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.
Read more about Liebich family history here.
Spring in the Barossa is one of our favourite times of year. Everything is freshly renewed as vines take shape and form bushy leaf growth – a sight to behold. Vineyards are looking so pretty with shades of green everywhere. Cover crops appear between vineyard rows and roses start to flower along the end of rows. The Barossa Ranges slowly change from bright green to yellowy brown as temperatures move from crisp chills to warm sunny days. It’s such a delicate time of year for grape growers and winemakers. Budburst kicks in and we watch conditions that help shape the quality of the fruit for next vintage.
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.
Let’s raise a glass to 2017!
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 the most exciting time of the year for our winemaker Ron.
Vintage finally arrived after a longer wait than usual in the Barossa Valley. The growing conditions in 2017 are shaping up to be perfect for even grape ripeness and maximising natural flavours.
In Liebichwein vineyards, the crops are average to just about average for all grape varieties. Overall fruit quality is above average for Vintage 2017 due to the milder summer and good rainfall before Christmas. Ron Liebich is pleased to report that it’s looking to be a fantastic year for fortified winemaking!