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Rockford

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Rockford

Krondorf Rd, Tanunda, 5352

Cellar Door: Daily (11-5)

Ph: (08) 8563 2720

 

rockford labelDespite its relative youth Rockford is a celebration of the old Barossa. Along with near neighbour, Charles Melton, it was one of the Barossa’s first wave of boutique wineries established relatively recently, in Barossa terms, in 1984.

However, the small winery on Krondorf Road is based on a historic stone complex that he saved from demolition. Owner Robert O’Callaghan collects old Barossa wine equipment such as slate open fermenters and hand-operated crushers which adorn the winery, although the wine-making is a bit more modern.

The wines are made from old dryland vines and hence very much reflect terroir and vintage conditions. The signature wine is the Basket Press Shiraz but the Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon, Local Growers Semillon, White Frontignac (Muscat) and Eden Valley Riesling can also be excellent in good vintages. The stand outs for me though are the Vintage Port and Sparkling Shiraz.

They are one of the handful of Australian producers using Alicante Bouchet (a 19th century Mediterranean cross between Grenache and Petit Bouchet) for their Rose style wine.

The wines have little distribution outside of South Australia but the wines and cellar door make it a must visit for Barossa visitors.

Rockford
Rockford cellar door (photo: genxywines)
Inside Rockford
Inside the rustic cellar door (photo: genxywines)
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)

Rockford Black Shiraz NV

Purchased: Not ($58)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2013, 3 years in large old oak, 1 year on lees, heady fragrance, blackberries, black cherry and mulberry with musky spices, violet, mint and tar notes, long core of savoury-edged fruit, good bead with crunchy acidity and powdery phenolics on the cherry-cola finish, there’s some mocha-coffee oak in there as well, controlled dosage, up there with the best of style  (****1/2)

Rockford Shiraz Vintage Port 2002

Purchased: Not ($62)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, from 65 year old vines showing ripe blackberry, raisened currants, prune and dark chocolate, not too sweet and heavy (18.5%) in terms of Australian fortified Shirazes which allows meaty and savoury complexity to emerge, lingering chalky tannins with quality brandy spirit, long and seamless (****1/2)

Rockford Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, meaty core of blackcurrant and plum fruit with violet, chocolate and mint notes, medium-full bodied palate is fairly dry and savoury with an attractive chassis of dusty tannins, restrained cedar-vanilla oak (****)

Rockford Moppa Springs Grenache Mataro Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, this time the blend is 47% Grenache, 40% Mataro and 13% Shiraz, ripe and spicy redcurrant, cranberry, blackberry and fruitcake with white pepper, cinnamon and dried herb notes, earthy and medium bodied palate is silky and slightly leathery, firm backbone of grainy tannins, good length and brightness (****)

Rockford Rod and Spur 2006

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, names refers to the rod and spur method of pruning, blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Shiraz, leathery and minty blackcurrant and blackberry with cinnamon and anise notes, medium-full bodied palate has a powdery texture and finishes with restrained vanilla-cedar oak and fine tannins, slightly uneven ripeness (***1/2)

Rockford Local Growers Semillon 2005

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, yellow-gold colour, toasty and buttery lemon sherbert and melon with some nutty and spice notes on the mid-palate, delicate chalky chassis and citric acids but some phenolic grip on the finish (***1/2)

Rockford White Frontignac 2008

Purchased: Not ($16)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, quite fragrant but the palate is grapey showing delicately textured musk, lychee and passionfruit with a very dry finish, one of the better balanced examples of this fairly widespread Barossa style (***1/2)

Rockford Alicante Bouchet 2009

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, fuschia pink colour, made in a Rose style showing silky and fresh strawberry and raspberry with fresh acidity and chalky minerality on the dry finish, an easy quaffing, low alcohol apertif to be drunk as early as possible (***)

Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2004

Purchased:Not ($47)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, very ripe and full bodied style showing concentrated plum and cassis with chocolate and liquorice notes, the meaty palate is showing some over-ripe raisened features alongside herbal and mint complexity, well integrated sawdusty cedar-vanilla oak, chewy and dusty tannins, big old style red that really needs seven or sight years cellaring to do it justice (****)

Rockford Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Not ($33)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, quite focussed and velvety, ripe blackberry and plum with violet, chocolate and mint notes, earthy and medium-full bodied palate without any jamminess, restrained cedar-vanilla oak, smooth tannins (****)

Rockford Local Growers Semillon 2003

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, sweet nose showing melon, lemon and honeysuckle with a balancing touch of underlying green apple sourness, palate comes across as herbally lemon butter and melon, minerally dry finish, restrained vanilla oak (***1/2)

Rockford Rod and Spur 2004

Purchased: Not ($29)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, Shiraz/Cabernet blend, blackcurrant and plum with chocolate and dried herb notes, spicy if slightly stewed palate, medium bodied, sweet vanilla - cedar oak, slightly dusty tannins (***1/2)

Rockford White Frontignac 2006

Purchased: Not ($12)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, sweet passionfruit and lychee, medium intensity, cloying sugary finish (**1/2)

Rockford Rod and Spur 2001

Purchased: Cellar Door ($28)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: 2004, Blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Shiraz, normally a Shiraz dominant blend, in this vintage, due to the excellent quality of available Cabernet Sauvignon the blend was changedgood balance and structure; fine tannins and well defined fruit expression, medium-bodied wine, juicy, red currant, plum and blueberry fruit is balanced by refreshing acid and drying moth coating tannins, seamless complexity, it is drinking well now (2004) but it should hold and improve for a few years (****)