The fruit flavors are big. Tannins are generally grippy, but fine-grained and powdery, rather than chapping or harsh. Alcohol levels are naturally quite high, due to the love provided by the Aussie sunshine, starting 14%–15% ABV and continuing upwards. Despite the intense fruitiness to these wines, the highest quality wines from Barossa Valley are known to develop positively for a decades.
Shiraz from Barossa Valley tends to deliver some of the most powerful, flavourful wines not just in Australia, but world-wide. The typical Barossa Valley Shiraz profile centers around powerfully ripe (confected) blackberry, dried currant and mocha aromas along with a healthy punch of tobacco and an earthiness similar to smelling a wet red clay pot. Often these wines have significant meaty (beef broth, beef jerky) and black pepper aromas as well.
The Adelaide hills produce many oak-aged white wines, including filigreed, ambitious examples of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Many mass-produced, stainless-steel-raised wines exist as well, but these wines are generally more everyday-oriented than the best rich-style wines
Adelaide Hills is one of the most striking regions to visit in South Australia (and they know it). The roads bumble through gentle, rolling hills and reveal large sheep-covered meadows and beautifully sloping vineyards. The region is cooler than Barossa and thus, you’ll find a prevalence of white wines and red wines that focus on elegance and more savory flavors.
Cabernet-based wines from the region offer up black and red fruit flavors with tobacco, and a savory leafy, minty note. While the majority of the wines from the region are quite affordable (through mechanization), a number of producers hand-harvest their Cabernet vines and produce some of the most respected Cabernet in Australia, especially from Coonawarra.
The name of the limestone coast comes from a millions-of-years old sea that once covered the land. This formed the chalky white bedrock of the region which was slowly covered with iron-rich clay soils which have garnered the name “Terra Rossa” for their red color (not a place for white-pants-wearers!).