Rolf Binder (Veritas) Bull's Blood Shiraz Mataro Pressings 2020

Rolf Binder (Veritas) Bull's Blood Shiraz Mataro Pressings 2020

Sale price$44.95
Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Varieties: Shiraz (80%), Mataro pressings (20%)

Closure: Screwcap

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Rolf Binder (Veritas) Bull's Blood Shiraz Mataro Pressings 2020

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Rolf Binder (Veritas)

Country: Australia

Region: Barossa Valley

Vintage: 2020

Critic Score: Not Rated

Alcohol: 14.4%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2040

No reviews are available

"Despite the broad range of wines that Rolf Binder makes, I can assure you, there are no duds; whether it be the Christa Rolf Shiraz Grenache, a Cotes du Rhone-style red on steroids, or the blockbuster flagship Hanisch Shiraz, eked from just 11 rows of old vines. My personal favorite is the Bull’s Blood."  Curtis Marsh

The Binder family has been producing this cult wine for over 55 years. It was first made by Rolf Binder Snr in 1967 and then called Bikaver, after the traditional Hungarian wine Egri Bikaver. 'Bikaver' translates to 'Bull's Blood' and dates back to the 1500’s when the Hungarians were fighting the Turks - it was a wine for strength in battle! The Mataro (Mourvèdre) component of the blend is made using only the Mataro pressings taken from the famous Chri-Ro vineyard's old bush vine Mataro, planted in the 1880s. This very special fruit is blended with estate grown, premium Shiraz - in some years some of the flagship Hanisch Shiraz barrels even make it into this wine. 

The Bull's Blood label remained unchanged for the domestic market when the business name was changed from Veritas to Rolf Binder in 2005. This was due to popular demand - a marketing survey gave unanimous feedback that this old label should not change. This is the only wine in the entire range to remain as such - the wine is labeled 'Rolf Binder Hubris Shiraz Mataro' for export markets.

"My one Barossa Achilles’ heel is Rolf Binder Bulls Blood – big, old school, rustic, savoury, dusty, fleshy thing it can be. One of the few wines I really enjoy with some age on it too. Just has the right mojo for seriousness and mellifluous depth and rustic charm."  Mike Bennie

"Deep Red with dark purple hue. A bouquet of ripe, dark cherry and blueberry, oak spices, milk chocolate and toasted vanilla with captivating dried rose petals sitting in the background. The wine delivers a densely fruited mouthfeel. Lots of dark fruits such as black boysenberry, cherry and blueberry give the wine a beautiful sense of fruit sweetness. Some vanillin oak, mocha and dark chocolate add to the complex palate. Classic black pepper, some rose petal and black olive show up as well. Dense and firm tannins cover the back palate and pave the ground for a long savory finish."  Rolf Binder

Rolf & Christa

Rolf Binder and Christa Deans walking among the vines growing on the first block their parents bought where the winery now stands

Rolf Binder and Christa Deans walking among the vines growing on the first block their parents bought, where the winery now stands

The text below is taken from an article by Alicia Lüdi-Schutz in The Barossa Mag titled 'Siblings in Wine'

Few siblings can say they’ve successfully worked together in business for a quarter of a century, but one winemaking duo has done just that.

Rolf Binder and Christa Deans have run Rolf Binder Wines for 25 years, forming a formidable team treasuring tradition and embracing innovation.

Their strong work ethic follows in the footsteps of their Hungarian father, Rolf Snr and Austrian mother, Franziska who arrived in Australia in 1950 as part of an influx of post-war immigrants.

The couple worked for the railways. Rolf Snr drove trains for three years and would eventually meet Nuriootpa grapegrower, Elmore Schulz, who also worked for the railways. Franziska and Rolf Snr picked grapes for Elmore where they met winemakers, Chris Vohrer and Wilhelm Abel who offered Rolf a winemaking apprenticeship at their winery at Tanunda’s Langmeil Road.

In 1955, the Binders bought the business and "Veritas Wines" was born with the new owners commuting from their home in the city.

Christa and Rolf Junior grew up surrounded by the sights and sounds of their parents’ winery, spending weekends, holidays and helping out during vintages whilst continuing their schooling in Adelaide.

"In those days, we had a crusher and someone used to have to be there to fork the stalks out and that was usually me!" laughed Christa.

"We would help with the bottling and the packaging."

