Your Partner in Wine… John Downes (johndownes.com)

With the hot cross buns, John recommends The Holy Trinity, Grant Burge, (available at Hailsham Cellars www.slurp.co.uk)
It’s that time of year when the spicy smell of hot cross buns fills the kitchen. To be honest, I’ve never eaten with a glass of wine to hand before, but, always up for a challenge, here goes. Many believe that hot cross buns have a link to Christianity and were traditionally eaten on Good Friday; some say that the ‘cross’ represents the crucifixion.
So, keeping with this Christian back drop, I cracked open a bottle of Grant Burge’s The Holy Trinity to accompany the spicy buns. The match proved to be surprisingly good, and that goes beyond the wine’s aromas and flavours.
English folklore links many superstitions to hot cross buns. Once of them says that buns baked on Good Friday will not spoil and another says that a bun wil help a sick person recover. Interestingly these superstitions also have a linke to this chunky red from South Australia’s hot Barossa Valley, (just up the road from Adelaide).
Firstly, “The Trinity” will definitely not spoil as it has the depth and balance to keep and improve for at least another five years and, secondly, as for health, we’re often told that a glass of good red is beneficial.
Sharing a hot cross bun with another is also reputed to ensure friendship for the coming year. If you share a bottle The Holy Trinity with a friend, you’ll have a friend for life!
The Holy Trinity, as the name suggests, is a blend of three red grapes, Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre, varieties that are traditionally ‘at home’ in France’s Southern Rhone Valley where they play an important part in the classic wines of Chateauneuf du Pape.
In the hands of a good winemaker they are also leading a real charge downunder. If you ever hear a wine snob talking about the charms of a GSM he’s simply spouting off about this blend.
The Holy Trinity grapes are hand picked from 50 to 100 year old, low yield vines which results in concentrated, balanced red cherry and blackberry flavours with a touch of spice reminiscent of the bun’s cinnamon – yet another link in this heavenly match.

Cellar Hands Rival Grant Burge

A team of Grant Burge Wines cellar hands were celebrating last week after winning the trophy for the Best Wine in Show at the recent 2012 Amature Winemaking Challenge at the Tanunda Agricultural Show.
In 2010 a team of Grant Burge Wines cellar hands were given one tonne of Shiraz grapes from a Lyndoch vineyard. Working independently from the winemakers, the team sourced their own wooden basket press and tanks to make the wine, maturing it in a mixture of French and American oak. The cellar hand team received a Gold medal for their 2010 Cellar Red, and then went on to take out the Trophy for the Best Wine of Show. Trent Burge (Grant’s son), admits it took a little encouragement before deciding to enter in the 2012 Amateur Winemaking Challenge in the Tanunda Agricultural Show, now in it’s 99th year.
“With a panel of local winemakers, we were a bit nervous about how our wine would stand up in the blind tasting, but it all paid off. It was a real thrill to be able to get our wine in front of them and we were pretty happy with the result. Needless to say there were a few pints hsared at the Tanunda Hotel afterwards.” said Trent.
Judges, Peter Lindner (Langmeil), Ben Radford (Rockford) and David Lehmann (David Franz Wines) assessed the wine on comments-based system, taking into account colour, clarity aroma, taste and palate.
The Shiraz received the following comments from the Judges: “Brilliant clarity, very good intensity and varietal character and good tannin structure”. “Harmonious, enjoyable wine.” Grant Burge says he’s pleased with the final result; 65 cases of an all round, well-balanced, single vineyard Shiraz.
“Education has always been important to us and I’m extremely proud of the team,” said Grant.
Congratulations to Trent Burge, Michael Colwill, Bruna Schultz, Richard Clark, Sam Stoll, Aaron Conners and Carl Samain who are all passionate Grant Burge employees and now trophy winning winemakers.

Grant Burge’s 2009 Abednego an Iconic Mélange

Completing the icon trio of wines in the Grant Burge stable is the 2009 Abednego Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre, due for release on 19th March 2012.

The Abednego sits alongside the Meshach Shiraz and Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is 95% Barossa floor and 5% Eden Valley with the fruit sourced from Grant’s own vineyards with an average age of 110 years.

