The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com) (see blue link below).
Berton Reserve Shiraz 2015 - DWWA17 review
Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard's estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.
The grapes come from the Barossa Valley, in South Australia. Situated at a latitude of 34° South, the region is made up of rolling hills and valley floors. The growing season often sees hot, warm weather with temperatures of 35°C, which can result in vine stress, helping to concentrate the flavours in the berries. The wide diurnal temperature differences help to retain balancing acidity. Some of the grapes come from Berton's original vineyard in the Eden Valley, where the climate is cooler. The vine age is varied, but all vines have been spur pruned and are generally trained on a single wire cordon trellising system. The vines are planted at approximately 1.8 metres apart with 3.6 metres between the rows, to allow machinery access. The soil styles in the vineyards are varied, ranging from clay, to limestone and sandy soils, with each terroir adding its own characteristic to the final wine.
In the vineyard, a warm dry summer provided a clean and disease-free vintage with great ripening conditions across all regions. Despite some hot days, extended heat waves did not play a role during the growing season of 2018 and the quality of the fruit at harvest delivered excellent varietal typicity.
Fermentation took place in stainless Ganimede fermenters for eight days between 25 to 28°C. Each parcel was pressed at 0.5 Baumé through a bag press into stainless steel tanks. Each parcel was clarified via centrifuge, and then transferred to new and used French and American oak barrels for approximately 12 months. A barrel selection took place of the best parcels, with blending over several days, ultimately arriving in this rich, spicy and complex blend.
The Reserve Shiraz is deepest dark red with a very youthful and vibrant garnet hue. The aromas are powerful and complex with a wealth of fruit ranging from ripe black cherries and blackberries with hints of eucalypt and spice. The rich and full palate displays soft flavours of plum skin, mulberry and hints of vanilla and blackberry, These abundant flavours are underpinned by fine vanilla from the oak and defined by exciting spicy tannins.
The aromas are powerful and complex encapsulating a wealth of ripe black cherries, blackberries with subtle hints of white pepper and spice. The rich and harmonious palate delivers soft flavours of plum and cherry notes, underpinned by toasty oak and velvety chocolate. Silky tannins lead to a long, persistent finish.