Turkey Flat Rosé 2017

Turkey Flat Rosé 2017

Sale price$22.95
Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Style: Rosé

Variety: Grenache

Closure: Screwcap

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Turkey Flat Rosé 2017

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Turkey Flat

Country: Australia

Region: Barossa Valley

Vintage: 2017

Critic Score: 94

Alcohol: 13%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: Now

Deeelicious. There’s so much to like here. No brainer. Quality rose from the get go - Mike Bennie

Turkey Flat has been in the Schulz family since the 1860s, but it wasn't until 1990 that they started producing wine rather than just selling fruit. The vineyard is home to some of the oldest Shiraz vines in Australia that were planted in 1847.

The 2017 vintage is the 24th release of the Turkey Flat Rosé. This classic wine was amongst the first to lead the great Rosé revival and fully deserves its popularity. The 2017 is made from 100% Grenache.

"Bursting to impress on both the nose and in the mouth. Raspberries, strawberries, anise and dried spice, a cut of apple-like acidity ramping the freshness further. 100% Barossa Valley. 100% delicious. They could give a money-back guarantee on this and never have to refund a cent."  James Halliday

"The Turkey Flat Rosé is the result of nearly thirty years of refinement in technique. Our style has become archetypal of Australian Rosé, with fresh, aromatic fruit, florals and spice on the nose, satisfying body and texture on the palate, and a clean, savoury-shift on the finish."  Turkey Flat

Expert reviews

"Pale salmon-crimson. Bursting to impress on both the nose and in the mouth. Raspberries, strawberries, anise and dried spice, a cut of apple-like acidity ramping the freshness further. 100% Barossa Valley. 100% delicious. They could give a money-back guarantee on this and never have to refund a cent."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 94 points and Special Value Wine  ★ 

"Deeelicious. Easy drink. Dry as a autumn leaves. Prickles of spice amongst crisp, red berry fruitiness. A nice chalky edge to fine tannins. Good length. Squirt of grapefruity freshness to close and keep the mouth watering. There’s so much to like here. No brainer. Quality rose from the get go. Drink: 2017-2019."  Mike Bennie, The Wine Front - 93 points

"This 100% Grenache pink is vibrant, intense and juicy, with lovely flavours of cherry, strawberry and sweet spice. A clean, fresh acid keeps things upbeat, and a dry finish reminds you that this wine takes itself seriously despite the fruit-forward expression. A great food wine. Drink: 2017-2019."  James Button, Decanter - 90 points


Special Value Wine – Halliday Wine Companion  ★ 

The vineyard

Turkey flay Vineyard

The Turkey Flat Vineyard has been farmed by the Schulz family since 1865, though the oldest plantings precede their tenure. First planted in 1847, the site has some of this country's most ancient vines, but they were almost lost in 1987 under the notorious 'vine pull scheme'. Thankfully, the decision was made to start producing wine rather than just selling fruit, with the Turkey Flat brand born and the first commercial vintage coming in 1990. That decision revived their fortunes, and it also helped buoy the image of Barossa wines. Today, the Schulz family continue their stewardship with a focus on reinvigorating the old vines and establishing new ones from the ancient material. The site is farmed by Mark Przibilla with a sustainable mindset, building biodiversity and rising to the challenges of climate change.

"When you arrive at Turkey Flat, there is a comparable difference to the other vineyards that surround us, blending into the landscape rather than being placed amongst it," says Przibilla. "Striving to express the qualities of the unique landscape and its 'terroir' in the fruit we produce as part of the final product is core to our desire to produce something purely unique."

The vineyard has some of world's oldest productive vines, with Busby Collection shiraz planted in 1847 to black cracking clays, alluvial clay and sandy loam on a floodplain of the Tanunda Creek and North Para River. In 1920, bush vine grenache was planted slightly above the plain. Those two ancient plantings make up 6 hectares of today's vineyard. Based on an 1851 report, there were 72 varieties originally on the site, which were essentially trial plantings to assess suitability.

From those original plantings, fortified varieties persisted late into the 20th century, well after demand had irrevocably switched to table wine. Most of those fortified-specific vines were pulled out in 1990 and replaced with more shiraz, along with pedro ximénez (a grape used for fortifieds, too, and one that is still made into a sweet fortified wine). Viognier (2003) and roussanne ('04) came along a little later, and cuttings propagated from the 1847 shiraz vines were planted in 2016. Today, the vineyard occupies 14 hectares.

The Ancestor shiraz vines go to make an ultra-premium bottling, but it is only in exceptional years that this has been possible, with it otherwise going to the estate bottling. "Climate change has presented us with unique challenges, one of them being a higher occurrence of September frost events during the most delicate growth stage of our vines," says Przibilla.

"These events are exacerbated by the geographical location of Turkey Flat, situated adjacent to the confluence of Tanunda Creek and North Para River on the remnants of an ancient floodplain and riverbed. The location that made this an ideal site for the shiraz vines planted in 1847 by August Fiedler, in recent years has proved to be detrimental."

That change in conditions saw a frost fan acquired in 2022, which Przibilla says had an immediate effect when coupled with a change to viticultural methods. "The decision was made early during pruning to convert this block to an arch cane style of pruning lifting the young shoots out of the cold pocket to significant effect. Due to this approach and all things proceeding well, there is an air of excitement at Turkey Flat of the possibility of producing an 'Ancestor' Shiraz for the first time in six years!"