“Vines of this age deliver incredible concentration and depth, giving the resultant wine the ability to develop over many years”, Grant said.

The 2009 vintage is a blend of 44% Shiraz, 31% Grenache and 25% Mourvèdre.

Each component was individually fermented in static fermenters. The parcels where pumped over 3 times a day using the ‘drain and return’ technique on the 4th day. All of the parcels were held on skins for 28 days prior to pressing. After the blend was put together the wine was transferred to 2500 litre vats for 16 months.

The 2009 Abednego is the very best of a sensational Grenache vintage. “This wine radiates class, with sensational colour, a steadfast and pure palate with a soft and lingering finish. It is a mystery waiting to reveal itself. While it is a genuine pleasure to behold now, after a few years as an aged release this wine will blow you away”, Grant said.

Is Grant Burge the new Fortified Champion?

Grant Burge may well be challenging the two-century reign of Seppeltsfield as the leading Tawny Port stable in Australia after adding another trophy to the cabinet at the 2012 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show awards dinner.
The Grant Burge Wines 20 Year Old Tawny was awarded the Journalists’ club Trophy for the Best Port in Show.
Accepting the trophy at last Thursday’s award dinner, Grant acknowledged the vision shown by his father and grandfather in putting aside special parcels of wine from each vintage to assemble into great Barossa fortified wines.
“I’ve been lucky to inherit some of the finest parcels of fortified wines in Australia,” he said. “Every drop has been meticulously kept and cared for at my family’s Wilsford winery in Lyndoch at the southern end of the Barossa, and this 20 Year Old is a blend of the oldest and rarest parcels of these stocks. When we come to blending these wines each year there are plenty of volunteers amongst the winemaking team that want to join us as we taste through the barrels. It’s a pretty special process.”
The win consolidates Grant Burge’s global scale following trophy wins with the same wine three years in a row at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards in London.
Grant was also celebrating another 2012 Sydney Royal Wine Show victory last night, with his pre-release 2010 Reserve Eden Valley Riesling winning a Gold Medal.
With 2010 likely to be ranked as the best vintage in at least a decade, Grant and his winemaking team were excited to enter this aged style of Riesling in the national wine show circuit.
“When we came to blend the 2010 Thorn Eden Valley Riesling two small batches stood out as quite remarkable,” he said. “the elegance and length of the wines made them obvious choices for bottle aging, rather than for immediate consumption.”

Is Grant Burge Wines the new Seppeltsfield?

Grant Burge may well be challenging the two-century reign of Seppeltsfield as the leading Tawny Port stable in Australia after adding another trophy to the cabinet at the 2012 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show awards dinner.

The Grant Burge Wines 20 Year Old Tawny was awarded the Journalists’ Club Trophy for the Best Port in Show.

Accepting the trophy at last night’s award dinner, Grant acknowledged the vision shown by his father and grandfather in putting aside special parcels of wine from each vintage to assemble into great Barossa fortified wines.

“I’ve been lucky to inherit some of the finest parcels of fortified wines in Australia,” he said.

“Every drop has been meticulously kept and cared for at my family’s Wilsford winery in Lyndoch at the southern end of the Barossa, and this 20 Year Old Tawny is a blend of the oldest and rarest parcels of these stocks.

“When we come to blending these wines each year there are plenty of volunteers amongst the winemaking team that want to join us as we taste through the barrels. It’s a pretty special process.”

The win consolidates Grant Burge’s premier fortified winemaker status on a global scale following trophy wins with the same wine three years in a row at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards in London.

Grant was also celebrating another 2012 Sydney Royal Wine Show victory last night, with his pre release 2010 Reserve Eden Valley Riesling, winning a Gold Medal.

With 2010 likely to be ranked as the best vintage in at least a decade, Grant and his winemaking team were excited to enter this aged style of Riesling in the national wine show circuit.

“When we came to blend the 2010 Thorn Eden Valley Riesling two small batches stood out as quite remarkable,” he said. “The elegance and length of the wines made them obvious choices for bottle aging, rather than for immediate consumption.”

The limited production wine will be released exclusively through the Grant Burge Cellar Door in the Barossa.