Robert O'Callaghan's Rockford Basket Press Shiraz is one of the Barossa Valley's most important wines. It entered Langton's Classification of Australian Wine in 2000 and was promoted to the highest – 'Exceptional' – category in 2005.
It is sold almost exclusively to Rockford's own mailing list customers and is rarely made available to the retail market.
Basket Press manages to combine the concentration and power of the traditional Barossa Shiraz style of the 1950s and '60s with the supple freshness of contemporary winemaking.
It has achieved its high status in a relatively short time: the first vintage was 1984.
Rockford’s squat, high–shouldered brown bottle - reminiscent of 1940s red wine packaging - is instantly recognisable.
Deep garnet with a purple hue; this benchmark wine from an iconic producer is laden with vibrant purple and black fruits, floral notes, earthy complexity and well executed oak handling; the palate is juicy, direct and layered, with fine-grained tannins providing an armchair ride for the vibrant and plush fruit that is on board. This will age tremendously well, but many will enjoy it without giving it that chance.
96 points, Wine Companion (January 2013)
An excellent bottle, bright, youthful and vigorous, and just sarting to drink really well, with many years left to go. Savoury bouquet of smoky cedary dark-chocolate and roasted characters, the palate full-bodied and dense, rich and beautifully balanced, the tannins abundant and yet supple. Still shows a lot of primary fruit. A very smart vintage of this classic red. (cork; 14% alc.)
95 points, The Real Review (August 2019)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.