Elderton Flagship Releases | 1 March 2019

This year, the Command vineyard becomes one of the famed 'Ancestor' vineyards of the Barossa, turning an extraordinary 125 years old. The Barossa's old vine charter, which was established to recognise and preserve some of the oldest continuously producing vineyards in the world, identifies nine Ancestor vineyards including Penfolds Block 42, Henschke Hill of Grace and Cirillo Estate's 1850 Grenache. The rarity of such old vines around the globe make these sites so significant in the history of wine. The Barossa maintains its lucky, if not special, status as having avoided the scourge of phylloxera which has wiped out many other grape-growing regions around the world at some point or another. 

An Ancestor vine has stood strong and proud for at least one hundred and twenty five years – a living tribute to the early European settlers of Barossa. Their genetic material has helped to populate the region with irreplaceable old stocks that underpin the viticultural tradition. They tend to be dry-grown, low-yielding vines with great intensity of flavour, and are believed to be among the oldest producing vines in the world.

Barossa Grape & Wine Association

Photo: Command vineyard in the winter mist

 

An important point, however, is that these vines are not good because they are old, they are old because they are good. They have produced fruit of outstanding quality over their life, and the custodians of the property over time had the foresight - and the love - to save the vines throughout the vine-pull schemes. While the Command vineyard did face hard times during the vine-pull era, it was thankfully rehabilitated by the Ashmead family when they moved to the Elderton homestead in 1980. The vineyard has undoubtedly been able to graduate to this level of heritage because of its ability to produce extraordinary fruit full of flavour and intensity year after year.

We welcome the release of the 2015 vintage of the Elderton Command Shiraz, along with the 2016 Ashmead Cabernet Sauvignon on 1 March.

Oddly, I once poured this wine by the glass at an emploie in Paris. While nostalgic, it still embodies the sort of inimitable, old vine (average 121 years) power that warm climate Australia does so well.

- Ned Goodwin MW on the 2015 Command

To Order, please enquire with your Sales Representative.

Elderton Command Shiraz 2015

Rich, warm and generous. Very dark purple with bright magenta hues. Aromas of blackberry fruit, aniseed and spices carry through to the palate which is rich, warm and generous.

...The violet, pepper grind and meld of plummy fruit and Chinese five
spice remain this brooding, highly ageable wine's calling card. Vanilla pod oak serves as a welcome restraining device to the exuberance. Exaggerated? You be the judge.

95 Points

Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday Wine Companion 2019

Elderton Ashmead Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Smooth and rich, deep purple. Aroma of dark chocolate and black fruits and olives. Palate continues the theme of the aromas, showing these typical Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon characters, giving weight and generosity to the wine. Ripe tannins add structure while being supple and mouth watering.

 

Cabernet’s bursting swag of currant, dried sage and olive, at least as its voice in warmer climes, is all here in spades. What, though, makes this wine impressive, is its sheer strut across the palate. Buxom and confident, yet dichotomously restrained (at least in a warm climatic context), it coats the inner sanctum with a smooth veneer of tannin and old vine glycerol.

96 Points

Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday Wine Companion 2019

 

Also now released.

Elderton Fifteen Shiraz 2016

A single vineyard expression of Shiraz from a vineyard that turned 100 years old in 2015, and is located on the western ridge of the famous Barossa Valley. Originally planted by the Helbig family in 1915. The vineyard became a very sought after parcel for the Barossa’s leading winemakers. Luckily for the Ashmead family, we were able to acquire this vineyard in late 2010, forever ending the race to get this amazing fruit.

The wine, hailing from the 2016 vintage is a supreme example of rich and luscious Barossa Shiraz. It was hand picked, fermented in two large barrels (around 1500 litres each) and left on skins in these closed vessels for about six weeks. The wine was then pressed and spent a couple of winters in some of our favourite French oak.