Sturt Highway, Nurioopta
Cellar Door: Mon - Fri (9.15 - 4.30), Weekends (10 - 4.30)
Ph: (08) 8562 1955
Wolf Blass wines from Eden Valley region
Wolf Blass wines from Adelaide Hills region
Wolf Blass wines from Limestone Coast region
Wolf Blass, along with Jacob’s Creek, is now Australia’s most instantly recognisable brands in the mass export market.
Wolf Blass, the man, was an East German immigrant, who after tasting the shocking 1960s-era Australian wines in England in thought: ‘I could do something out there’. He got a job at the Barossa’s Kaiser Stuhl in 1961.
Blass was responsible for trying to develop a new Australian market for the quality white wines. Orlando had first introduced modern pressurised fermentation techniques needed for fresh whites in 1953 but in in the late 1960s and 1970s these wines were still dismissed as ‘women’s tastes’.
The new wave of modern whites were fresh and lively and a break with the traditional heavily oaked styles of more primitive Australian white winemaking techniques. After a stint with Tolley Blass set up his own property in Nurioopta in the early 1970s. With long running lieutenant was John Glaetzer they won three consecutive Jimmy Watson trophies (1974-6) and started the Wolf Blass legend based on pragmatic white styles aimed at popularising the new style.
Wolf Blass, the brand, greatly expanded in the 1990s under a merger with Mildara and is now under the giant Beringer Blass umbrella. The Yellow Label is one of Australia’s biggest selling brands. A new state-of-the-art wine making facility was built in 2000 and further expansion is planned to meet Wolf Blass’s huge export market.
Chris Hatcher is the overall chief winemaker of the large wine-making team.
Despite being a global corporate giant using blended wines the Grey labels and above still retain a surprising quality.
The new cellar door just off the Sturt Highway north of Nurioopta includes a barrel museum and a large and shameless exhibit devoted to the history of Wolf Blass (both the man and the brand).
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)
Wolf Blass Gold Label Barossa Shiraz 2013
Purchased: Not ($28)
(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, smooth and rather ripe but not without some elegance and depth for the warm vintage, dark plum and cassis with black pepper and violet notes, medium-full bodied with cedar/clove/nutmeg oak and a fresh acid spine (***1/2)
Wolf Blass Gold Label Barossa Shiraz 2009
Purchased: Not ($20)
(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, quintessential mainstream mid-tier Barossa style, smooth, ripe and slightly tarry blackberry, mulberry and dark plum with cinnamon and liquorice notes, lashing of sweet French oak with velvety tannins with a mocha-chocolate finish (***)
Wolf Blass Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2005
Purchased: Not ($130)
(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2009, super-premium from multi-region sources (Langhorne Creek, Barossa, McLaren Vale), dense core of blackberry and blackcurrant with eucalpyt and anise notes, the creamy and earthy mid-palate shows savoury meat aspects, firm extract leads to chewy tannins, the 24 months in new French and American brings cigar box, dark chocolate and seasoned cedar features to the finish (****1/2)
Wolf Blass Platinum Barossa Shiraz 2006
Purchased: Not ($140)
(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, super-dense with a rather heavy extract, tarry blackberry, plum and mulberry with liquorice, dried herbs, musk and dark chocolate, spicy, slightly charry vanilla oak, persistent powdery tannins (****1/2)
Wolf Blass Eaglehawk Chardonnay 2005
Purchased: Wurtulla BWS, Sunshine Coast, Qld ($10)
(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2005, straightforward peach and melon flavours with soft buttery influence from malolactic fermentation, dry finish (**1/2)
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Purchased: Lyndhurst Hotel, Brunswick ($18)
(GXY) Tasting: August 2004, light and easy to drink but not bland, plum and blackcurrant with cassis and raspberry hints, modest vanilla/coconut oak and slight mint on finish, a good Sunday afternoon party wine. Will be interesting to see what four or five years ageing will do (***)