Cowham’s early days included selling OddBins wines in its glory days, returning from England to work for the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia. He switched to grape growing by qualifying as a viticulturist and joining Yalumba as manager of its Heggies and Pewsey Vale vineyards in the mid-’90s. In 2013, Barons of Barossa anointed him Barossa Winemaker of the Year. He, too, has 25-plus Barossa vintages under his belt.
More than 25 vineyard sites across the Barossa and Eden Valleys supply fruit to Sons of Eden: 10 are directly managed and operated by the label, the rest supplied by handshake agreements with their loyal generational growers. The success of the arrangement is demonstrated by three Most Successful Exhibitor awards from the Barossa Wine Show, two Winewise Small Vigneron Awards and an unbroken annual stream of five-red-star ratings from 2012 to now.
This week’s selections only tell half the tale. Zephyrus was picked between February 29 and March 24, 2020, Marschall between February 19 and March 16, 2021, all with skin contact for 15 days including a five-day cold soak. Freya came from three vineyards, two more than 40 years old, all in cooler, more elevated parts of the Eden Valley, hand-picked and chilled, whole bunch-pressed, cool settled and fermented.
2020 Sons of Eden Zephyrus Barossa Shiraz
Open-fermented and hand-plunged, each fermenter with whole bunch (10% to 35%) inclusion. Matured for 12 months in French hogsheads (35% new) and bottled without fining or filtration. A delicious shiraz, with a juicy mouthfeel, partly due to whole bunch which also invests attractive spicy notes on the finish. 14.5% alc, screwcap 96 points, drink to 2035, $48
2021 Sons of Eden Marschall Barossa Valley Shiraz
From six vineyards in six districts, with a wide range of fermentation techniques, matured in new and used French hogsheads for 14 months. A smooth, supple medium-bodied wine is the result, with plum and blackberry fruits, integrated oak and tannins. Value-plus. 14.5% alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2036, $29
2022 Sons of Eden Freya Eden Valley Riesling
Opens with a perfumed bouquet of white flower and citrus blossom, the palate tracking the bouquet with exemplary analysis and purity; its lime/lemon flavour base line gives it presence now and into the future. 12.5% alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2042, $25
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Article published in The Weekend Australian on October 8, 2022
Written by James Halliday, Wine Columnist @winecompanion