Angus and Sam Wardlaw are Barossa-based brothers who 10 years ago started a winery called Brothers at War. They added sauce to the names of many, but not all, of their wines such as Our Mum’s Love, Nothing in Common, Fist Fight, I’m Always Right, The Old Man, Some Other Guy (intriguing), then dropping back to prosaic ‘Single Vineyard Eden Valley Grenache.’ The majority of the current red releases are $38, and given pugilistic names, but sober-sided Single Vineyard Old Vine Shiraz or Single Vineyard Eden Valley Mataro are $80.

I’ll admit that I have commenced and scrapped several takes on today’s story. Some very good wines have been made, and the certainty of even better wines around the corner. But what, I wonder, will the future generations (Brothers at War already have three, starting with first generation David Wardlaw, the ‘Old Man’) have to say? These, quite likely, would like to take the next generation’s wines to overseas markets, wine being a global item of trade, humour a really tough gig.

The Wardlaws, present and future, have considerable assets, both tangible and intangible. The Single Vineyard Eden Valley Grenache, uses vines planted in 1858 on the Stonegarden Vineyard. But the use of 50% whole bunches and 50% whole berries is a technique more commonly associated with new found state-of-the-art vinification. In the same way they introduced viticulturist Chris Alderton as a partner with a degree in environmental science as well as decades of practical experience.

I have jumped the way the brothers (in their 30s) have turned a bit of fun crushing a tonne of shiraz in 2013 to a 5000-dozen production spanning the Barossa and Eden Valleys, with all the varietal bases covered, a core of 15ha of estate vines (including 4.5ha of 1940 old vine plantings), and annual purchases of fruit for the entry point wines. Word games to one side, or on side, this is a business with all the aces in the pack.

 2022 Brothers at War Single Vineyard Eden Valley Grenache

The vineyard has 150yo-plus vines. Vinified with 50% whole bunches, 50% whole berries, wild fermented, 14 days on skins, matured for 12 months in used French puncheons. Utterly delicious cool grown style handled with the lightest of touches. Liquid national treasure, purity and balance its calling cards.

98 points, drink to 2037, 13.5% alc, Cork, $80

2022 Brothers at War Fist Fight Barossa Shiraz

Part Barossa, part Eden Valley. Deeply coloured, the bouquet expressive and opulent with cedar and cigar box spices, dark berries, coffee and dark chocolate, setting the scene for an opulent, luscious palate, tannins tucked in behind. Ticks all the boxes for its class, and then some.

96 points, drink to 2042, 14% alc, Screwcap, $38

2022 Brothers at War I’m Always Right Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

From a single vineyard at 390m just outside the township. All the focus is on varietal fruit expression with cassis and carefully handled tannins. Medium-bodied-plus, yet seems light on its feet. Oxymoron? Yes, but so be it.

95 points, drink to 2037, 13.5% alc, Screwcap, $38

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