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chateau tanunda

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Chateau Tanunda

www.chateautanunda.com

9 Basedow Rd, Tanunda, 5352

Cellar Door: Daily (10-5)

Ph: (08) 8563 3888

Chateau Tanunda
The vast 1880s Chateau Tanunda was once the largest building in South Australia

The spectacular Château Tanunda is a mere 500 metres from Murray Street, the main commercial street of Tanunda. It has a famous cricket oval and offers panoramic views of the Barossa Ranges.

The Chateau dates to the era when phyloxera epidemic in Europe in the 1870s led Australian wines to first hit the world export markets in a serious way. At this time a group of prominent Adelaide businessmen including GF Cleland, Johan Basedow, Sir Samuel Davenport and four other shareholders approached the farmers of the Barossa with a plan to capitalize on this opportunity.

The Barossa at the time had 560 grape growers with an undisputed wine culture. These businessmen built the biggest wine making building in the Southern Hemisphere to process the grapes of these growers. They financed the venture, shipped the wine on their boats to England and France and maximised on the shortage in Europe. The farmers benefited from this arrangement year after year. The only proviso was that they contracted all their grapes to the Château for a minimum of 10 years.

A company was formed, called the Adelaide Wine Co (later to be called Château Tanunda Pty Ltd). The Château itself was built in 2 years 1888-1890. The Château is a two storey building constructed in 1890 of brick and bluestone from the Bethany quarry (where Bethany wines are now situated).

It is a most significant and visually impressive building. At the time of building it was the largest building in South Australia and the largest winery in the Southern Hemisphere. In 1916 the complex passed into the hands of Seppelt Wine Co. (which more recently became part of Southcorp, and now Fosters). In 1998 Southcorp sold the complex was sold to South African born food and beer entrpreneur, John Geber (who also runs NSW’s Cowra Estate).

The connection with the small growers is preserved in the Barossa Small Winemakers Centre located in the complex. The centre offers 120 local wines and occasional tastings from thirty small independent wine growers in the region.

In 2011 Stuart Bourne (ex Barossa Valley Estate, Leasingham, Blue Pyrenees Estate and Crabtree) became the chief winemaker. Tim Smith and Ralph Fowler are recent former winemakers.

The portfolio is a quite extensive with the “Barossa Tower” range aimed the budget market, while “The Chateau” is the premium range. The signature wine is the 100 Year Old Vine Shiraz, while serous Barossa fans will enjoy the “Terroirs of the Barossa” series. The series consists of a wine from Lyndoch, Greenock and Ebenezer respectively, each made with the same winecraft so that any differences are purely an expression of the different terroirs in the Barossa.

At the pinnacle is the tiny releases of the Everest Shiraz and Grenache

Oval at Chateau Tanunda

The Cricket Oval at Chateau Tanunda has hosted many international exhibition matches

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Chateau Tanunda Terroirs of the Barossa Greenock Shiraz 2015

Purchased: Not ($50)

Drink: 2028

(GXY) Tasting: June 2017, one of the trio of single vineyard releases highlighting the Barossa sub-regions, is this case the richness of the Western sub-region Greenock, minerally and plush dark plum, liquorice and cherry with bitter chocolate/vanilla from the French and American oak, medium-full bodied and fairly linear (****)

Chateau Tanunda The Old Cooperage Old Vine Malbec 2015

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2021

(GXY) Tasting: June 2017, celebrates the relationship between the winery and five generations of the Johns family (coopers and winemakers), basket pressed, aromatic and concentrated blueberry and dark plum with bright violet florals, linear and earthy with dusty tannins, featuring new and seasoned vanilla./cedar oak from the Johns family cooperage (****)

Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2013

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: June 2016, rather ripe with glossy bright raspberry and dark plums with plenty of black pepper showing on the back half, shows lots of toasty oak spice, open but ripe tannins (***)

Chateau Tanunda The Chateau Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Purchased:  Not ($30)

Drink: 2021

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015, fleshy and slightly extracted raspberry and cassis with violet, mint and bay leaf notes, medium-full bodied, earthy with firm savoury tannins wrapping around the juicy core, charry French oak (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Terroirs of the Barossa Ebenezer Shiraz 2012

Purchased:  Not ($50)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015, from the Ebenezer subregion, glossy plum and mulberry with leather, liquorice and lavender notes, minerally and full bodied with vanilla/clove oak, some warmth from the 15% alcohol (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2012

Purchased:  Not ($25)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015, plump and meaty blackberry, dark plums and mulberry with liquorice, char and white pepper notes, medium-full bodied with grainy tannin, lots of sweet toasty vanilla/coconut French and US oak (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Three Graces MRV 2013

Purchased:  Not ($24)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015, moderately viscous blend of 50% Marsanne, 46% Viognier and 4% Rousanne, partial barrel ferment, orange peel and pear with musky spices and some lees notes, crisp citrus acidity, a bit forward (***)

Chateau Tanunda The Chateau Single Vineyard Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2013, opulent and moderately tarry blackberry and plumcake with liquorice, warm earth and white pepper notes, has good depth and length with a velvety mid-palate leading to chewy, grainy tannins, the US and French oak brings mocha and roast cedar to the finish (****)

