Black Label, our iconic flagship, and the first ultra-premium wine made by Wolf Blass in 1973. Wolf’s aim was to create the finest red blend from the vintage and, 37 vintages later, the sentiment is as true today as it was then. Black Label enjoys a prestigious history, a multi-award winning wine which is, to this day, the only Australian wine to have won the coveted Royal Melbourne Wine Show’s Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy a record four times. Recognised on the world wine stage as a wine of distinction, heritage and pedigree, Black Label has an unparalleled reputation as a benchmark example of classic Australian wine.
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 is 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.
The two major varietal players in Black Label are Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, which together enjoy a long-standing partnership as the most highly acclaimed and definitive of Australian red blends. Cabernet Sauvignon provides great structure and backbone, displaying intensity of flavour and fine, long tannins. Shiraz fills out the palate with rich, mouthfilling fruit, balancing the line of Cabernet to create a harmonious blend. The 2009 Black Label combines Cabernet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley with Shiraz from McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek, lightly spiced with a hint of Langhorne Creek Malbec.
After fermentation and maturation, parcels of wine from individual vineyards undergo a scrupulous selection process to make the final Black Label grade. It is at this point that a little alchemy takes place. Blending is the ultimate masterstroke in creating Black Label, a highly creative exercise, relying on sensory skill, experience, and the winemakers’ ability to project how each wine will contribute to the blend and develop over time. The orchestration ensures that Black Label expresses the vision and style of Wolf Blass – quality, character and consistency.
Viticulture Meticulous vineyard selections from three outstanding viticultural regions come together to create a harmonious, balanced wine. Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from low yielding vineyards in the Barossa Valley contributes complex blackcurrant and plum, richness and depth. Shiraz from McLaren Vale brings warmth and opulence of fruit, while Shiraz and Malbec sourced from the Langhorne Creek flood plain provides additional structure, elegance and finesse along with an expressive regional eucalypt character.
Winemaking Harvested at optimum maturity and flavour ripeness, fruit from each vineyard was crushed, de-stemmed and fermented separately for seven to twelve days on skins. The ferments were allowed to warm naturally with a combination of plunging and gentle pumping over to maximise colour and flavour extraction. Mid-ferment the wine was cooled to extend fermentation, maximising time on skins and accentuating line and length. The wines were pressed off skins while still retaining a small amount of sugar, then transferred to barrel to complete fermentation, allowing a balanced integration of oak characters and enhancing texture and complexity.