Battle of Bosworth White Boar 2010, McLaren Vale, Australia

Drunk @ home November 2015

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The winery

The Battle of Bosworth winery is located in Willunga, to the south of the McLaren Vale township. Edgehill Vineyard was established in the early 1970’s by Peter and Anthea Bosworth. Willunga itself was settled in approximately 1837 and Bosworths have been growing grapes in the district from the late 1840s. Son Joch Bosworth took over the management and day to day running of the vineyards in 1995.

Traditionally a region of mixed agriculture from the earliest Pioneer days, Willunga grew wheat, sheep, stone fruits and barley, as well as dairy cattle and almonds. Almonds were an important part of the local economy in the 1950s and 1960s, but Willunga was unable to compete with the Riverland region’s unrestricted access to water for irrigation and cheap land for almond growing, and the industry fell into decline. Many of the commercial almond groves became derelict as a result, and Edgehill Vineyard was established on one such property.

The wine takes its name from the original Battle of Bosworth, fought on Bosworth Field, Leicestershire, England in 1485. Here the last of the Plantagenet Kings, Richard the III, was slain by Henry Tudor, becoming the last king of England to die in battle. His death ended the War of the Roses. The roots of the family’s battle were planted in the early 1840’s with the first Bosworth vineyard in McLaren Vale. 

Grown on their own roots, in some of the world’s oldest soils, McLaren Vale’s benign climate is ideal for growing grapes organically. The wine's label has the yellow Sour Sob (Oxalis pes caprae), usually considered a weed, but encouraged in there vineyards to out-compete other weeds in winter and spring which then forms a natural weed mat in summer. Conversion to organic viticulture began in 1995 and they now have some 190 acres of 20 years and older Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Mourvèdre vines (and some Graciano and Touriga Nacional) which are fully certified ‘A’ grade organic by Australian Certified Organic (ACO), a process that takes four years.


Joch Bosworth is the owner and founder of the Battle of Bosworth and Spring Seed Wines. He was raised in  McLaren Vale and following successful study at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales in viticulture he spent a season working for Robert Mondavi in the Napa, he then went on to do a vintage or harvest in Oregon, at Willamette Valley Vineyards.

Returning home, Joch was drawn east of the border to Goona Warra, a small Victorian winery in the Sunbury wine region, where he worked for several years. After three years as resident viticulturist and winemaker (including some practice at making Grappa in the lab) Joch returned home to Edgehill Vineyard in 1995 to take over the reins from father and founder, Peter.

Joch’s commitment to organic principles in the vineyards began with an increasing sense of discomfort about using synthetic chemicals on his soils and at the same time, that using natural, old fashioned farming techniques was utterly feasible in a climate as benign as McLaren Vale’s.

Vineyards and Soils

The vineyards are located in the southern foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges which form the eastern boundary of the McLaren Vale region, and are some 7km due west of the sea. The vineyards are approximately 130m above sea level.

Soils comprise predominantly Urrbrae silt loams from the Quaternary period. They are variously red brown to chocolate brown clay loams with slate/ quartz gravel over red brown, very stony and well-structured clay with up to 50% soft carbonate. This all means that the soils are very well-drained and at the same time have excellent water holding properties. Supplementary drip irrigation from underground water is used in the vineyards when required.

Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vines are all trained to a two wire vertically shoot positioned spur pruned trellis. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines are LC10 and LC 14 and Shiraz a mixture of 1664 and a very old and unknown McLaren Vale clone. Vines are approximately twenty years old. The Chardonnay plantings are made up of the I10VI clone and the Viognier a mixture of Montpellier and HTK. Rows are approximately 3.35m wide in the vineyard and space between vines about 1.8m Vine densities average at about 664 vines per acre across all varieties.

The wine

Organic 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Picking date 11th March 2012
pH level 3.61
Total acidity 6.95
alc/vol 15.0%
bottling date 22nd November 2011

2010 Vintage in McLaren Vale

There was just about average annual rainfall over the year, which resulted in healthy crops of Shiraz and Cabernet. Unseasonably warm November weather interfered with the chardonnay during flowering and  resulted in small crops of this variety. The weather then remained almost perfect for the rest of vintage. The general consensus amongst winemakers in the Vale is that 2010 marks an exceptional year for both red and white wines.

Wine making

White Boar is an Amarone style red wine. Amarone is made in Italy and the grapes are harvested when ripe and dried on racks for several weeks before fermentation, making a very rich and flavoured wine.

Shiraz and Cabernet grapes were dried on the vine (after cutting the cordon) to achieve the same effect but with higher risks for approximately 12-14 days. The drying process concentrates flavour, sugar and acid. Grapes were then hand-picked and fermented in old oak. Tasting Notes

This 2010 Battle of Bosworth “White Boar” was a superb wine, especially as Amarone is one of my favourite Italian wines and the organic credentials of the wine was a welcome added bonus. It was deep red in the glass with the nose and palate showing intense, concentrated flavours and big alcohol at 15%. The nose was cherry and plum with spice, chocolate and vanilla from the oak. On the palate it was very rich, exhibiting similar characteristics to the nose, with fine tannins and balanced acidity. The finish was strong and very long with spice and heat enduring. Perfect with a casserole.