Epsilon Barossa Valley, South Australia.
Aaron and Julie Southern (née Kalleske) bought their 8ha site in the famed Barossa sub-region of Greenock, back in 1994. Back then they were merely dreaming of keeping 5 generations of grape-growing alive, but in 2000 a chance meeting with Jaysen Collins of Massena would change everything.
From the 2004 vintage Aaron and Julie created Epsilon Shiraz, crafted from the intensely flavoured fruit produced by the gnarled old vines that they had been carefully tending for a decade. Epsilon, the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet and the fifth star of the Southern Cross, represents the fifth generation of the Kalleske family.
Another decade or more on and Epsilon Shiraz has prompted much critical acclaim from wine critics and much pleasure from those lucky enough to have enjoyed a bottle.
100% Shiraz, fermented in small batches picked across a 6 week period. The fruit is de-stemmed but not crushed and cold-soaked for 3 days. After a slow ferment at controlled temperatures (~25°C), the wine is basket-pressed to seasoned French oak and matured on lees for 12 months.
‘The label is fairly new but the owners are fifth-generation grape growers. this is astounding value from a very small outfit. Plummy fruit-driven aromas, coupled with subtle spices and smoky oak, the palate deep, rich and full-bodied, with drive and power. Drink now to 12+ years.’ 95 points, Huon Hooke, Good Food, February 2018.
‘An alluring shiraz that tiptoes an elegant aromatic line of lilac, violet, iodine and sapid blueberry notes, laced with star anise and clove. The palate, too, does not disappoint. Fine-grained, slinky tannins and saline acidity serve as a confluence to the free-flowing fruit and expanding, more savoury, tones of smoked meats, black olive and liquorice root. Northern Rhone? A wine of a deft hand and fresh fruit picked at the optimal window of opportunity. Bravo! Drink to 2025.’ 96 points, Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday’s Wine Companion, February 2017.