Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2008
Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2012

Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2008

Sale price$350.00
Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Shiraz

Closure: Cork

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Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2008

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Rockford

Country: Australia

Region: Barossa Valley

Vintage: 2008

Critic Score: 95

Alcohol: 14.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2030

It's looking more like a Grange than the Basket Press of yore! - Huon Hooke

"Rockford can only be described as an icon, no matter how overused that word may be."  James Halliday

Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, like Penfolds Grange, is one of Australia’s most collected and most cherished red wines. Fruit is sourced from some of the best old Barossa vineyards with vine age from 60 to 130 years.

"Right in the mainstream of the Rockford Basket Press style, with blackberry, plum and a hint of mocha driving the bouquet, and the smooth, supple palate; you absolutely know the wine is idling along, unused power under the bonnet; perfect balance and structure."  James Halliday

Rockford Winery
Rockford Winery (click on image to play video)

Expert reviews

"Strong red-purple; right in the mainstream of the Rockford Basket Press style, with blackberry, plum and a hint of mocha driving the bouquet, and the smooth, supple palate; you absolutely know the wine is idling along, unused power under the bonnet; perfect balance and structure. Drink by 2028."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 95 points

"Terrific colour, deep dark red-purple. Very impressive nose: powerful oak and superripe fruit, but coconut American oak is very evident. It's intense and certainly dense, not especially fleshy. Lots of licorice, aniseed, dark chocolate and vanilla aromas and flavours. I like that it's concentrated and ripe but not obviously high in alcohol. Good wine but needs time: there is a surprising amount of oak here. It's looking more like a Grange than the Basket Press of yore!"  Huon Hooke, The Real Review - 93 points

About the winery

Rockford WineryRockford Wines is a small boutique wine producer based in South Australia's Barossa Valley. They produce high quality traditional wines made from some of the best old Barossa vineyards. Rockford is best known for their Basket Press Shiraz and Sparkling Black Shiraz, which are produced in limited quantities.

Founder and winemaker, Robert O'Callaghan, purchased an 1850s stone settler’s cottage and outbuildings on five acres of land in the village of Krondorf in 1971. He then gradually built a courtyard shaped winery in the same style and from the same materials as the original buildings. O'Callaghan starting making wine in 1984 and Rockford was born.

"During the twenty years prior to establishing Rockford, I worked for several Barossa winemakers. This allowed me access to many of the finest Barossa growers, so by the time I started Rockford, I knew exactly the kind of wine I wanted to make and precisely which vineyard would give me the grapes I needed. It also allowed me to continue the established tradition of winemakers building long-term partnerships with growers rather than owning their own vineyards.

Many of the growers have vines that were planted on their own roots, sixty to one hundred years ago. The partnership not only gives Rockford access to exceptional grapes from ancient vines but also provides consistency and reliability that is not possible from a single vineyard.

The vintage shed is equipped with plant from the pioneer era – I collected these valuable pieces when other Australian wineries discarded them as they modernised. This allows Rockford to carry on the traditional Australian winemaking techniques, but more importantly, the winery is the same scale, age and pace as our growers’ vineyards.

I have always lived in and feel most comfortable with the warm Mediterranean climate of the Barossa where grapes ripen easily. My preference is to make the wine by hand with traditional methods, attitude, and equipment to produce rich, earthy, soft, generous wines that will age; the kind that I drank in my youth.

My grandparents on both sides and my parents were grape growers, so my childhood was spent in their vineyards. My parents moved to North Eastern Victoria where my Father managed a vineyard for Australia’s then-largest family winemaker, Seppelts. In 1965 I followed a natural path and started as a trainee winemaker at Seppelt’s Rutherglen winery.

It was a wonderful apprenticeship in the old, ordered, slow and gentle Australian wine trade. The wines I drank, the winemakers from previous generations with whom I associated and everything I absorbed in that period had a major influence on the way Rockford is today. Although I’ve spent all my life in vineyards and wineries, the pleasure I derive from walking through rows of vines or casks filled with wine has not diminished."  Robert O'Callaghan

Robert O'Callaghan belongs to a genre of visionary winemakers that include Max Schubert, Peter Lehmann, Jeffrey Grosset, Brian Croser and David Hohnen. His protégés include Chris Ringland and Dave Powell.

Rockford Wines has had a profound influence on winemaking philosophy and wine style in the Barossa. Providing the inspiration for a whole generation of winemakers 'the Rockford school' embraces the inherent qualities of old vine Shiraz: the physicality of winemaking where muscle and personal touch transform the process into an art-form; the traditional tools of trade (basket press, open fermenter) and the complementary nuances of American and French oak maturation. 

Wine region map of South Australia

South Australia

South Australian is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. It is home to more than 900 wineries across 18 wine regions. The regions are Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Currency Creek, Eden Valley, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Riverland, Robe, Southern Fleurieu, Southern Flinders Ranges and Wrattonbully.

Many of the well-known names in the South Australian wine industry established their first vineyards in the late 1830s and early 1840s. The first vines in McLaren Vale were planted at Reynella in 1839 and Penfold's established Magill Estate on the outskirts of Adelaide in 1844.

South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the State to be able to produce a range of grape varieties - from cool climate Riesling in the Clare and Eden Vallies to the big, full bodied Shiraz wines of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Two of Australia's best-known wines, Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace, are produced here. There is much to discover in South Australia for the wine lover.