It is no secret that I have been bullish regarding the quality of the 2021 wines that we have made. In near-perfect conditions, fruit flavour and ripeness developed early, allowing us to pick fruit with lower sugar and higher natural acidity than any time I can remember. The fruit was in immaculate condition in the winery, and the harvest ambled along without stress. The resulting wines have wonderful freshness, depth and personality. I would go as far as saying that the way these wines are tasting now, the 2021 harvest is shaping up to be my favourite of the past two decades.
The Barossa is fortunately an extremely consistent region, with great vintages comfortably outweighing the weak ones. I love the wines from 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2012 in particular, but the trait that stands out for me from 2021 is the quality of every batch of fruit that we made. Even in the great years there are patches that don’t perform to expectations, driven by subtle variations in climate for our sub regions and the fact the different varieties we produce ripen over a two-month period. In 2021 I can’t think of a single batch or variety that I don’t love.
Given that Aglianico is the last variety that we pick, it is probably the most likely to experience variation from the trend of the harvest. In 2021 however, we harvested our last batch of Hoffmann Old Shiraz for Don just 5 days earlier than we picked the Aglianico. The vineyard has settled into its site with poise and assertiveness, and the canopy is in balance with the fruit it produces. The wine is bold, elegant, emphatic, and refined with a harmony between acidity and tannin structure. It is the most complete Angelo that we have made and I hope it is a window into what is achievable for Aglianico in the Barossa Valley for years to come.
The conditions we experienced in 2021 were perfect for all varieties, and all appellations, which is a rare trait and one that certainly stamps it as a complete and superior Vintage.
2021 Izway Angelo Aglianico
Pure and perfumed, the aromatics are classically Aglianico. Savoury spice and leather flow into red cherry and orange rind, with hints of clove and cinnamon. The hallmark tannin and acid profile of Aglianico is present, but with a depth and richness of texture which is coating and powerful, yet elegant, satiating, and moreish.
The smooth texture on the palate and balanced acidity makes this wine a prime candidate for wine and food pairings. This wine will certainly please lovers of Italian varieties.
Craig & Kathryn Isbel