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Rolf Binder Heinrich 2004
Heinrich is an estate wine with the Shiraz coming from the Stephanie vineyard and the Mataro from the Chri'ro vineyard, both of which adjoin the winery, and the Grenache comes from the Western Ridge vineyard at Gomersal.
A bottle consumed with guests led to this tasting note: "Brilliant crimson color, very bright, almost glowing and pales a little at the rim; pure, fragrant aroma at times floral and violets come to mind but also showing warm climate richness and ripeness; the palate is much more delicate than that of Shiraz and builds gradually in the mouth and finishes with satisfying, delicious fruit and fine tannins."
Rolf Heinrich Binder and his wife, Franziska, arrived in Australia (from Austria and Hungary respectively) in 1950 as part of the large influx of post war immigration. As payment for the government assistance, they worked for the South Australian Railway for three years. During that time they met Elmore Schulz, a train driver and grape grower in the Barossa Valley, and namesake to Barossa Valley Estate’s E&E Shiraz. While picking grapes for Schulz in 1953, the couple met Langmeil Road winemakers, Chris Vohrer and Wilhelm Abel, a meeting that proved to set their future in the wine business. In 1954 they worked a vintage in this winery and subsequently purchased the business in 1955, renaming it ‘Veritas’, taken from the Latin quote “In Vino Veritas” – in wine, truth. The winery name was changed from Veritas to Rolf Binder in 2005 to honor Rolf Heinrich Binder who passed away in 2003. Since then, the business has grown substantially throughout Australia, with wines also now exported to 19 countries.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as 1860. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, purple juice.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.