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Grant burge filsell 100 5

‘Finest Vintage in 30 Years’: Why Grant Burge is Relishing the Challenge of Filsell 100


Ask any craftsman and they will tell you, to create something truly special, you have to respect the materials. Appreciating the lineage of the ingredients in use is the first step in carrying forward their legacy and for Craig Stansborough, chief winemaker of Barossa Valley icon Grant Burge, that sentiment has never weighed more heavily on his shoulders. The 40-year industry veteran has just released Grant Burge Filsell 100, an exquisite new shiraz that pulls fruit from the winery’s century-old vines.

Craig Stansborough, Grant Burge chief winemaker | Image: Grant Burge
Craig Stansborough, Grant Burge chief winemaker | Image: Grant Burge

To create the new Filsell 100, Stansborough and the Grant Burge team went to meticulous detail, scouring the top fruit from the Filsell vineyard, one of the oldest vineyards in the Barossa Valley. Originally planted in 1920, Filsell is revered for its fruit profile and with such pristine ingredients on hand, the pressure to craft something worthy of the centenary was not lost on the industry legend.

“To be honest, every wine I am involved in is about getting the absolute best from the fruit we crush. However, there is a certain respect and responsibility about working with grapes that have come from these iconic vineyards,” Stansborough tells me. “We felt we needed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the iconic vineyard and because 2021 is one of the finest vintages in the last 30 years, we decided to celebrate with a wine from 2021.”

Related: Types of Red Wine: A Beginner’s Guide

2021 Grant Burge Filsell 100 | Image: Supplied
2021 Grant Burge Filsell 100 | Image: Supplied

As the winemaker explains, the 2021 calendar year provided a solid rainfall with far cooler than average temperatures in summer, giving way to an even ripening and slow grape maturation. Better still, the vintage was fortunate enough to avoid the season’s extreme heat events leading to, as Grant Burge puts it, “perfect fruit conditions” at the time of harvest. It was, for lack of a better phrase, the perfect blend of circumstances, but quality conditions alone won’t make an excellent drop.

“We pick this vineyard over four to five days and keep these parcels separate,” Stansborough says. “This limited edition Filsell was crafted by selecting the finest barrels, resulting in a magnificently structured and textural wine that acknowledges the history and quality of this vineyard.”

Craig Stansborough, Grant Burge chief winemaker | Image: Grant Burge
Craig Stansborough, Grant Burge chief winemaker | Image: Grant Burge

It’s no secret that winemaking is an act intrinsically linked to patience, but Stansborough is uniquely qualified to comment. The veteran has amassed a whopping 20 years at the helm of Grant Burge, accounting for more than half of his time in the sector, and he’s far from done yet. The winemaker, much like the vineyards from which he pulls, is continuing to grow and mature over time. What is most exciting, is what comes next.

“We all evolve with experience and knowledge, and as a team we have made many changes over the years, whether in the vineyards or the winery, and I think this is really reflected in the wines,” he says. “We are always striving to improve our wines, and we relish the challenge. It’s been said 100 times but if you ask a winemaker “what is the best wine you’ve made?” the response is often “I haven’t made it yet.” I think this is true and is part of the excitement with winemaking.”

The new Grant Burge Filsell 100 can be purchased exclusively at Dan Murphy’s, BWS and premium independent bottle shops, and is priced at AUD$100. For more information, check out the Grant Burge website.