Established by Grant and Helen Burge in 1988, Grant Burge wines have become one of the icon wineries of the Barossa, utilizing the family’s long history of grape growing in the region. Craig Stansborough has been winemaker at Grant Burge for the past 25 years and it was obvious from the tasting that he has a great passion for Grant Burge Wines and the Barossa. Recently ownership of the winery passed to Accolade wines (who also have New Zealand connections with Mud House and Waipara Hills), but Craig explained that from a wine making perspective, nothing has really changed. Craig’s winemaking philosophy is to produce wines with finesse and balance. He is not a fan of the ‘bigger is more’. Across the range the wines display not only great fruit, but layers of finessed wine-making.

Grant Burge Methode Pinot Noir Chardonnay $19.99

The fruit for this comes from cooler vineyards in the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills. Hand-picked 75% Pinot Noir, the balance Chardonnay. Bottle fermented spending around 3 years on lees.  Quite biscuit/toasty with strawberry, peach flavours. I was actually surprised at how good this tasted. It’s been a few years since I had tried this wine and it has definitely got much better; much more finessed.

Grant Burge Summers Chardonnay 2013 $19.99

We don’t see a lot of South Australian Chardonnay in the NZ market, which is a pity as evidenced by this wine, they can be pretty darn nice. From the cooler regions of Eden Valley, Alpine Valley and the Adelaide Hills. This has ripe grapefruit, savoury, even some funkiness. Richer and fuller on the palate than we see from NZ, but less mineral/citrus drive.

Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2015 $19.99

The fruit for this is sourced from a number of vineyards in the southern part of the Valley, including Miamba. Fermented and aged in French oak (35% new). Dark in colour with chocolatey, red berry, vanilla flavours. Medium bodied with fine, lightly spicy tannins on the finish. Very moreish and very drinkable!

Grant Burge Daly Rd Shiraz Mourvedre 2014 $19.99

A label only produced in years when the Mouvedre ripens fully. Dark, almost inky colour this has a savoury, meaty character on the nose with a core of sweet, almost prune fruit. Aged for 16 months in a combination of French, Hungarian and American oak hogsheds that were predominantly between 3 and 4 years old – this is a bold style, more about the concentrated fruit flavours than oakiness.

Grant Burge Holy Trinity GSM 2013 $29.99

Produced from 50 -120 yo old vines, this release is a blend of 57% Grenache, 30% Shiraz and 13% Mourvèdre – a much higher percentage of Grenache than usual. Craig is a great fan of the old style wax lined concrete fermenters he uses for this wine, Leaving the wine on skins for an extended period (almost like making a Pinot Noir). After fermentation, the wine is aged in larger format older French oak puncheons and Foudres. The result is a wine that is silken and fine. Dark plum, subtle spice; even though it has a high portion of Grenache, this does not dominate the palate. It is beautifully integrated.

Grant Burge Balthasar Shiraz 2013 $29.99

The Balthasar is from fruit grown in the (relatively) cooler Eden Valley. Inky, almost black in colour. The flavours combine blackberry conserve, liquorice, dark raspberry, dark chocolate with a hint of vanilla and toast. This is quite big and generous on the palate but even with aging in new (51%) and older French oak hogsheads for 22 months maturation, this is soaked into the fruit.

Grant Burge Filsell Shiraz 2014 N/A

From the first vintage in 1998, this has been a favourite at Vino Fino. Small vintages in 2013, 2014 and 2015 resulted in very small amounts being produced. This 2014 has sold out and the 2015 will be available in a month or so, albeit in limited quantity. Craig says volumes of the 2016 and 2017 will be back to normal levels. Sourced mainly from the 97-year-old Filsell vineyard. Aged in a combination of French and American oak, this is very mush the ‘traditional’ Barossan style. Super smooth and rich; dense yet finishing fine.

Grant Burge Cameron Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $19.99

Whilst the Barossa is best known for Shiraz, the Cabernets also command attention. Much riper and denser than the Coonawarra or Margaret River Cabernets. This is from both the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley. Craig likes to ferment a portion of Merlot with the Cabernet (this vintage 8% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot) and aged in French oak for 20 months. Quite a savoury style of Cabernet with dark olive, tobacco leaf, ripe blackcurrant and nicely drying tannins on the finish.

Grant Burge Corryton Park Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $29.99

In 1999 Grant purchased the historic Corryton Park site and set about establishing a premium Cabernet vineyard. At seven years this is showing some development colour, but remains fresh on the palate. The site is cooler than the rest of the Barossa and this comes through on the palate with green olive tapenade, cassis characters. Probably fully developed. The 2012 in the current release in NZ.

Grant Burge 10 Year Old Tawny $37.99

The history of wine in the Barossa is really based around the fortified wines and Grant was determined to keep this heritage alive when he established his own label. This is taken from the solera of aging barrels made from the Barossa’s traditional tawny varieties – grenache, mataro (mourvedre) and shiraz – and has been blended to an average age of 10 years. The barrels are topped with younger wine to keep the consistency of age and style. A golden tawny, burnt orange colour this has aromas and flavours of sweet toffee, orange peel, nuts. A perfect way to finish the tasting… pass the blue cheese