“Bob Berton showed a trio of sub-regional Shirazes, from a group of six which he made, earlier this year in London and it was a tremendous exercise. Heathcote, Coonawarra and Gundagai were the regions he picked and they all looked very accurate and distinctive. My favourite was the Gundagai and while Bob sells these in his cellar door only, he has agreed to ship over a few cases for those merchants who want to stick up their hands. We don’t see many Gundagai Shirazes in the UK so this is a superb chance to taste this remarkable wine. Bounded on the northeast by Hilltops, the east by Canberra District and the south by Tumbarumba, Gundagai is high country and the fruit is tight, dark, spicy and juicy and I always sense a mouth-watering, black olive tang in the background of the flavour. Spot on in every department, this is another expression of Australian Shiraz to add to the already diverse flavour palette”.
Matthew Jukes, 100 Best Australian Wines 2018/19
Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard is one of Hallgarten's most important partners. The 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.
Abundant winter rainfall was a perfect start to the 2016 growing season. Above average temperatures resulted in early budburst in most varieties. The mild to warm and dry conditions continued with good rainfall in both November and December producing ideal conditions for véraison. February saw the arrival of hot dry weather and with no rainfall or disease pressure; ripening accelerated rapidly resulting in an early harvest for the reds. The 2016 reds are stand outs: rich, ripe, juicy wines with great length and wonderful depth of colour.
The vineyard is situated on rolling hills overlooking the Murrumbidgee River and Jugiong village. At 350 metres above sea level, it is considered high country New South Wales. The average annual rainfall here is 706 millimetres, classifying the region as having a continental climate. The terroir is rich quartz speckled through alluvial soils; it nourishes the clone BVRC30 vines, which were planted on their own rootstocks in 1997. Drip irrigation ensures they receive the optimal amount of moisture.
The must was cold-soaked for two days at 12°C. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with two daily pump-overs to ensure optimum extraction of colour and flavour, while imparting structure. Maceration lasted for eight to 10 days and then the young wine was pressed off its skins, clarified and transferred for malolactic fermentation. It was racked off its lees into oak barrels; approximately 70% of these were of old oak (of which 35% was American and the remainder French), for a period of 13 months.
Rich, intense aromas of blackberry, black cherry and vanilla oak are echoed on the velvety smooth palate, opulent and stylish. A deliciously smooth wine which delivers rich, intense aromas of blackberry, black cherry and subtle hints of toasty oak. Opulent with juicy berried fruits, a unique mineral character and subtle nuances of vanilla and cedar box, the palate is velvety soft with beautifully integrated tannins and a long, elegant finish.