Saltram The Journal Centenarian Shiraz, $175
At Treasury Wine Estates’ Regional Winter Reds tasting, I had my first experience of The Journal Centenarian Shiraz, and was blown away. It was only later that I learnt it carries a $175 price tag. It seems I’ve always had the knack of sniffing out the most expensive item in a line-up. Funny that. What makes this wine so special? For starters, Saltram Wines sources the fruit from a single vineyard high up in South Australia’s Eden Valley, where the vines were planted in 1901 (hence the wine’s classification as a Centenarian under the Barossa Old Vine charter). It’s named The Journal because the founder of Saltram, William Salter, kept a meticulous journal ever since he first planted vines in 1859 and those journals are a precious resource at Saltram even today. What an incredible memento of Australian winemaking history. I tasted the 2010 vintage that was matured for nearly two years in French oak. It has great length, fine silky tannins and rich fruit flavours of plums, cherries and savoury spice. Christmas pud in a glass.