Metala is therefore a great and superlative label, the very first of a long, and proud lineage. The history of the Metala vineyard dates back to 1891 when founder George Formby planted 21 rows of Shiraz and 14 rows of Cabernet Sauvignon on his property on the banks of the Bremer River. Most of those original vines along with a further five acres of Shiraz planted in 1894, still bear fruit with the Shiraz forming the backbone of the extraordinary Metala Original plantings. Internationally acclaimed, highly sought after and perennially emulated, Metala stands as a beacon amongst the great vineyards of the Langhorne Creek.
Metala was the creation of the winemaker Brian Dolan, whose son Nigel is current custodian of the famous brand. Metala has a unique place in the history of the Australian wine industry, the fruit sourced from a single vineyard in Langhorne Creek, from vines first planted in 1891. The famous Metala vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz in almost equal proportions, and consequently the grand reds of Metala have since inception been a profound blend of these two great varieties.
The cherished Metala blocks are located in the original Bremer River flood plains upon rich alluvial soils, lined with large stands of river red-gum which is the environmental element thought to add the unique eucalypt character to the region’s wines. The river floods during winter, providing natural flood irrigation to the vines. Wine had been made in the stone cellars at Metala from the late1890’s until 1952, when Brian Dolan winemaker at the time, conceived the idea of Metala becoming an estate wine and in 1959 sketched out the Metala label.
Bryan’s son Nigel Dolan is now the Head Red Winemaker for Beringer Blass and continues the tradition of producing this iconic label. Aside from the big companies, Metala also provides fruit for a number if smaller boutique labels including Brothers in Arms, Oddfellows and Killibinbin.
The internationally much-loved Metala is a dense, dark colour with intense plum, cherry and blackcurrant fruit character, supported by the hints of eucalyptus and licorice that are typical of the Langhorne Creek region. On the palate Metala's great reds are full-bodied and rich, with wonderful, dense blackberry fruit coupled with substantial but soft tannins, and excellent, excellent finish
The original vines were planted on single wire trellises, which was at the time, rather a cutting edge viticultural practice and nearly unheard of for the region. Though they have since been retrellised, the vines are still carefully hand pruned and harvested. Their age ensures a natural balance of fruit and leaves on each low-yielding vine.
The Metala Original Plantings Shiraz is exclusively sourced from the original Metala Old Block and Cellar Block vines planted in 1891 and 1894 respectively. Only released in exceptional vintages, these are always highly treasured releases and Metala’s flagship wine. The Metala Original Plantings Shiraz carries a trademark richness, deep ruby red in colour, intense with pure berry fruit aromas and flavours that are given complexity by spicy liquorice, subtle oak notes and the mint and eucalyptus characters unique to Langhorne Creek.
All the much-loved Metala releases are dense and dark in colour with intense plum, cherry and blackcurrant fruit characters, supported by the hints of eucalyptus and licorice that are typical of the Langhorne Creek region. On the palate Metala's great reds are full-bodied and rich, with wonderful, dense blackberry fruit coupled with substantial but soft tannins, and excellent, excellent finish