Smallfry Wines is a partnership in business and life between Suzi Hilder and Wayne Ahrens. We were both born into the industry and have various trade and technical qualifications. That we are also foodies drives our winemaking down a certain path. Natural ferments, nil to minimal adjustment, old oak a soft hand in the cellar allows the vineyard to speak. The style is Euro style, with an eye to balance and subtlety.
The essential component is great fruit, we are lucky enough to own two very special vineyards, one in Eden Valley and the other in Vine Vale in the valley floor. The Eden Valley vineyard was established by us in 1994, while the Vine Vale block has been the Schlieb’s family seat for generations, with the last incumbent putting in 52 vintages before hanging up his snips.
Barossa Valley & Eden Valley, SA Est 2005
Winemaker & Viticulturalist: Wayne Ahrens
Click on highlighted wines for tasting notes.
Barossa Valley (Vine Vale)
- 2017 Smallfry BV Riesling (off-dry 32 R.S.)
- 2019 Smallfry BV Rose (Cinsault Grenache)
- 2020 Smallfry BV ‘Eclectik Violet’ Grenache Cinsault
- 2018 and 2019 Smallfry BV ‘Joven’ Tempranillo & Garnacha
- 2019 Smallfry BV ‘Stella Luna’ Cinsault Shiraz
- 2020 Smallfry BV ‘Jellyfish’ Grenache
- 2016 Smallfry BV ‘Schlieb’s Garden’ GMS
- 2015 Smallfry BV Vine Vale Mataro
- 2017 Smallfry BV Lady Bird Grenache
- 2017 Smallfry BV Shiraz
- 2018 Smallfry ‘Moonfish’ Shiraz
- 2014 Smallfry BV ‘El Grande’ Shiraz
- 2012 Smallfry BV Late Harvest Riesling 500ml
Orange and Skin Contact Wines
★★★★★ Winery James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2018
Reviewed by Ned Goodwin – Published 01 August 2019
97 Points – 2015 Vine Vale Garden Barossa Valley Mataro
This is a Mataro to swoon over! If it weren’t for the government’s egregious Vine Pull Scheme of the ’80’s we would have more wines like this to boast about because for this taster, they sure as well trump most shiraz, at least in these parts. The nose takes one to a place of ferrous earth. Real grrh to the tannins as they sweep tobacco leaf and red berry to sarsaparilla notes aside, asserting their rightful personality. No two ways about it, this is a sumptuous wine.
94 Points – 2018 Barossa Valley Joven
A thrilling, lip-smacking Iberian blend that is prescient of the Australian viticultural landscape’s future. A canny blend of tempranillo, garnacha, monstrell, bastardo and tinta amerilla. We should make more wines like this! Tamarillo, pomegranate, black cherry and damson plum serenade a gentle spine of herb-doused tannins, pulpy and moreish. The extraction, gentle enough to evince joy.
93 Points – 2017 Lady Bird Barossa Valley Grenache
The fruit is wild yeast whole-bunch fermented, sourced from the estate’s biodynamic vineyards and minimally messed with in the winery. De rigeur at Smallfry. A pallid ruby, with a spindle of prickly tannin reminiscent of nebbiolo. Campfire, sandalwood and mulch, too. Then, with air, Grenache’s raspberry bonbon and core of sweet fruit peels across the structural layers. Delicious! I would decant this and again, drink a little cooler.
90 Points – 2014 El Grande Shiraz
Sourced from ancient vines and given 3 years in wood, more than its brethren in the range, this is high octane. Fidelitous to the region, no doubt. But it has lost its swing. It has lost Smallfry’s stamp of sass and drinkability. What would I know? It likely sells more than any other wine in the range. The oak is the dominant force here: char and bitter coffee grind.
93 Points – 2018 Barossa Riesling Off-Dry
Effortlessness and Australian riesling are seldom synergistic concepts. Barossa boasts old plantings capable of delivering if texture is coaxed forth and over-acidification eschewed. This is an example. Ethereal! A floating world of lime, spa salts and musk drifting along gentle acid rails, countered by just the right amount of sugar.
93 Points – 2015 Smallfry Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Elegant cabernet is not always an oxymoron. Fine cassis and tannins have been softened by 18 months in oak; good length and balance. published 1st Aug 2018