The best harvest experienced in the Barossa

The 2021 harvest was a belter, the weather was perfect and the winemaking was 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. It is the best harvest I have experienced as a winemaker in the Barossa. The wines will undoubtedly last a long time and I am fascinated with how they will unfold in the cellar.

Early indications show that 2022 was a worthy follow up to such a great harvest, with lower yields and slightly cooler conditions producing wines of authenticity of place. The 2022 Harold is a true example of these conditions and is a window into what we expect from the Bruce and Don releases next year

We are now ready to release from our cellar to yours the new 2021 Bruce, 2022 Harold and 2021 Don Shiraz.

The Wines

2021 Izway Bruce Shiraz
If there was a dictionary of Izway wines, under the word ‘Bruce’ there would be a picture of the 2021 release. The culmination of a great vintage combined with a blend of classic vineyards has created the perfect Bruce, with every element in synergyThe vineyards that we use to make Harold, Don and Oscar & Matilda contribute nearly 60% of this release, and it shows.

The aromatics are vibrant, fresh, expressive, and bold with both floral and fruit-driven characteristics provoking intrigue and delight in equal parts.

The palate is bold and confident yet elegant and refined and displays all the traits that place Barossa Valley Shiraz in such high regard around the world.

The pedigree of these vineyards is unquestioned, and the distinctive blend of both Barossa Valley (84%) and Eden Valley (16%) creates a timeless wine that can be consumed in the near and long term with equivalent enjoyment. Arguably the finest Bruce we have released.
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2022 Izway Harold Shiraz
On the 28th of October 2021, a narrow hailstorm weaved its way from the west to the east of the Barossa. Our winery at Seppeltsfield was just on the Northern tip of the band, and while we sustained significant damage, the storm was only gaining energy and the worst of it was headed towards the Eden Valley. The majority of our main vineyards avoided the storm altogether; however, the Harold Vineyard was in the firing line and the large stones tore through the young shoots and flowers on the vines. It was a minor miracle that we managed to still pick 1.3 tonnes of fruit from the hectare of vineyard. Through the adversity, the remaining fruit ripened on healthy vines, with the tiny bunches developing exceptional depth of flavour and colour.

The resulting wine is certainly bolder than previous releases and pours inky black in a display of power. The nose is almost northern Barossa, with coffee and chocolate notes waltzing with blackberry and blueberry.

The palate is rich and textural, with cooler elements of spice and licks of cornichon adding an elegance and restraint. It is wonderfully interesting and thought provoking and is a suitable predecessor to the magic 2021.  
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2021 Izway Don Shiraz
In 2021 we continued the trend of picking the vineyard in two batches, with harvest occurring on the 18th and 31st of March. Both these batches were individually split into separate fermenters to give us more diversity of flavour and texture from a single site. The differences in a great harvest like 2021 are subtle, but still provide layers and depth to this single vineyard release.  

Many of the most revered wines of the world open quietly, yet there is an assertiveness and quality about them that cloaks their greatness. The 2021 Don possesses this trait, and its poise and calmness on opening conceals something wonderful that is lurking in the glass.

Earth and spice showcase a cooler harvest and unwind to reveal powerful notes of red berries, leather, and dark chocolate. The palate is balanced and refined, and the texture of a classic harvest is on show with assertive tannin, crisp acidity and guarded opulence.

While the mouth feel is more restrained than is typical of this wine, the true depth and complexity of this great harvest will be revealed in time. I kept going back to this wine over several days, with many sniffs and sips. The evolution over time was striking, and I have no doubt that patience with cellaring will be thoroughly rewarded. 
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Hopefully our stellar run of great vintages continues.

Craig Isbel