Albert Shiraz 6 vintage cellar pack
A rare release of six vintages of Albert Shiraz from the Teusner cellar – 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 & 2018. Availability is strictly limited, and offered on a first in, first served basis until sold out.
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When you start out as a young bloke in the wine game, the idea of one day sitting down on a Sunday afternoon and tasting through 15 vintages of a Shiraz you’ve made from a 90 year old vines is the furthest thing from your mind. Because the first couple of years of trying to make a go of selling something with your name on the label are out and out a hard slog, made all the harder by also having to hold down a day job to pay the bills. It does get a bit more glamorous after that, but overall this is a game of heart over head. We do it, because we love it! And on Sunday afternoon, we sure were loving it as we sat down and tasted every Albert made to date, starting with the very first – the 2005.
Back in 2005, the Riebkes presented me an opportunity to buy some Shiraz from their oldest block, and I decided to create a new wine. A wine called Albert, named after my grandfather Albert Alfred Teusner…a man I admired for his commitment and his persistence. I blended the fruit from that old Riebke block at Ebenezer in the Barossa’s North, with fruit from another old block at the Barossa’s South East near Williamstown. (A vineyard ironically located next to the land where the first Teusners to arrive in the district decided to put down their roots.)
The wine was to be true to our approach to every wine we’ve ever made at Teusner. To be a wine that represented first and foremost where it came from, rather than a wine that reflected a heavy handed approach in the winery. For our house style is about place, and about expressing the pure character of origin and variety. It is not about oak, or about winemakers shaping and crafting wine to the point its source becomes unidentifiable.
From the first vintage in 2005, we wanted Albert to be a classic Barossa Shiraz, a wine that stood the test of time, and a wine that throughout its journey would remind those of where it came from, and of the particular nature of the vintage in which it was made. The tasting reinforced to me that we had never wavered from that aim, and that our approach to winemaking rang true across every wine.
After the tasting on Sunday, I selected 6 vintages of Albert that I believe best tell the story of the last 15 years. From the first vintage in 2005, through the excitement of 2008, the wonders of 2010, and the soul crushing challenges of 2011. The exceptionally dry 2013…and finally our latest release from the exceptional 2018 vintage. And I ok’d a limited release of the older wines from our cellar, to be shared with the folk who’ve helped me along the way – YOU! The members of the Righteous Society, the people who have loved, purchased, drank, shared, tweeted, liked and posted about the wines we make at Teusner.
Despite the aged and rarity of the wines, I’m not going to charge you anymore that I would for the current vintage – just $65 a bottle – which translates to $390 for the six pack, and that includes delivery to any address in Australia.
The six vintage pack of Albert is offered on a first in, first served basis until sold out. Place our order on our website, or call the winery urgently on (08) 8562 4147.
Here are my notes on each wine and the vintage:
2005 Albert Shiraz (cork)
A consistently mild, dry vintage with temperatures constantly in the mid-20s during January and early February led to a quick finish, with all grapes ripening together during a burst of heat in late February. The wine looks great for a 15 year old, still showing plenty of red in the glass, looking really youthful. Hints of menthol/ eucalypt on the nose with touches of savoury meatiness and cedar. A good wash of fruit with the wine retaining good structure and balance. Probably still got some years left in it, but I reckon it’s looking very good now. The lovely blend of primary and secondary characters make me say drink it now.
2008 Albert Shiraz (screwcap)
2008 will be remembered as the “tale of two vintages” with the perfect pre and immediately post veraison conditions enabling those who picked early in February to make some of the best Shiraz of the decade. However, those who held on were hit by a record long heatwave in March (15 consecutive days over 35°C!) which meant fruit had to be picked quickly. It seems like every winemaker I know reckons they picked in February and avoided the heat! I’m happy to say we’d planned to pick in March, and we did our best to get the fruit off the vines and into the winery as quick as we could during some very, very hot days. One of the most challenging, yet rewarding vintages because I thought we responded really well to the obvious challenges and made some great wines.
On the nose, the typical mint/ eucalypt is not as evident in other vintages, with plusher ripe fruits to the fore on the nose. Deeper in colour, and lush in the mouth. Slick and silky on the palate with plenty of primary fruit that is starting to soften and mellow. Drinking really well now, but will reward a bit more patience. Drink now -2025
2010 Albert Shiraz (screwcap)
The long drought finally broke and the Barossa experienced its best rainfall in five years in mid – late 2009, Warm and mild weather for the remainder of the growing season accelerated ripening for an early vintage. The onset of cool nights in mid-March slowed the final harvest and the old Shiraz vineyards produced sound yields of excellent fruit.
Lovely integration of spice, oak and fruit characters on the nose. The colours look amazing for a 10 year old wine. Plenty of dark reds in the glass, lush yet elegant fruits on the palate with good underlying tannins. Beautifully poised for the next decade. Drink now to 2030
2011 Albert Shiraz (screwcap)
Regarded by many winemakers and growers as the most challenging vintage in living memory and certainly the most difficult, since the last wet Barossa vintage in 1974. With so much rain throughout vintage, my biggest fear was the impact of botrytis and the risk of the wines oxidising – but that’s definitely not the issue here with the wine still showing plenty of reds in the glass. The challenge of 2011 was met by team Teusner and our legion of legendary growers with a careful eye in the vineyard, and attention to detail in the winery. The older vineyards performed better than their youthful counterparts, with looser canopies permitting airflow around the bunches and restricting the spread of disease. One of the toughest years to make good wine, and I reckon we went all right.
A leaner version of Albert typical of Shiraz from this vintage, showing more northern Rhone shape an character. A great example of the impact of vintage on the texture and flavour of a wine. Drink now – 2022
2013 Albert Shiraz (screwcap)
The 2013 vintage in the Barossa will be remembered as the driest, earliest and quickest vintage in memory, with many vineyards harvested by the end of February/early March – a month or so earlier than 2012.
Black reds on the glass, with delicate spices/ a touch more dark spice on the nose. A noticeably bigger wine in flavour and structure. Loads of dark fruits and great length, and difficult not to think this has a very long life ahead of it. Drink 2025 – 2030+
2018 Albert Shiraz (screwcap) – FIRST RELEASE
A vintage to savour, with grape growers and winemakers universal in their praise. The growing season started off well, with Winter 2017 rainfall higher than average. January and February were warm and dry, followed by the Indian summer of March and early April which was ‘the icing on the cake’.
Classic youthful Albert on the nose, with beautifully integrated spices, fruits and oak with classic menthol hints. Really juicy, bright lush primary red fruits on the palate. This one needs some time even now, and I’d recommend tucking it away for at least a couple of years. If you’re really patient, this would drink really well from 2030 onwards.
Happy journeying and drinking!