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Rockford Rod and Spur Shiraz Cabernet 2014

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Winery Note:

We never quite know if the Rod & Spur blend is going to be dominated by Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine doesn't lie. You can't force a blend one way or another. When you slide it over your tongue, the truth is in the glass.

As this wine evolves, the two varieties, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon float and intertwine with each other. When the wine is young the Cabernet Ssauvignon component can poke its head and reveal its varietal make up, on the other occassions the Shiraz can dominate showing spice and soft tannins. It's when the blend is showing some bottle age that we see the two varieties complement each other and work as one to make a complex and balanced wine. This year Shiraz dominates the blend at 65%.

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Winery Note:

I was born into a family of grape growers and grew up in vineyards and wineries, where I inherited a great respect for the pioneer Australian wine trade. All that I’ve experienced is reflected in the Rockford winemaking principles; Quality winemaking is a skilled craft that consumes a very large part of one’s life, so it must give you joy.  That joy is extended if the maker can sell the wine directly to those who drink it for their pleasure.

My grandparents on both sides and also my parents were grape growers, so my childhood was spent in their vineyards.  My parents moved to North Eastern Victoria where my Father managed a vineyard for Australia’s then largest family winemakers, Seppelts.  In 1965 I followed a natural path and started as a trainee winemaker at Seppelt’s Rutherglen winery.

It was a wonderful apprenticeship in the old, ordered, slow and gentle Australian wine trade.  The wines I drank, the winemakers from previous generations with whom I associated and everything I absorbed in that period had a major influence on the way Rockford is today.  Although I’ve spent all my life in vineyards and wineries, the pleasure I derive from walking through rows of vines or casks filled with wine has not diminished.

In 1971 I purchased an 1850’s stone settler’s cottage and outbuildings on five acres of land in the village of Krondorf, which sits in the shadow of the Barossa Ranges, in the heart of the Barossa Valley.  The courtyard shaped winery which grew from this was built in the same style and from the same materials as the original buildings.

The vintage shed is equipped with plant from the pioneer era – I collected these valuable pieces when they were discarded by other Australian wineries as they modernised.  This allows Rockford to carry on the traditional Australian winemaking techniques, but more importantly the winery is the same scale, age and pace as our growers’ vineyards.

To me the winery is not just a building but a large piece of sculpture with Barossa wine running through its veins, hopefully when you walk into the courtyard you’ll instantly feel a sense of all that it represents.

Wine is crafted, not created.  The skill is to capture and enhance the fleeting flavours that grapes give from their variety and extract from the earth, then bottle these as a living record of the vintage they represent.

Rockford wines are made from established Barossa varieties which form an important part of our winemaking heritage, in a style that best reflects the vineyards, the winemaker’s attitude and the climate in which we live.

I have always lived in and feel most comfortable with the warm Mediterranean climate of the Barossa where grapes ripen easily.  My preference is to make the wine by hand with traditional methods, attitudes and equipment to produce elegant but rich, earthy, soft, generous wines that will age - the kind that I drank in my youth.

- Robert O'Callaghan

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesMostly Conventional Techniques
Vineyard PracticesMostly Regular Farming Techniques
Product typeWine Red Other Blends
RegionSouth Australia
Sub-RegionBarossa Valley

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