The Dolan name is an icon of Barossa winemaking. Nigel Dolan is the current Chief Winemaker at Saltram wines, a position also held by his father Brian Dolan from 1954 to 1959. Nigel, who is also responsible for the irrepressible Metala, enjoys an outstanding reputation as one of Australia's finest winemakers. Nigel has won numerous accolades in his career, three times winner of the coveted Stodart Trophy, and most notably as a dual winner of Australia’s most prestigious prize, the Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1992, and most recently in 2003 for the 2002 The Eighth Maker Shiraz.
Nigel Dolan's Pepperjack label has an interesting spin, staking a simultaneous claim on Barossa heritage, traditional winemaking techniques and modern style. Sourced from a collection of old Shiraz vines across the Barossa Valley floor and the cooler Eden Valley, with the balance from a mix of other SA regions, the Pepperjack Shiraz reflects the very best attributes of modern Barossa Shiraz - vibrancy, richness and generosity. The Eden component brings fragrance and elegance to the rich, ripe, plum-and-chocolate Barossa component, making Pepperjack immediately appealing and accessible in its youth.
Generally, the Pepperjack vineyards deliver terrific fruit definition due to the impeccable standards of the winemakers and the selected grape growers. Ruby red with purple hues, the Shiraz displays aromas of wild berries, cherries and plums supported by characteristic spice and pepper. The palate portrays concentrated, sweet plum and berry fruit characters and with careful cellaring this Shiraz will continue to improve over the next five to eight years.
The Pepperjack Cabernet Sauvignon reflects the very best attributes of modern Barossa Cabernet - vibrancy, body and elegance. The Barossa Valley floor contributes body (or weight), while elegance is derived from the cooler Eden Valley. Deep plum red in colour and displaying aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants and spice with a touch of mint and cedar, this Cabernet will reward medium term cellaring over five to eight year. Whilst the Barossa component dominates the flavour, the elegance and freshness of the wine is truly appealing.
Pepperjack has been immensely successful since it's initial release, the breadth of the success being based solely on the wonderful quality of the fruit and the superior winemaking. The lavishly satisfying styling of Pepperjack crystalizes the perpective that the ancient soils and fruit parcels of the Barossa and Eden valleys can be redefined to adapt to the ever developing wine palate, and to remain forever young in appealing to contemporary tastes.
The Saltram Wine Estates Pepperjack, has grown to be a cult favourite to those wanting warm approachable reds and delectable elegant whites. Contemporary and eager to please, Pepperjack wines interpret the Saltram winemaking legacy to be that of quality, innovation and progression. Pepperjack are a unique offering from the grand vineyards of Barossa and regional South Australia, and are perfect for cosy dinners, food with friends and any other moment you wish to make special.
On the 2004 Pepperjack Cabernet: "This is an immensely satisfying full throttle hedonistic cabernet and you can’t help but enjoy yourself drinking it. Finishes with good length with powdery tannins and flavours of mint chocolate slice. Sensational value and a shed load of fun. I feel very puritan and tight only giving it 92 points. You cannot do better at the price!" -Winorama.com.au, "Floral aromas of violets and jammy red and black berry fruits are backed by herbal nuances and cedary oak. Full to medium in weight, it’s smooth and supple, with some richness and presence of uncomplicated fruit, with a firmish spine of powdery tannins!" -Jeremyoliver.com.au