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Since 1973, the chase to make the perfect wine has been fundamental to creating 44 remarkable vintages of Black Label. Built on complex, multilayered flavour and magnificent structure, Black Label is a powerful expression of the Wolf Blass philosophy of synergistic blending.
The philosophy behind Black Label is simple: to take the year’s very best wines and weave them together into a synergistic whole, the resultant wine being greater than the sum of its parts. It’s about creating a wine with many layers of flavour in a complex composition of intense fruit characters, magnificent structure, a rich lustrous texture, long velvety tannins and a lingering palate.
Harvested at optimum maturity and flavour, fruit from each vineyard was crushed, destemmed and fermented separately for seven to twelve days on skins. The ferments were allowed to warm naturally, with plunging and gentle pumping over used to maximise colour and flavour extraction. Mid-ferment cooling extended fermentation, exploiting time on skins and accentuating line and length. Some batches stayed on skins to dryness, while others completed fermentation in barrel, allowing a balanced integration of oak characters and enhancing texture and complexity.
A lifted, fragrant nose, with blackberry, cassis and dark plum fruits reinforced with roast coffee, chocolate, fennel seed, and toas ted nut complexity derived from barrel fermentation and maturation. Hints tobacco leaf add attractive highlights.
Rich, generous and complex, with dark plum and blackcurrant fruit layered with savoury secondary flavours of coffee and cedary oak. Typical of the characteristic Black Label style that overrides r egional and varietal influences, yet with the distinctive stru ctural finesse of the vintage. Showing definitive power and elegance through seamless texture, beautifully balanced, lingering fruit and smooth, long, chocolatey tannins.
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Home to the oldest vines in the country, and no less than 18 wine growing regions, South Australia accounts for almost 50% of Australia’s wine production. The Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Coonawarra are well known for their world class reds, with Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and Eden Valley praised for their exceptional Chardonnay and Riesling.
Winter rainfall was light yet consistent, leading in to a warm, dry spring, with good flowering and fruit set allowing for even berry development. Summer was relatively cool, with January rains providing vines with a much - needed drink. Fine, mild conditions ensured long, cool ripening, resulting i n fleshy, aromatic wines.
Steve grew up in his family's restaurant business in the Yarra Valley where, at an early age, his interest in food and wine was cultivated.
Though it wasn't his first career, growing and making wine was always Steve's passion, with most weekends spent working part-time in vineyards and making wines with friends.
Steve started working in the wine industry full-time in 1999, the same year he started a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) at Charles Sturt University. Drawn to work in the Barossa in 2005, he's been making Wolf Blass reds since 2008. The winery's expansive vineyard resources, modern and traditional winemaking techniques, and careful approach to blending proved just as irresistible then as they do now.