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Elderton: Over 40 years of Cabernet and Shiraz in the Barossa Valley

Sarah Ahmed charts the history of this South Australian wine estate and gives tasting notes for 11 current releases and select back vintages.

When Neil and Lorraine Ashmead acquired their new Barossa Valley home in 1980, the Nuriootpa homestead came with the surrounding 29ha of old vines for free. Thirteen years later, those old vines – specifically Elderton Cabernet Sauvignon 1992, which remains impressive to this day – bagged the prestigious 1993 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy.

‘It put a million dollars on the top line straight off,’ says their son Cameron Ashmead. With his brother Allister Ashmead, he is co-managing director of Elderton, the Barossa brand founded by their parents in 1982.

These days, old Barossa vines have dizzy price tags. Take the Mengler Hill Vineyard in Eden Valley, which cost Elderton AUS$3.5m in 2023. However, as Cameron explains: ‘We see a very bright future for Shiraz and Grenache especially. We’re investing for the future.’ Describing it as ‘a climate hedge’, at 500m, Mengler Hill is not only elevated, it also receives 50% more rainfall than the family’s Barossa Valley floor vineyards.


Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of 11 current and library releases from Elderton



Elderton: Current releases and select back vintages


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