(2017) A beefy 14.5% abv for this Classico Riserva, so there is abundant ripeness though it refuses to cross over into excess. There's some bloodiness and tobacco to the deep-set fruit, enlived by a little cherry and nice sense of graphite, classy oak treatment too. In the mouth it certainly is sweet and mouth-filling, the rich, thick fruit always edged by that hint of gamy, cedary, iron oxide character and its excellent acid structure. Tannins are creamy and refined in a gorgeous, modern Chianti.
(2016) A wine from a cooler vintage, again a co-ferment with around 8% of Viognier joining the Shiraz. At 14 years old this still has immediacy of fruit but also all the smokiness, the bacon fat, the absolute purity of the fruit with raspberry and cherry freshness, with more chocolate and smokiness coming through and fabulous freshness on the palate, touches of herbs and sappiness seeing to that. Loads of fruit and still so enjoyable, I loved this wine for drinking now.
(2016) All American oak for this bottling, which Stuart describes as “Our old school Barossa Shiraz.” About 40% of the oak is new and this is loaded with spice and meatiness, loads of leather and richness, but there is savouriness here, it’s not stewed or dead. Terrific depth and opulence on the palate as more of that leather and smoky bacon character wraps around the black fruit, It is full and long, and a superb example of the uniquely Barossa style.
(2016) This has a creaminess, a plushness and, yes, a touch of volatility, but that gives a soulful meatiness and meat stock character as well as delicious plushness. The wine spent 30 months in 70% new French Oak, and the small (3%) co-fermented Viognier component adds a touch of nectarine and peachy finesse which brings such a lovely dimension to this beautifully mature example. Lovely stuff.