Tasting Note: Rockford 1999 Hoffmann SVS Shiraz

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1. Introduction:
Rockford sources most of its fruit from some of the best and oldest vineyards in Barossa Valley, which are cultivated by long-term relationship growers and friends.
After harvest the fruit of these vineyards is vinified and matured separately to maintain the individual characters and facets of the terroir in the winery.
Some of these distinct and special wines, which don´t completely go into final blend of e.g. Rockford´s Basket Press, are released under the SVS (Special Vineyard Selection) label.
This 1999 SVS Shiraz is a 100% Shiraz from the old, low yielding Hoffmann vineyard.
Bottle and cork were flawless. 14,5 alc.

2. Appearance:
Deep dark garnet. Dense, vibrant and vital.

3. Nose:
Cherry and ripe Berries; Cassis and some Blackberry.
Beautiful play of secondary characters with Leather, Tar, Licorice and Cedar.
Little Vanilla, Eucalypt and Floral notes.
Intense and present while elegant and soft.

4. Taste:
Ripe dark Fruit, mostly Cherries.
Layers of Leather, Tar and Autumn Forest. Freshness and Mineral Stony aspects.
Finishes long and round with warm, red Fruits, little Acidity, soft fine Tannins and little Spice.
Balanced, nicely integrated, complex and well-proportioned!

5. Opinion:
A rich, full-bodied wine with power AND harmonious elegance.
South Australia´s big reds are often criticized for their lack of refinement, sophistication or missing ability to age gracefully. The 1999 Hoffmann Shiraz gives a perfect counter-example to this cliché.
Yes, it is rich and it is full-bodied, but it shows a great development of complexity and elegance with a beautiful interaction of fruit and secondary characters at the moment.
Drink it now or keep it for 5- 10 more years.

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Tasting Note: Rockford 2006 “Rod & Spur”, Cabernet Shiraz blend

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1. Introduction:
Rockford is a Barossa Valley institution and mostly famous for its Basket Press Shiraz, which is always among Australia´s most sought-after wines.
The limited production wines, mostly from purchased grapes (~80%) from local growers and little from vineyards of their own, are not widely exported and, thereby, maybe not very famous abroad, but it´s hard to find a wine that is more typical traditional Barossa in style and quality than Rockford.
The Rod & Spur is named after the traditional pruning method used by their growers and a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Shiraz with 15% alc.
Bottle and cork were flawless.

2. Appearance:
Deep dark garnet! Vital, inky and thick.

3. Nose:
Cherry and Eucalypt are the dominant aromas.
Sweet Peppery Spiciness and (fresh) Herbs; Lavander.
Multilayered with Tobacco, Tar, Autumn Leaves and Vanilla.
Little Dark Chocolate.
Great inviting and fascinating nose! Intense, soft and warm.

4. Taste:
More ripe Cherries and other Red Fruits.
Eucalypt with some notes of Liquorice and Spiciness. Graphite.
Finishes medium-long with red Fruits of Cherry, Raspberry and little Red Currant, little acidity and soft fine tannins.
Balanced, nicely integrated and medium complex!

5. Opinion:
A nice medium to full-bodied blend with nice sweetness and the typical Barossa incy-ness. Good proportions, a great nose and a mouthfeel which is easy to handle and makes the wine very approachable.
Drinking quite good now, but still solid for some more years down the road.

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@ Rockford, May 2012