Our Aussie customers normally stand in awe at the sight of Rockford available to buy off the shelf, as it is so hard to get hold of in Australia and is available only at the cellar door in the Barossa Valley. Rockford is one of the most beloved small wineries in Australia and has a devoted following that is entirely from word of mouth. They still make the shiraz using the old basket press standing in the courtyard of this quaint old stone building. The grapes are from very old, low yielding dry grown shiraz from some of the oldest blocks in the Barossa. Incidentally it was the O'Callaghan's at Rockford whose enthusiasm and passion for the Shiraz grape itself was one of the reasons these old blocks weren't replaced by back in the 1980s when there was a worldwide demand for Cabernet. They devised a payment scheme whereby the grower was paid by acreage, not by yield, so those with the oldest (and lowest-yielding) were fairly paid, even if they produced less grapes than newly planted vineyards. This is a system that has since become adopted in many old world regions including hallowed ground in Burgundy. The rest is history and Australia's shiraz is now world-beating, so we have them to thank for saving this national treasure.
The Basket Press is an earthy, mineral driven wine infused with blackcurrant and violets, it is a great long-term cellaring option too; a giant when young, after about 10 years it becomes smooth and silkily refined. A truly superb Shiraz.