The Decanter interview: Wolf Blass

Through sheer force of character, this German-born winemaker turned a few hogsheads of Australian wine into a multi-million dollar business of international renown. Max Allen pays a visit to the 80-year-old dynamo...

Decanter’s pick of the best from Wolf Blass

Wolf Blass, Gold Label Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills 2008
16.5/20pts (88/100pts)
Toasty nose of lemon butter and exotic pineapple and melon. The palate is polished, broad and silky, yet restrained, with a good length that stretches out to reveal vanilla and caramel components.
Price: £17 Asda Wine Shop
Drink 2014
Alc 13%

Wolf Blass, Gold Label Riesling, Clare Valley/Eden Valley 2011
16/20pts (86/100pts)
Summery aromas of flower blossom and lime peel are countered by chalky tones. Leading on from that is a palate that has attractive clarity of fruit, with forward pear, citrus and green apple notes.
Price: £15.47 Asda Wine Shop
Drink 2014-2016
Alc 12%

Wolf Blass, Grey Label Cabernet Sauvignon, Langhorne Creek 2007
17.5/20pts (91/100pts)
Rich, opulent nose of chocolate-dipped cherries and mint, partnered by touches of coffee grounds, eucalyptus and vanilla. The tannins are fine and grippy, the oak finely integrated, as is the acidity, and there’s a lovely kick of fresh blackberry fruit on the mid-palate which lingers nicely.
Price: N/A UK wolfblasswines.com
Drink 2014-2019
Alc 15%

Wolf Blass, Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz-Malbec, Barossa Valley/McLaren Vale/ Langhorne Creek 2009
17/20pts (90/100pts)
Seriously potent aromas on show here, with earthy chocolate shoulder to shoulder with eastern spices, violets and plums. The palate is similarly full throttle, being big but not necessarily brash, with blueberry fruit and more plum wrapped up in svelte tannins.
Price: £60-£76 Berry Bros & Rudd, Ocado, Spirited Wines
Drink 2014-2023
Alc 15%

Wolf Blass, Gold Label Shiraz, Barossa 2012

17/20pts (90/100pts)
Earthy, mineral nose with rather lovely bloody meat tones and peppery red fruit; it certainly has character and soul. In the mouth it’s smooth, textured but spicy, with red and dark fruits keeping you engaged through to the bright, raspberry-tinged finish.
Price: £14.95 Asda Wine Shop
Drink 2014-2017
Alc 14.5%

Wolf Blass, Grey Label Shiraz-Cabernet, Robe-Mount Benson 2009
17/20pts (90/100pts)
An appealing marriage of the two grapes, with mint from the Cabernet and spice from the Shiraz. It’s a brooding wine with a deep, inky, blueberry fruit, cinnamon and pepper. It retains an easy charm and freshness, with soft tannins coming through on the finish.
Price: N/A UK wolfblasswines.com
Drink 2014-2016
Alc 14.5%

Wolf Blass, Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra 2010
16.75/20pts (89/100pts)
The oak is well integrated and there’s a welcome backbone of freshness which helps balance its densely packed concentration. Aromas of graphite, bitter chocolate and meat juices lead onto a palate almost at odds with the nose, with its breezy red fruits and supple tannins.
Price: £14.95 Asda Wine Shop
Drink 2014-2016
Alc 14%

Wolf Blass, Platinum Label Shiraz, Barossa 2008
16.75/20pts (89/100pts)
Super-concentrated, expressive and open nose that delivers leather, tobacco, charcoal, ripe red fruits and spice. The fruit intensity is impressive: it’s juicy, round and broad, with peppered, spicy plum fruit and a structure that suggests that this has several more years in it.
Price: £80 Ocado
Drink 2014-2021
Alc 15.5%

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