vineyard which has very old, deep alluvial soils over limestone with the majority of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines ranging between the ages of 35 and 50 years. With a Mediterranean climate, the Baume reaches 13.5-14.5.

Winemaker’s comments: the 2015 shows the classic Barossa Cabernet characteristics of blackberries, cassis and beetroot earthiness and is drinking well today but will cellar well for 10+ years.

Style: full bodied, rich, classy

Colour: deep purple

Aroma: blackberry, cassis, beetroot

Palate: red berries, beetroot, chocolate

Cellaring: drink now or cellar confidently for 10-15 years from vintage.

Alc/Vol 14.7%

RRP A$28 (direct from winery)


2016 Barossa Valley Golden Semillon

History: Elderton has a proud history of producing great dessert wines and we are extremely excited to now continue this journey with the sixth vintage produced with fruit from our own Greenock vineyard. This wine continues to be very popular, especially with visitors to cellar door.

The 2002 vintage was the Australian representative and just missed out on the title for the world’s best dessert wine at the London International Wine and Spirits Competition.

Vineyard information: this  vineyard, located in Greenock in the west of the Barossa Valley was added to the Elderton family in 2010 and is a great addition to the portfolio. The 60 acre vineyard has plantings back to 1915 and a terroir that has been in demand by many of the Barossa’s elite winemakers. 15-30 year old Semillon vines were cordon cut and the fruit allowed to desiccate for three weeks on the vine.

Winemaker’s comments: from 1985 and 1999 plantings of Semillon, the vines were cordon cut and the fruit allowed to desiccate for three weeks on the vine. After hand picking it was crushed and held on skins for three days to help extract the flavour from the desiccated berries before pressing. Fermentation was long and slow due to the difficult conditions faced by the yeast. The fermentation was stopped and the wine filtered. The wine was then bottled and matured for release.

Style:  rich, luscious, balanced

Colour luminescent straw

Aroma and palate: apricots, toffee, honey and citrus/marmalade

Cellaring: drink now or allow to develop over the next 5-10 years.

Alc/Vol 10.5%

RRP A$25 (direct from winery)


2017 Barossa Semillon

History: semillon has a very long and proud history in the Barossa Valley, and is home to the oldest vineyards of this variety anywhere in the world. It has been 21 years since Elderton last made a dry Semillon in 1996, as attentions were shifted to making a sweeter dessert style wine (Golden Semillon).

The Ashmead family have now deemed 2017 the perfect time to again show a dedication to dry semillon, and to try to protect and promote the history and traditions of this amazing Barossa varietal well into the future.

Vineyard information: the Greenock vineyard on the western ridge of the Barossa Valley is the sole provider of fruit for this wine. Originally planted in 1915 by the Helbig family, it was farmed by three generations of Helbigs, and was eventually purchased by the Ashmead family in 2010. It is an absolutely stunning vineyard that has been the desire and/or envy of every Barossa winemaker for the past couple of generations.

Winemaker’s comments: Semillon has forever been a Barossa stalwart variety. Whilst its origins were in fortified winemaking, the last 40 or so years have seen the Barossa discover its versatility from everything in between a rich, round and warming dry white wine, to something that is lean and racy and begging to be eaten with oysters.

Our latest incarnation is meant to be somewhere in the middle of both of these styles, with partial barrel fermentation giving texture but an acid backbone that makes it a refreshing drink that is delicious right now.

Style: elegant, textural, focused

Colour: pale straw

Aroma & Palate Supple, generous palate, snow pea, grassy and gooseberry\

Cellaring: drink now or confidently cellar for 7+ years

Alc/Vol 12.5%

RRP A$25 (direct from winery)


 2015 Eden Valley Riesling

Background: the Ashmead family is extremely passionate about producing exemplary riesling from Eden Valley. Elderton now celebrates the commitment to making dry riesling, with this is our 30th vintage. The Ashmead family believes riesling is the standout white grape from our appellation and is excited to release the 2015 vintage.

Whilst Elderton has typically been recognised for their robust red varietals such as shiraz and cabernet, this Eden Valley Riesling has, in itself, built an enviable pedigree. The 2007 vintage won the Trophy for the ‘Best Current Vintage Riesling’ at the 2007 International Riesling Challenge, with the 2008 vintage following up with a Gold medal & Trophy for ‘Best Dry White Varietal’ at the 2008 Perth Royal Wine Show. The 2010 vintage was named in the top 5 in the 2010 Winestate Wine of the Year and the 2012 vintage won a Gold medal at the 2012 International Riesling Challenge.

Vineyards: the Eden Valley sub-appellation of the Barossa varies tremendously in climatic conditions and soils from that of the Barossa Valley floor. The climate is cooler and wetter and the soils tend to be skeletal and minerally, which is a major determinant in growing some of Australia’s, and indeed the world’s, best Riesling.

Winemaker’s view: this riesling has been sourced from an outstanding vineyard which neighbours the townships of Eden Valley and Springton and has allowed us to produce a vibrant, classic example of Eden Valley Riesling.

Style:  Dry, crisp, fruity

Colour:  Pale green

Aroma:  Citrus blossom and passionfruit with floral notes

Flavour:  Minerally passionfruit

Cellaring: Cellar confidently for 5-10 years.

Alc/vol: 11.5%

RRP A$30 (direct from winery)



  • Barossa (including Eden Valley) (SA)

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April 06th, 2018
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