While Howard Duncan, COO of Artisans of Barossa / Vino Lokal, doesn’t fit the ‘3 in the ground’ rule of ‘Barossa local’ he has certainly earned his place.
After working all over the globe, Howard settled in Barossa 16 years ago, installing himself in the centre of the region’s wine industry. Howard has become somewhat notorious in the region for pushing the envelope; the inspirer of big, new ideas. Just recently he oversaw the opening of a new wine bar in just 90 days from light bulb moment to opening night, and his ‘top 5 Barossa Wine Auction picks’ are actually 6, if that gives you any indication of his tenacity!
It’s safe to say Howard knows his way around a Barossa wine or two, and his picks are not all the usual suspects. So, please enjoy your second preview into the Barossa Wine Auction catalogue, due out later this month:
1. Lot 12W: EDEN HALL BLOCK 4 SHIRAZ
Prices for the Eden Hall Reserve Rieslings have been on the climb in in recent years as more wine collectors begin to acknowledge the exceptional pedigree and longevity of these estate grown wines. Eden Valley Shiraz is superb, led by its poster boys from Henschke – Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone. Eden Hall have first rate vineyards and the winemaking is faultless – these are outstanding wines. The two flights available in the on line auction feature wines from the strongest vintages, and should attract strong bidding from those in the know!
2. Lot 9S: ROJOMOMA RED ART RED WINE OF PROVENANCE SHIRAZ VERTICAL
Husband and wife team Bernie Keading and Sam Kurz turned the accepted order of things on its head at the 2017 National Wine Show in Canberra by taking home The Red Wine of Provenance Trophy. In this class, the judges consider three vintages of the same wine spread across at least ten years – a huge ask for small producer like Rojomoma, and hence typically the Trophy is the domain of the big names. But the superb quality of these wines and their obvious ability age won the day, and the Rojomoma dynamic duo shook the foundations of Barossa red winemaking to their core.
3. Lot 91W: TIM SMITH WINES TSW RESERVE
Yes he’s a mate, and yes he’s a good bloke…but he’s also a top winemaker and these two wines come from some of the very oldest and finest vineyards in Barossa. Tim is the epitome of hands on from vineyard to glass – I suspect he may even lick the back of each label to ensure it sticks to the bottle. This is a one man band – just call the winery “Hello, Tim Smith Wines, Tim Smith speaking”. Superb old vine Shiraz, and the Mataro will outlive the next dozen Australian prime ministers.
4. Lots 37W & 38W: JOHN DUVAL WINES ENTITY SHIRAZ
I have the distinct pleasure of working for the father/ son team of John and Tim Duval, and these guys are a pro outfit. They don’t make a lot, and what they do is determined solely by the availability of great vineyards. The 2016 Entity won the best shiraz trophy at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards last year, and the vintages on offer in this pack are like a roll call of my picks for best vintages in recent memory.
5. Lot 26W: HEAD WINES ANCESTOR VINE GRENACHE
I really think this is one of the greatest Grenache wines I have ever tasted. From fruit grown east of Springton in the Eden Valley in a vineyard planted in 1858, this is a world class red wine. Imperials are rare beasts, and this is a rare wine from an exceptional and rare vineyard. Go hard on the bidding on this one, you’ll thank yourself for years to come if you decide on onsell in the future, or if you get a dozen mates around to get on the Grenache! Either way, this is a guaranteed winner
6. Lot 53W: MAVERICK TRIAL HILL EDEN VALLEY SHIRAZ
I tasted the 2010 of this vintage as part of a Barossa Shiraz masterclass I gave in Hong Kong back in 2014…and I have never forgotten it! 2006 and 2016 are equal, if not stronger vintages, and the vineyard which sits high above the valley in the Barossa ranges is legendary. A great addition to the cellar
Tickets for the Barossa Wine Auction Live Auction and Lunch are on sale now. An integral part of the Barossa Vintage Festival the 2019 event will be held on 26 April at Lambert Estate Wines, Angaston, SA. Lots ending in L or S will be auctioned at the live event.
Can’t make to Barossa for the fun of the live event? The online auction is available globally and starts at langtons.com.au on April 5. Auction lots ending in W are available exclusively online. Pre-register now