The Elderton Command Shiraz has established an enviable reputation since the first vintage in 1984. The current release, 2010 vintage, celebrates 25 years of Command!
The second generation of Ashmead family, and Elderton Co-Managing Directors, Allister and Cameron, as the current custodians of a rare piece of Barossa Valley viticultural heritage, continue their parents’ aspirations and expectations to produce a great wine of the world. The Command is truly an expression of place, and one of which the family intends to preserve for generations to come.
Lorraine and Neil Ashmead took a huge gamble in being among the earliest pioneers to promote the excellence of old-vine Barossa Valley Shiraz, especially in a time where many were pulling the variety out of the ground. In 1984, two years after wines were first made under the Elderton label, the decision was made to produce and bottle a single vineyard wine from the oldest block on the Elderton Estate.
The Elderton Command vineyard as it is known today, was established in 1894, and is one of the most special vineyards planted in Australia. Planted on the banks of the North Para River to assure its long term survival, in alluvial river flat soils over red and brown clay based earths, the vineyard today is surrounded by the growing township of Nuriootpa.
The Command block is always the standout Shiraz fruit on the 72 acre Elderton Estate and will always be the source for this single site, terroir driven wine. Yields are obviously small due to the ancient nature of these vines, generally sitting at around 1 -2 tonnes per acre.
In the winery, all care is taken to guide Command to become a rich and powerful wine, which has balance and poise to cellar into the long term. Traditional old concrete open-topped fermenters are used, which is back breaking work - but we simply do not think we can get results as good from any modern technology. Generally, ferments are quite fast, and the amazing colour is picked up in the wine almost instantly. After gentle pressing, Command goes into 100% new American (65%) and French (35%) oak puncheons where it will rest, develop and evolve for three years. Finally the wine is bottled using minimal filtering and it rests for 12 months before we release it to the public.