Wednesday 10 May 2023

New venture produces Barossa reds that shine

It is always exciting to be able to see the initial releases from a new wine producer.

So meet Tribus Wines, produced by three friends using fruit sourced from the Hoffman family vineyards in Ebenezer, also known as the North Barossa.

The trio of Paul Thomas (winemaker), Dan Fitzgerald and Chris Gray have created a small joint venture in the Barossa Valley, describing themselves as "a team of three, who all have families and are one big tribe".

Fitzgerald says: "We are building something for the kids and the future generations. We have completely lucked out, and gained access to some truly spectacular grapes from one of the Barossa’s, if not Australia’s, most sought-after grape producers, Adrian Hoffmann from Dimchurch Vineyards.

"This incredible opportunity allowed us to create something really special for our first few offerings, and of course being South Australian and Barossa-based we knew shiraz had to be one of them.

"Our larger aim and future story is to branch out of the Barossa and to hunt and gather the best grapes from different regions or sub regions we can."

There are three initial offerings from Tribus, one from 2021 and two from 2022. They can be purchased individually, or as part of a three-pack fror $100.

All are impressively presented with eye-catching pink wax bottle seals that certainly stand out from the crowd. 

The 2021 Barossa Valley Shiraz ($40) is a big, bold wine using grapes that were hand-harvested from the youngish Mickan Block off the Hoffmann family’s Dimchurch Vineyards - which produce fruit for some of the region's big names. This is a dark, rich wine with ripe fruit and a chewiness on the palate. I would be cellaring this one for a couple of years, at least.

The 2022 Tribus Grenache ($35) is much more immediately accessible with red and black fruit flavours and some impressive tannin structure. Very stylish, this one.

My favourite of the trio, however, was the 2022 Tribus Mataro Shiraz ($35), a compellingly complete wine for one so young. The two varieties are as one; beautifully balanced and medium-bodied with spice hints, and this proved very food friendly when paired with a steak and kidney casserole. A comfortable 96 points.

A label worth watching out for. See

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