"I can still remember when we connected the electricity and Dad pulling down the lever out the front of the winery and all the lights going on."

Younger brother, Rolf was also immersed in the winemaking process.

"We basically grew up in the winery," he said.

"I still have memories of 1972 when they planted the vineyards on the Stelzer Road estate block and we hand watered the vines to get them going. I remember the ’75 vintage digging out fermenters – that was my first year."

"We were lucky our parents encouraged us and never forced us. We just naturally moved into the winery."

Both studied oenology at Roseworthy College with the view of one day taking over the family winery.  But that time came far sooner than either imagined when their father was seriously injured in a car crash during one of his regular wine deliveries to Adelaide.

"He had a bad accident in 1980, so he never really re-emerged," said Rolf.

"We all had to step up…That probably brought us together even more."

Rolf was just 19 at the time and Christa 22, the latter leading that first vintage before heading off to hone her skills during an 11 year stint at Wolf Blass.

Rolf finished his studies and took over the reins of Veritas Winery.

"In 1994, Christa came back and it was a very good time," said Rolf, describing their partnership which led to a change of winery name to better reflect family history.

"My interest, to be honest, was always reds and having a very talented white winemaker like Christa coming in, we started to explore more. There was a demand for white wines and a few other opportunities arose in Australia…so it was a good combination."

Since working together, the company has grown twentyfold and vineyard holdings have tripled.

The old winery on Langmeil Road was outgrown and a modern one built at Seppeltsfield Road on property their parents bought in 1968 which grows some of the Barossa’s oldest Shiraz and Mataro vines.

"Vines date back to the 1880s, but no-one knows exactly," said Rolf.

"When Ron Andriske turns 100, we know they’re at least 100 years old because he says they’ve been here all his life!"

These valuable vines remain treasured as the duo continue to expand vineyard holdings to meet demand to the point where Rolf Binder Wines now exports to 13 countries on a regular basis since their first shipment left Australian shores in 1988.

"We are still selling to the majority of the same companies we started with all that time ago and you go on the journey with those people."

Christa and Rolf believe a steady approach to growth ensures the wine styles they have become renowned for remain consistent.

"Every winery, and we are included, has developed its own style of wine and our style seems to be working. We are lucky that we grow the grapes, make the wine and sell it to the customer and the customer likes the style."

It is clear this brother and sister act are on the same team as they strive to produce premium quality wines.

"I think the secret to success is trusting one another in what we do and not to meddle," Rolf said.

"We just do our own thing."

Christa agreed.

"I do the whites, Rolf does the reds, we come together and do the blending. It works well."

"You really are only as good as your next vintage. You can win awards and we have, but once that’s done it’s done, and it’s on to the next vintage."

In an interesting twist, the siblings only speak German to each other.

"It’s just one of those things, it’s part of our heritage and you don’t realise you are doing it. Mum and Dad always spoke German and encouraged us to be bilingual, it was a very good thing and is still very useful."

The inevitable question of sibling rivalry is quickly settled.

"Sometimes, his tomatoes ripen before mine which is a huge issue!" laughed Christa.

Yet asking what the highlight of the past 25 years has been, the duo look at each other quizzically and smile.

"Surviving!" laughed Rolf.

"It goes back to our parents, they just got on with it and I think that probably reflects a bit on us."

About the winery

Rolf Binder in the 1890s Shiraz Riedl Vines Vineyard

Rolf Binder in the 1890s Shiraz Riedl Vines Vineyard

Rolf Heinrich Binder and his wife, Franziska, arrived in Australia (from Austria and Hungary respectively) in 1950 as part of the large influx of post war immigration to Australia. As payment for the government assistance, they worked with the South Australian railways for three years. During that time they met Elmore Schulz, a train driver and grape grower in the Barossa Valley, and one of the two Elmores of Barossa Valley Estates’ E&E Shiraz. While picking grapes for Elmore in 1953, the couple met Chris Vohrer and Wilhelm Abel who offered Rolf a winemaking apprenticeship at their winery at Tanunda’s Langmeil Road. In 1954 they worked a vintage in this winery and subsequently purchased the business in 1955, renaming it 'Veritas', taken from the Latin quote "In Vino Veritas" - in wine there is truth.

