Another year, another battle, and another bottle of Art of War. Comrades of the ’fo, the long-awaited ’17 is here. Having marched to its own beat since 2011, this bold shiraz has quickly become a beloved hero.
Made by Kym Teusner
Kym Teusner is one of the great grape whisperers of the Barossa Valley. A legendary vigneron, shiraz fiend and all-round nice guy, we had to pinch ourselves when he agreed to join us on a vino collab way back then. With the sixth edition of the fruits of this collaboration, we’re as stoked as day one with the results.
Art of War 2017 comes from a single, sustainably-run vineyard of mature shiraz vines (clone 1654, for the geeks among us) in the Angaston foothills, in deep soils of coarse sand over red clay. Kym tells us it was planted to vineyard over 100 years ago, which was then replanted to a fruit orchard, which was then ripped out and replanted to vineyard again about a quarter century ago. Appropriate how even as a twinkle in your future wine glass, this wine fought for supremacy.
We reckon we’ve stepped up our war game again with this ’17. The vintage saw a wet winter and spring, plus a cool start to the growing season. Harvest happened at least a couple of weeks later across the board, and wines of incredible flavour length and finesse were seen. “Not a boisterous year,” said one maker, “rather one with exceptional elegance and poise.”
After careful hand-picking, Kym let the fruit acquaint itself with its own yeast before guiding it along the tightrope of fermentation. The wine was treated to a rest in mostly older oak for eight months, to allow fruit and site to speak clearly.
The site expresses itself through effortless, affable structure and styling. Rich dark chocolate plus blue and black berries are joined by the piquancy of redcurrant jam and a refreshing red apple juiciness. Not a foot out of place, it walks the Barossa talk with its undeniable, silken swagger of fruit-driven freshness and savoury, fine-dusted tannins. Most importantly, this is uber-drinkable. It talks of the clarity that Kym set out with, to create a wine with depth and character.
Art of War transcends blood, sweat and vintage to reach the depth and clarity of hard-won satisfaction. The results speak for themselves.
Victory never tasted so good.
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Barossa Valley
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Shiraz
- Serving Temp.
'Barossa'. This is Australia's key wine brand overseas, in the US especially. It's our riposte to 'Champagne', 'Scotch' and 'Barolo'. My mind conjures these images, in this order: Shiraz, Penfolds wine, Maggie Beer condiments. All of which can GET - IN - MY - BELLY! But there is so much more to the Barossa than first glance. There are fringe (and not so fringe) winemakers actively working to classify the valley's subregions, and this is a very worthy cause. From Moppa to Seppeltsfield to Marananga there's a lot of variation, and the styles produced can vary immensely. This is the next step in the vision of this region (which, let's face it, is a baby in the scheme of things), as it gets acquainted with its strengths, weaknesses and future opportunities.It's a region that's not sorry to produce the big, fruit-driven wine styles that make it so popular. So drink to the future of the Barossa, because it's as bright as any other region on the world stage.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Traditional roast lamb
- 2kg leg of lamb, fat trimmed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1.5kg chat potatoes
- Basic gravy (makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups):
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 2 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
- Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Lightly grease roasting pan. Place lamb in pan. Combine oil, rosemary and garlic in a bowl. Rub half the oil mixture over lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Roast lamb, basting with remaining oil mixture every 20 minutes, for 1 hour 15 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. Add potatoes to pan for last 40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
- Remove lamb from oven. Cover loosely with foil. Stand for 10 minutes. Carve. Serve with potatoes.
- Basic Gravy: Transfer meat (and any vegetables) to a plate to rest. Combine stock and wine in a jug. Skim fat from roasting pan, leaving 1 1/2 tablespoons pan juices and fat in pan. Place pan over high heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles and becomes golden. Add juices from resting meat. Slowly add stock mixture to pan, stirring constantly. Cook, scraping pan, for 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...