The aim is to produce that flagship wine annually, but that is something that also relies on practices outside of frost mitigation and pruning methods, says Przibilla. "Mulching, permanent cover cropping and crimp rolling allow for the creation of a 'perma-mat' of ground cover to capture moisture, reduce irrigation, and stabilise. This strategy ultimately promotes microbial biomass, while allowing for carbon capture. An autumnal reseeding program to direct drill seed medic on select blocks generates a natural seed bank, which self-perpetuates without requiring ongoing soil disturbance."

That program, along with under-vine mowing, is employed across the vineyard blocks, allowing for water competition early in the season to manage vigour, while allowing for better water retention in the soil and irrigation penetration later in the growing season. "This provides a balance of control and care, keeping the quality and quantity in balance," says Przibilla. "This translates to earlier harvesting, smaller yields, thicker skinned berries and concentrated fruit."

He notes that the ability to naturally control the water moisture profile with limited irrigation inputs has been a significant benefit, as has the decrease in soil temperature in the warmest months, but the increase in organic matter has really transformed the soils. "The organic and biological content of our soil is plain to see, shovel in hand, with good numbers of worms, visible organic content and high numbers of beneficial insects."

All those positives end up transferring to the winery and eventually the glass. "Talking to our winemaker, fruit harvested from this site has fresher aromatics, natural acidity and fruit concentration," says Przibilla. "This is a direct result of our viticultural practices combining with the soils of the ancient riverbed of our Bethany home block, which characterise Turkey Flat's sense of place."

The growing of balanced, healthy fruit is naturally a fundamental target of any viticulturist, but Przibilla's connection with the winery is a symbiotic one, resulting a nuanced approach. "The relationship that I have with our winemaker is pivotal to the overall process with a goal set for each block," he says. "This gives me clear direction to achieve goals for individual areas and produce the best quality fruit from each block."

Przibilla also notes while the sustainable viticultural practices they employ generate a better result for wine quality now, their vision is also very much on the more distant future. "This ensures the longevity and viability of our special patch of dirt and the subsequent wines produced enjoyed by punters for years to come. In recent years, the focus has been on rejuvenating our shiraz blocks that have been Eutypa [a trunk disease] affected and the management of our centenarian vines."

The Eutypa is being managed through manual reworking, but unusually dry winters over the last decade have had an impact on the 100-year-old grenache vines that frame the entrance to the vineyard. Przibilla says that half of those vines have been irrevocably damaged, with replanting underway with vine material propagated from the remaining vines. Irrigation has also been installed, where it was previously dry grown. Coupled with the increased water-holding capacity of the soils, this will allow for the establishment of new vines, while also being able to top up the old vines through dry spells. 

Przibilla sees the restoration of the old vines as a long-term job to achieve optimal balance and resilience, with him constantly having a "scientific muck around" in what he describes as his garden to best fine-tune his practises. "I really have to pinch myself sometimes that I have been charged with the custodianship of these beautiful old vines, and it motivates me to ensure their survival for the next 100 years."

The above article is reproduced from: https://younggunofwine.com/vineyard/turkey-flat-vineyard/

About the winery

Turkey Flat VineyardThe Turkey Flat property was settled in the 1840s by Johann Fiedle, who planted the first vines in 1847. He planted 72 varieties in order to gauge which ones were best suited to the environment. There are still 1.1 hectares of the original Shiraz vines left, and at over 170 years old, they are some of the oldest in Australia and a piece of Barossa history. 

The Schulz family took over the property in the 1860s and established the butchery. Today the original butcher’s chopping block still survives, the butcher's shop is the cellar door and Christie Schulz, a fourth-generation member of the family, is the caretaker of this remarkable estate.  

In 1987, the vineyard was saved from the Barossa’s infamous vine-pull scheme. The Schulz family decided to get serious about the vineyard rather than pull the vines. The decision was made to start producing wine rather than just selling fruit, and the Turkey Flat brand was born. The first commercial vintage release was just one wine, the 1990 Turkey Flat Shiraz.

In 1920, bush vine Grenache was planted slightly above the plain. These vines are now over 100 years old and together with the old Shiraz vines make up 6 hectares of today's vineyard. Plantings now comprise shiraz (24ha), grenache (10.5ha), cabernet sauvignon (5.9ha), mourvèdre (3.7ha) and small plantings of marsanne, viognier and dolcetto.  

The 'Turkey Flat' name comes from a large native bird that frequented the rich flats in the area when the Prussian settlers arrived in the early 1840s. Although they called the site 'Turkey Flat', the bird was no turkey; it was Ardeotis australis or the Plains Bustard, which is rarely seen today.  The artwork on the wine labels recognises the significance of the bird.

Turkey Flat aims to optimise ecological systems rather than treat its vineyards as a monoculture. Their approach to vineyard management is one that seeks to operate within the local ecosystems instead of in competition with them. The vineyards survive on natural rainfall and boast permanent cover crops (mixtures of self-seeding medics, native grass and sub-clover), which shift the vineyard from a monoculture to a managed ecosystem. The native grass grows quickly at the turn of winter, suppressing undesirable weeds, whilst the medics and sub-clovers prosper in late winter/spring. They naturally fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and provide further weed suppression from spring rains. In tandem, they are carbon and nitrogen positive and create a layered and biodiverse soil structure. Their root systems open up the soil, reversing the symptoms of compaction. Permanent cover crops require far less tractor work, reducing diesel use and the carbon footprint, and protecting the soil from both wind and water erosion.

Turkey Flat is totally committed to reducing its environmental footprint. All the rainwater for use in the winery is harvested and solar panels provide the main source of power. They continue to expand their vision of a truly sustainable agricultural business.  

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.