Rolf and Franziska's daughter, Christa Deans, and son, Rolf Binder Jnr, both studied oenology at Roseworthy College with the view of one day taking over the family winery. Christa joined the family business in 1981 at the age of 22, shortly after Rolf Snr was seriously injured in a car accident. She worked one vintage before heading off to hone her skills at Wolf Blass for 11 years. Rolf Jnr came on board a year later at the age of 20 when he finished his studies and took over the reins of Veritas.

Christa returned to Veritas in 1994 and the siblings took the winery into the 21st century, with Rolf Jnr gaining a worldwide reputation for his red wines, and Christa garnering plaudits for her Riesling. Veritas was awarded the Trophy for Best Barossa Shiraz in 1995 and 1996 and international fame followed in 1998 when influential American wine critic Robert Parker scored both the 'Malcolm' and 'Hanisch' Shiraz 99/100 points - the first Australian wines to receive such a high score.

Rolf Binder produces a captivating portfolio of highly acclaimed Barossa wines, full of intense flavours and rich concentrated fruit. The top four reds of Rolf Binder in order of distinction (and price) are Hanisch Shiraz, Heysen Shiraz, Bull's Blood Shiraz Mataro Pressings and Heinrich Shiraz Mataro Grenache.

In 1999, Rolf Binder moved to a new, larger, state-of-the-art winery. In 2005, due to trademark problems, the business name was changed from Veritas to Rolf Binder to honour their late father who had passed away two years earlier. In 2019, Rolf and Christa celebrated 25 consecutive vintages, a unique record achievement for a brother/sister winemaking team. 

Rolf Binder sold his brand to Accolade Wines, Australia’s biggest winemaking company, in March 2021. He sold his name, along with 113 hectares of vineyards, the winery on Stelzer Rd, Stonewell, and stock. He and Christa decided on this course of action because "ultimately, with the next generation of Binder children moving in other directions, it became evident that there wasn’t an opportunity to keep the business within the family."

The Vineyards

Rolf Binder Vineyards

Chri-Ro Vineyard, Binder Deans Vineyard, Western Ridge Vineyard and Riedl Vines Vineyard (left to right)  

The fruit that is used to make Rolf Binder's wines is sourced primarily from the Binder Family estate vineyards which cover 250 acres throughout the Barossa and Eden Valleys. They also have long-standing, strong relationships with a select group of local growers who have supplied them with additional fruit to supplement the estate crops when necessary.

Chri-Ro Vineyard

Despite the lack of vineyards at the time, this 26 hectare block was purchased in 1968 on the corner of Seppeltsfield and Stelzer Roads. In addition to our now famous 1880s planted Mataro, there was a small area of Shiraz and Tokay vines. As the vineyard grew, it became the primary source of grapes for the old Veritas Winery.

The Chri-Ro vineyard provides the fruit for the flagship Hanisch Shiraz, a stunning full-bodied and complex wine made with no compromise. It is named in honour of the original owner of the vineyard, "Punch" Hanisch. The vineyard is also the source of the world-famous Heysen Shiraz, which may include a tiny proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in some vintages.

Western Ridge Vineyard

The 18 hectare Western Ridge Vineyard originally belonged to the Fromm family, from whom Veritas purchased grapes in the early days. It was acquired by Rolf Binder in in 1995.  This subregion of the Barossa is known for its older vines that are low yielding and produce wines full of flavour. Planted to Semillon, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, this vineyard produces some of their highest quality fruit from the old low-yielding vines.

Binder Deans Vineyard

Rolf Binder has purchased grapes from the 17 hectare Binder Deans Vineyard since 2001 but in 2013 they had the opportunity to acquire it. This precious patch of soil is near Light Pass in the Barossa's northeast and they knew the quality of the grapes grown there and the potential it held. The vineyard team worked tirelessly to graft some Semillon to Shiraz and retrain and retrellis the wonderful old Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vines to bring them back to their former glory.

Riedl Vines Vineyard

The largest of the four vineyards, the 46 hectare Riedl Vines, holds a special place in the family's heart – Riedl was Franziska Binder's maiden name. It was purchased in early 2014 from the Munzberg family and includes two blocks of magnificent old gnarly centenarian Shiraz planted in the 1890s - in fact, parent vines to the Hanisch Shiraz. This vineyard is close to the winery in the Vine Vale subregion of the Barossa, renowned for its rich, well flavoured Shiraz wines.

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.