95 Points – Patrick Eckel, Wine Reviewer
95 Points – Ken Gargett, Wine Pilot
97 Points – Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
2021 ARILA GARDENS
IRONSTONE AND QUARTZ GARDENS
This parcel is a selection of vines showcasing the absolute best Shiraz from our Arila Gardens single vineyard site. The exact rows and sections of each garden selected for this Shiraz may change from one year to the next as we seek out fruit of the highest quality.
The philosophy with this Shiraz is simple; to make world class wine which expresses the very best of this variety from our vineyard, in this time to be savoured for many years to come.
Grape Variety: Shiraz
Vineyard: Quartz & Ironstone Gardens from the Arila Gardens single vineyard, Moppa, Barossa Valley.
Colour: Dense inky purple.
Nose: Tightly coiled and mineral, black tar, aniseed, Dutch cocoa, and blackberry. Savoury, nutty oak adds another layer. Complex and enticing. Needs time to open.
Palate: Dense core of blackberry and pastille fruits, supported by attractive nutty oak, warm spice and a savoury tar and earth quality. Whilst rich and layered the palate is not heavy in any way, balanced with fine natural acidity. The tightly woven, sinewy tannin line drives the palate to a long flavoursome finish with waves of black fruit and mineral. Many years of life ahead.
Cellaring potential: 15+ years.
The 2021 vintage for the Barossa will be referred to in time as a classic, producing exceptionally good quality wines. The growing season was set up well with average winter and above average rainfall through August to October allowing for good subsoil moisture and healthy vines. Another rain event in early February was welcome, allowing for a steady and unstressed ripening period. Very mild conditions during berry ripening allowed for slow sugar accumulation and the development of optimum flavour and tannin whilst retaining good natural acidity. Picking decisions were based on acid profile as much as flavour allowing fruit to be harvested with moderate sugar. The result being bright wines with lovely natural balance.
- Quartz garden harvested 22nd February, Ironstone garden harvested 4th March.
- Small percentage of whole bunch at base of fermenter, remainder whole berries
- Fermented in small open top for 10 days
- Gentle pump overs and hand plunging
- 14 months maturation in French oak hogsheads
- 25% new oak, remainder seasoned
- Unfined and filtered prior to bottling
- Bottled June 2022, only 255 9Le cases produced
Acidity 6.2 g/l
Alc/volume 14.3 %
This is plush and oh-so heavenly. A superb Barossa Shiraz. Never heard of Arila Gardens? I suggest you introduce yourself…
Swirl the glass and it’s not hard to conclude that you have something special in hand. The gentle caress, the beautiful momentum it builds, this is seamless. Dark chocolate, mulberries and blackberry pastilles – what an opening. Drying, waves of fruit lap at your feet. Earthy, some pan juices with dried herbs keep purring, it’s dead smooth and seductively silky. Cocoa like tannins have the last word and invite you back for more. Yes please!
Drink to ten years+ – Steve Leszczynski, QWine Reviews, 96/100.
Arila is one of the most impressive new wineries I have enjoyed from the Barossa in recent years and the 2021 is a truly modern representation of one of Australia’s most renowned regions with layers of fruit the star, with oak very much a secondary influence.
The colour which is a purple to red suggests there was a large proportion of whole berry fermentation which also gives such pure and floral aromatics of plum and black cherry with some background fennel and spice.
The palate has vibrant red and black fruits with a web of fine tannins that has more of a cocoa and fresh earth influence; there is a suggestion of liquorice and acidity is perfectly poised to provide vibrancy now and a long term cellaring prospect. Wonderful purity of plum to finish.
Optimal Drinking 2022-2044 – Patrick Eckel, Wine Reviewer, 95 Points.
Another single vineyard wine from the Estate. The fruit used from this vineyard for this wine might vary a little each year as the decision is made based on what comes up trumps (if one may use that word in accordance with its former and non-controversial meaning). Similar process for this wine as for the Sand Gardens Grenache, though with fermentation just ten days and 25% of the oak new.
Opaque purple/magenta hue. Saturated flavours throughout, a classic Barossa Shiraz. Intense, with some serious extract, notes of chocolate, smoked meats, mocha, licorice, cassis and more. Powerful, brooding and coiled, it is lovely now but there is every indication that this wine will emerge in all its glory, even more impressive, in time. Has ten years and more for that. Dense, fine silky tannins, great length and good acidity. When I looked back at my notes for the 2020, I was a little surprised to see I had ranked it even higher, but I am sure that given time, this will be a case of the tortoise and the hare and the ’21 is likely to top it in time.
Drink: 2022-2032 – Ken Gargett, Wine Pilot, 95 Points.
It’s opulent with stunning purity as well as complexity, showing dark and purple fruit richness together with cedary oak, mixed spice and mocha nuances on the nose. The powerfully concentrated palate delivers outstanding depth and richness, wonderfully supported by silky texture and seamlessly woven grainy tannins. It’s dense yet refined, bold yet sophisticated with a sustained engaging finish. – Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, 97 Points.