It’s only May, but I’m calling it – this Longhop Shiraz 2019 is the most impressive $20 South Australian Shiraz you’ll buy this year.
Lofty words, but it’s not just a feeling. There is one very good reason why this is so good for so few dollars – and well worth a deep dive.
It’s all about the fruit source.
Dom Torzi and Tim Freeland source from the oft-forgotten vineyards of the Adelaide Plains and Mt Lofty Ranges, tapping into a network of old vines in market gardens and smaller plots around Angle Vale, Gawler, Uleybury etc.
This part of South Australia has always played second fiddle to the neighbouring Barossa/Adelaide Hills, even though the regional boundaries are so close. The eastern end of Gawler counts as the Barossa, and $2500 a tonne for Shiraz is the start. Cross to the other side of town and the same grapes are 30-50% cheaper. It’s that profound, even though the terroir differences are negligible.
With this Longhop Shiraz 2019, Dom & Tim have scored absolute A-grade fruit without paying inflated prices. So, really, it’s a $20 Shiraz, but would be $30+ if it was Barossan. And it tastes like it too – there’s an intensity of flavour that is reflective of old vines/low yields. You get an extra blackness here, and a little alcohol, both of which are a nod to the slightly warmer Adelaide Plains, but the length and heft is next level.
Combine that with some supportive winemaking (basket pressing, gentle pump over, matured in American and French oak) and no wonder this is a winner.
It’s such a substantial red. Thick and grainy, with a real black fruit profile, the palate is so deep and dark and long. It gets a bit heavy on the finish, but that just adds to the intensity. $20? There are $50 reds with less intensity than this. It’s a bit rough and tumble on the finish, but that just adds to the charm. Bargain. I was almost at 93 on the score too. Best drinking: now to ten years plus. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.5%, $20. Longhop website. Would I buy it? Well worth a bottle.