2022 Zinfandel

I vividly remember my cousin introducing me to Zinfandel and thinking, “wow, what a grape variety!” About a year later I stumbled across a couple of short rows which had been planted on one of our neighbour’s vineyards in the early seventies. After offering to prune the vines in exchange for a few cuttings, Mum, Dad and I grafted an old dry grown block of Trebbiano next to the chook shed, over to Zinfandel, putting them amongst the oldest Zinfandel vines around. Apart from its year in year out consistency, the biggest kick I get out of making the Zin every year is the look of surprise, and the wide eyed grins that follow on the faces of many of our loyal mailing list customers.

Tasting Notes

Less density than its predecessors, the 2022 vintage is showing more of a red fruit spectrum, cinnamon, spice, charred timber on the nose. The palate is rich, fruit forward with peach preserve, plum, hints of vanilla and charry oak. Plenty of flavour and long to the finish, it’ll certainly have admirers!



Tasting Notes


The darkness in colour and purple-ish hue is a great sign of what lies ahead, complex nose of black fruits, charred timber, cinnamon, red licorice and fig. Viscous by nature, the palate shows a spectrum of dark fruits, cedar and spice, the tannins persistent leaving you reaching for another sip. First class Zin….. don’t forget to put some away for a rainy day!


Dense nose of Blackberry jam, plum, hints of liquorice & pepper. The palate is full flavoured, quite viscous with dark fruits, cedar and cigar box notes. Framed perfectly by the oak, this wine will definitely hit the mark for the Zinfandel aficionados, a great release!


Complex nose of red fruits, cinnamon and peach. The full flavoured palate is rich in red fruits, dried peach and sweet tobacco notes. ‘Amarone’ in style with integrated tannins and plenty of length. The flavour dials turned up to 11 here.


A brute of a wine. Complex nose of dried fruit, herb, aniseed and red fruits. The palate is Amarone-inspired with the flavour dial turned up to 10! Rich choc—orange, cedar, aniseed, spice. Opulent palate with well-integrated oak and amazing length.


A complex nose of dried fruit, cigar box, vanilla and aniseed characters. The palate is awash with ‘jaffa’ choc orange, spice and some dried fruits. Dense, full bodied and a perfect match for hard cheeses.


A complex nose of dried fruit, cedar box, vanilla and aniseed characters. A war chest of spice and red fruits, with generous lashings of oak. An absolute brute of a wine, and one for the true believers. It packs a punch but has the balance required to keep everyone intrigued.


A sensory overload of aniseed, mum’s dried fruits, black currant, cedar, ash and raisin, followed by a tsunami of layered fruit and spice with incredible richness and density. For any Zin lover, this is one for the ages. Earlier this year a well known wine writer said that this wine epitomised Rusden with its Muhammed Ali “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” style. I think he hit the nail on the head in describing our “house style.” Wines full of power and precision that dance so gracefully across the canvas at the same time. 2015 gave us another warm, dry growing season with little rain providing ideal conditions for the mighty Zin. The added bonus of tiny yields has combined to complete the trifecta of what I consider to be three great vintages of Zinfandel in a row.


Everything went right for the Chookshed in 2014. Picked in the second week of April, it ripened late and ripened well. The almost 60 year old vines have delivered an epic 100% Zinfandel. Big and bold, it’s a warchest of raspberry and black fruits, spice, raisin, leather, vanilla and gunpowder. Barossa Zin – super seductive goodness!


2013 was an ultra-low yielding vintage, the result of a very dry growing season. From low yields, and great quality fruit, comes this densely packed, layered Zinfandel, reminiscent of the very best single vineyard Californian examples. It’s spent 18 months in 50% French and 50% American barriques- half of the barrels were new oak and it’s soaked that up with ease. Put simply, it’s a massive wine that I’m very proud of this year. A rich blend of Morello cherries, five spice and raisins leads to a full throttle palate with rich, dark fruits that give way to fine tannin and a clean, persistent finish.


The 2010 takes me back to the fantastic and monstrous 2002. It cropped low, raisined perfectly on the vine and delivered incredibly dense, dark bunches of grapes. This wine is brimming with fruit, acid and juicy raciness. And the extra time in bottle sees the 2010 all-together long, mellow, complex, aromatic, spicy and…yes…huge!