All the traditions of the long-running Barosa Vintage Festival were celebrated in April 2019. We had a ball celebrating a century of Liebich family winemaking heritage in the Barossa Valley. Winemaking is in Ron’s blood starting with his Grandfather, Benno Liebich, who established a family winery in Rowland Flat in 1919.
The cricket theme for the float was selected given that between Ron, his Uncle “Darkie” and grandfather Benno they had notched up 100 vintages not out. We rolled out the turf on the back of a truck, set up stumps, donned the whites and rolled the arm over.
Is it coincidence that Lindsay Head’s number was 17 (famous South Australian footballer in the 60’s), and therefore Ron’s favourite number?
Vintage 2017 has been the best year that Ron can recall since 1996 in terms of weather, quantity and quality of all types of fruit on our property, not only wine and table grapes.
The start of harvest was like a return to ‘normal’ and not 3 weeks early as in recent years with such hot summers. Vintage threatened to finish early, before a cool damp spell gave way to an Indian summer, which extended the season and improved the quality and flavour of the subsequent wine. Ron is particularly happy with the 2017 fortifieds to keep bulk stocks topped up. He even crushed some Shiraz for a one off vintage fortified wine.
It was a nice change to have picking spread out from mid March into the first week of May. This meant a chance to enjoy the Barossa Vintage Festival.
We hosted some very special tastings at cellar door during the 2017 Barossa Vintage Festival in April.
Over our 25 years of business, Ron has been carefully stashing away a few cases of each vintage ever produced of our premium red wine range. What a treat it was for us to taste our museum stocks to see how they were travelling. Overall, they are all aging well and the following vintages were selected based on their greater intensity and developed varietal characters.
Winemaker Ron Liebich’s Comments:
The Darkie Shiraz
A relatively cooler year produced a wine with everything you’d expect for Barossa Shiraz. This wine still show great depth of colour, fruit intensity and complexity. Developed fruitcake spice, smoky oak and lovely pepper hints carry through to smooth long palate.
A great quality season helped the wines ‘make themselves’ in the vineyard. A concentrated and full bodied Shiraz with magnificent mouth feel. Tight tannins still grip a little, but are nicely balanced with subtle woody notes and cherry jam sweetness. Beautiful development under cork. 2001 is holding up better than the 2000’s. Still has a few years to live.
The Lofty Cabernet Sauvignon
A superb quality season. This Cab still shows great depth of colour, fruit intensity and complexity. Palate is spot on with acidity and drying tannins contributing to a tightly structured, persistent palate. Drinking well now.
A concentrated Cabernet with super fine tannins and a lack of any aggressive oak characters. The trademark style of Liebichwein Cabernet still comes through with ripe blackberries and intense floral violet notes. Palate is still fresh and amazingly long. Still has a few years to live.
It’s incredible to see the Barossa Vintage Festival being so successful over the last 70 years – the longest running wine festival in Australia!
We were thrilled to meet so many new faces during festival events and at Liebichwein cellar door. Our scarecrow Benno (Ron’s grandfather’s name) was there to wave his glass of plonk to all who passed by in Rowland Flat.
The weather was kind and crowds flocked to popular events like the Vintage Festival Parade which we watched in full for the first time ever! Following the parade, Ron was kept busy organising the Grape Treading Competition. A large audience gathered at Nuriootpa Oval to watch 12 teams of children and adults stomp over 20 buckets of Grenache grapes. Ron has since turned this juice into a batch of port.
Congratulations to locals Steve Schiller and Paul Noack of “The Harvesters” for backing up their Grape Treading Champion title from the 2015 festival. They stomped a whopping 1590mL in 2 minutes pipping the Penfolds team by just 20mL.
Another fun event was Feast, Folk and Fossick at Lyndoch where a huge BBQ was built and fired up from 2am on feasting day. Look out for a repeat of this popular event.