Silver linings from challenging times

Whilst 2020 was a rough year for everyone, the silver lining from this difficult year was the exceptional quality of wine produced albeit in very limited supply. Frost and windy conditions in the Spring along with an uncharacteristically hot, dry and windy December lead to poor fruit set and significantly reduced crops. Whilst we were staring down a difficult growing season, it was nothing compared to other parts of Australia where wildfires raged along the East Coast of Australia in December, and around 40% of Kangaroo Island was severely burnt. The Barossa valley was fortunately spared from such devastation. The hot summer broke early and a cooler-than-average February and March allowed us to craft some stunning wines.

The 2021 harvest was a belter, the weather was perfect and the winemaking almost effortless. The fruit was in immaculate condition in the winery, and the harvest ambled along without stress. Winemakers in general are renowned for talking up every harvest, but 2021 is genuinely a once in a decade vintage, particularly for these top end wines. They will undoubtedly last a long time and I am fascinated with how they will unfold in the cellar.

We are now ready to release from our cellar to yours the new 2020 Bruce, 2021 Harold and 2020 Don Shiraz.

The Wines

2020 Izway Bruce Shiraz
A cracking Bruce! Dark and powerful, soulful and brooding, the 2020 Bruce is a bold Barossa Shiraz and one that will excite those that yearn for the classic styles.

The aromatics impose themselves on the room as soon as they hit the glass, with cassis, olive tapenade and dark chocolate dominating hints of sage. The texture is rich but assured, with the plush characteristics held firm by the now conventional addition of Eden Valley Shiraz (just 7.5% for this vintage).

Freshness and energy carry the wine, making it one of the most approachable Bruce’s we have released for some time. The tiny yields in 2020 have created a concentrated wine, however, the total production is more than halved from previous releases.
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2021 Izway Harold Shiraz
We have opened a few of these since bottling in early December, and every time we do it makes me smile. This tiny parcel of vineyard nestled in the rolling hills north of Angaston fell into our laps in 2019, and we are very glad it did.

2021 is probably the best harvest I have experienced in the Barossa, and the first release of our big three wines from this harvest doesn’t disappoint.

Highly aromatic, intriguing, pure and fresh; the immediately expressive nose displays rose petals and cherry ripe with hints of orange rind. The palate is long, flowing, and elegant, with an energy and intensity that unfolds with air. Soft, ripe tannins provide focus and finesse to the layers and detail buried within its texture.

An intriguing wine that will undoubtedly get better with age; it potentially will last for 20 or more years and may peak slightly older than previous vintages. One to cherish in your cellar and only share with your favourite friends.
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2020 Izway Don Shiraz
The 2020 Don is the pick of the three releases for me. You don’t even have to wait for the wine to hit the glass to smell it; as soon as the cork is extracted the aromas escape.

New elegant French Oak embraces perfumed and aromatic notes of blackberry, plum and liquorice. We have been working hard to find harmony between oak and fruit with this wine, and the 2020 release confirms that we are on the right path. The texture is striking; bold and rich, structured and flowing and the wine ambles across the tongue and confidently enlivens the mouth. The low yield that was created by nature in 2020 (we picked 1.77 tonnes) has led to an incredible wine that can be enjoyed both now and well into the future.

The evolution of the Don is probably the one that I am most proud of as a winemaker. I have consciously made raising the quality of this wine an objective, and hope you agree that we have seen a steady ascension over the last decade, culminating in the consistency of the last four releases.
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The release of these three wines marks another significant chapter in the Izway story.

Craig Isbel