In 1978 I watched every ball of the Adelaide test. England under the captaincy of Mike Brearley with David Gower, Ian Botham and Bob Willis amongst the team, were in the process of whipping Australia 5-1. A friend said “you must drive up the Barossa Valley and visit Krondorf Winery- Grant Burge is making some terrific reds”. So, I hopped into Jeanette Lindquist’s mini-moke and we took off in 42oC. No top, let alone air-con! No matter, the wines were fabulous. The moment they shipped to Blighty heaps were installed on the Cork & Bottle’s list.
Grant and Helen have been mates ever since. Krondorf was sold, and they established a company in their own name. Nowadays they are the largest independent vineyard owners in the Barossa. Both Shiraz’s and Cabernets punch above their weight. Terrific ripe premium fruit balanced with state of the art,…. (or is it’ art of the state’?) winemaking.
Needless to say I visited last December – in the middle of another great Ashes series with my mate Andy Strauss calling all the shots. Noelene and I spent three great days in Grant & Helen’s box at the Adelaide Oval, and as we were amongst their friends we didn’t gloat …Well, not too much! We drank marvellous wines with lunch, but my mind was on the cricket. The day after the test I enjoyed a range of wines at the tasting room in Tanunda where I could concentrate on the glories in the glasses.
Here are the wines on our current list ….
“BAROSSA VINES” CHARDONNAY 2009 22.50
Fresh & fragrant. Unoaked with a zippy hint of melons and a creamy, buttery style. A few years ago this won a Gold Medal at Sydney …eclipsing wines four times the price!
“BAROSSA VINES” CABERNET-MERLOT 2007 23.50
Generous up-front and soft blackcurrant and mint flavours balanced with a smidgeon of gentle oak.
“MIAMBA” SHIRAZ 2008 29.50
Grant’s claim to Shiraz fame dates back to the days of the great Krondorf ….I still have some in my cellar. This continues the tradition – luscious, with intense, voluptuous, sweetish, smoky flavours which linger. Marvellous value ….
“CAMERON VALE” CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006 29.50
This is great! Chocolate, violets and beautiful hints of mint. Rich oak….
“THE HOLY TRINITY” 2005 43.95
Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre
Heaps of soft, ripe cherries and plums – I say, “luscious flavours beautifully balanced with gentle spice and deliciously aromatic with an ethereal soft savoury oak finish.” Grant says “The very old vines (50 years plus) produce fruit with exceptional varietal character thanks to careful management.”
“MESHACH “ SHIRAZ 2004 82.95
Winestate magazine considers this, “The next Grange”. Some wine scribes, me included, consider it superior. A powerful, complex wine with a magic combination of opulent fruit, smoky overtones & a subtle finish. A mighty, brooding, sensual Shiraz classic. You owe yourself a bottle ! Once we decant the wine, the stress of the day will disappear as the sunshine of the Barossa beams its way into C&B. …Enjoy a glass of my Champagne whilst it breathes.
Grant has another string to his winemaking bow;
he makes some of Australia’s finest fortified wines,
and boy, is that saying something!
GRANT BURGE FINE 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY
“Our Tawny is made with a combination of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre and has a great influence of oak and rancio characters,
which provide nutty and butterscotch flavours.
Sweet and mellow with a fine balance.”
10 years’ ago when I was up the Barossa, Helen gave me a bottle “for the trip back to London”. I opened it whilst watching the sunset sitting on the terrace of my suite at the Royal Meridian on the beach in Dubai. One sip and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
It has been on the list ever since! 41.50 ….
Also available by the glass….
“I am so far beyond my income that
we almost could be said to be living apart “
Prices subject to change