Chateau Tanunda Old Cooperage Cabernet Malbec 2011

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2013, 73% Cabernet and 27% Malbec from a cold vintage, juicy, flavoursome and medium bodied blueberry, plum and fruitcake with menthol and black pepper notes, reasonable length and fine, dusty tannins, has some harder edges, presumably from the longer hang time and the alcohol crept up to a surprising 14.8% which is but more obvious due to the lighter bodied vintage  (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda The Everest Old Bush Vine Grenache 2005

Purchased: Not ($160)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, unfiltered and hand-plunged from 100+ year old vines, silky and multi-layered blackberry and plumcake with lavender, graphite pepper, nutmeg and anise notes, dense with chewy but supple tannins, very impressive and rich but just missed out on the top rating due to a slight volatility in the nose and a touch of hotness from the 15.5% alcohol showing on the finish (****1/2)

Chateau Tanunda The Everest Chateau Cru Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($160)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, from the very best parcels from five old vine blocks across the Barossa, unfiltered and open fermented, full bodied and complex tapestry of blackcurrant, blackberry and mulberry fruit with iodine, graphite, cinnamon, white pepper and tobacco notes, infused with plenty of ironstone minerality, spicy US and French oak is well balanced, considerable depth and chewy tannins (****1/2)

Chateau Tanunda 100 Year Old Vines Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($95)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, from the 11 rows of old vines in the cooler hills near Angaston, unfiltered showing rather ripe, lush and chewy blackcurrant, dark plum and liquorice with some plumcake aspects, rich ironstone minerally texture, lots of spicy and creamy vanilla-cedar from the American oak, good length and less reliant on the high alcohol than previous releases (15%) (****)

Chateau Tanunda Terroirs of the Barossa Lyndoch Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, one of the trio of wines from the Terroirs of the Barossa set, from lower yielding hard clay soils and exposed sites from Lyndoch and the Semmler vineyards at the southern end of the Barossa, mulberry fruit entry leads to ripe and bright blackberry and fruitcake with liquorice, bay leaf and a touch of leather, minerally and medium-full boded palate, powdery oak tannins, the drop in alcohol from the last tasting (16% in 2005, 14% in 2007) has really improved the balance (****)

Chateau Tanunda Terroirs of the Barossa Ebenezer Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, one of the trio of wines from the Terroirs of the Barossa set, from 80 year old vines at the Lowke family vineyard in the northern Barossa sub-region of Ebenezer, ripe dark plum and mulberry with aniseed and lavender notes, medium-full bodied, quite earthy and a bit oaky with vanilla-clove-cedar aspects evident on the back end, fine chalky tannins, the lower alcohol (14%) is a positive step on previous releases (****)

Chateau Tanunda Chateau Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, ripe cassis and mulberry with capsicum and eucalypt nuances, medium-full bodied with plenty of cedary French oak and a persistent finish with dusty tannins (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Chateau Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, sourced from various locations across the Barossa, fleshy and medium bodied plum and blackberry with cinnamon, anise and black pepper notes and some vibrant ironstone minerality, infused with plenty of dark chocolate, mocha and cedar, just a little bit too ripe and oaky for a higher score (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Tower Garnacha Rose 2007

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, clean strawberry and raspberry although the overall impression is quite dry and savoury, good length with a lingering chalky finish (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Nightwatch Barossa Sparkling Shiraz NV

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, sweet but not at all cloying blackberry and liquorice and cola notes, good length although the dosage component on the finish seems a bit too overt to me (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Three Graces 2007

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, Bordeaux style blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, medium bodied blackcurrant and redcurrant with tobacco and capsicum nuances, lifted black pepper and cinnamon on the mid-palate, finishes with a restrained oak and a touch of menthol, lingering dusty tannins (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Chateau Single Vineyard Merlot 2006

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, medium bodied red cherry, plum and fruitcake with a core of black pepper and cinnamon running through the palate, the back half is more savoury with a hint of black olive, seasoned French oak, greenish acids, seems to be simultaneously under-ripe and over-ripe (***)

Chateau Tanunda Terroirs of the Barossa Ebenezer Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, only 500 cases made from grapes of the 80 year old vines in sandy loam soils at the Lowke family vineyard at Ebenezer, ripe but well focussed dark plum and mulberry with liquorice features, medium full bodied palate has some elegance and restraintand shows clove and dried herb notes, subtle mocha-cedar oak, balanced tannins (****)

Chateau Tanunda Terroirs of the Barossa Greenrock Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, only 200 cases made from fertile red soils of the Matchoss vineyard at Greenock, ripe blackberry and plum, spicy full bodied palate with nutmeg and cinnamon, good length, more powerful but not as well focussed as the Ebenezer, well integrated mocha-cedar oak, assertive tannins (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Terroirs of the Barossa Lyndoch Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, 400 cases only from lower yielding hard clay soils and exposed sites from Lyndoch and the Semmler vineyard, lush and bold style typical of the Barossa, blackberry and plum, full bodied but slightly leathery palate with some liquorice and black pepper notes, subtle mocha-cedar oak, balanced tannins (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda 100 Year Old Vines Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($55)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, from the 11 rows of old vines in the ancient orchard of McKinnon’s in the cooler hills above Angaston, rich and ripe cassis, plum and mulberry, savoury full bodied palate with dried herb and black pepper complexity but lacking in focus, sweet mocha-cedar oak, assertive tannins (***1/2)

Chateau Tanunda Barossa Towers Pink Muscat 2006

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, salmon pink colour, light and grapey style with perfumed musc, rose petal and citrus, light and fairly cloying and confectionary palate, entry level wine for sweet tooths (**1/2)