Ben Glaetzer’s wines are a much sought-after commodity.
Produced in the Barossa Valley, the world-famous wine-growing region north-east of Adelaide, Glaetzer was initially founded by Ben’s father Colin back in 1995 before his irrepressible son took over as head winemaker in 2002.
With Ben as the company’s driving force, Glaetzer, which encompasses the Glaetzer and Heartland brands, has continued to go from strength-to-strength.
Using priceless 110-year-old vines that yield relatively tiny amounts of hand-picked fruit, Ben has created some genuinely great wines. I’d like to focus on two in particular – the exceptionally hard to come by Wallace by Ben Glaetzer Shiraz Grenache, and the 2004 Godolphin by Ben Glaetzer Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon.
Let’s start with the latter, declared the ‘Great Australian Red’ in a national competition to find the best Shiraz/’Cab Sauv’ blend in the land Down Under.
On the nose, there are lifted blackcurrant and briary fruit, with pure cinnamon and chocolate spice (sounds good enough to eat, never mind drink!). The palate has leafy herbaceous notes and rich, dark fruit flavours.
But, don’t just take my word for how good this wine is. James Halliday, perhaps Australia’s foremost wine critic, described a glass of Godolphin as: “A life affirming, never to be forgotten experience”, adding: “Delicious wine, subtle and luxuriant blackcurrant, cassis and quality oak all mingle, the oak perfectly controlled, the tannins fine and long.”
Superb though the wine is, there is another bona fide reason why Glaetzer’s Godolphin is worth a purchase. The name! A bottle of Godolphin, complete with the Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol on the label, is now something of a collector’s item.
Godolphin also happened to be the name of the famous racehorse stables owned by His Highness Shiekh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Let’s just say Dubai’s ruler was not best pleased and in what was probably a sensible move on behalf of the Glaetzers, Godolphin has now been dropped as a name from the winery’s brand list.
Speaking of collectibles, then why not cast your eye over Ben Glaetzer’s wickedly good Wallace. HOME DELIVERY WINE is one of the few places where the Wallace, a stunning Shiraz Grenache, is still available.
It’s the Shiraz element that adds structure to the wine, tightening the confectionary notes of the Grenache. There are also some lovely bitter chocolate and mocha notes that play their part in creating an elegance and freshness.
American wine critic, James Suckling, the former Senior Editor of Wine Spectator, summarised the Wallace as having: “Aromas of blackberry essence, eucalyptus, vanilla, and just a hint of balsamic. Full body, fine tannins, vibrant acidity, and a fresh finish.”
Sure, we all know that Australia is famous for exporting gallons of competitively-priced plonk - nothing wrong in that. It has, though, perhaps created a misconception that leads people to overlook the top-quality offerings from Aus.
To dismiss wines like Glaetzer’s Wallace and Godolphin is to miss a trick. They really are that good.
The Wallace by Ben Glaetzer Shiraz Grenache , and Godolphin by Ben Glaetzer Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon are currently in stock or view the entire range of Glaetzer and Heartland products here.