(2022) Picked from vineyards in Barossa (67%) and Eden Valley (33%), the average age of the vines is 80 years, with the oldest vineyard dating from 1854. Maturation is in a combination of new French oak (28%) and second use barrels of various sizes from French, American and Hungarian oak. There's a meatiness to the aromas here, as well as a depth of savoury black fruit, some toast and vanilla in a deep-set, rich set of aromas. In the mouth that sweet combination of vanillin oak and ripe black fruit is succulent and fills the mid-palate. So much chocolate and charry depth here, but tannins are creamy and svelte and the cherry ripeness of the acidity adds to the smooth and rounded picture. A baby of course.
(2022) From a vineyard in Coonawarra purchased by the Hill-Smiths in 1992, on terra rossa soils, the majority of the vineyard was planted in 1975. The wine matured for 22 months in barrels, 30% new French oak hogsheads, the remainder in older barrels from France, America and Hungary. Almost black in its saturated colour, fruit straddles blackberry, blueberry and damson plum, with a sheen of polished old wooden furniture, gigar smoke and again a firmness suggested by gravel and graphite. Sumptuously sweet and succulent in the mouth, and enveloping richness and depth of glossy black fruit lies over mocha and sweet smokiness, tannins so sandy and fine and acidity pert like cherry pits. It's big, it's classic, it's a wonderfully expressive wine of grape and place.
(2022) From Barossa vineyards, 53% is Caberent and 47% Shiraz, the oldest plantings dating from 1925. The wine spent 21 months in barrel, 28% new French barriques plus an assortment of different sized older barrels from France, America and Hungary. Creamy and ripe blackcurrant dominates the nose, with an undertow of spices and tobacco, a little graphite firmness suggested too. In the mouth it is sweet-fruited and smoothly-textured, so much blackcurrant flavour but edged with a gravelly intensity, some plum skin grip and bittersweetness of tannin and acidity playing against a touch of espresso from the barrels, into a long and harmonious finish.
(2022) The vineyard was planted in 1889, on red-brown clay in the heart of the Barossa Valley, the wine matured for just four months in older French oak barrels. Pale and quite transparent, the nose is beguiling, with floral and woodland scents, fine dried berry fruits and all sorts of mellow, autumnal notes. In the mouth just lovely delicacy and sweetness to the fruit, all herb-strewn cherry orchards, with a light creaminess of flavour and texture, and plenty of light and shade, some bittering notes of acidity and very fine tannins extending the finish. Note the price quoted is for the 2015 vintage at time of review, which I scored 94/100.
(2022) From terra rossa soils and a 52-year-old vineyard, this wine spent 18 months in French oak barrels of 300-litres, a combintation of new and older vessels. Showing a little more development than the Patrick of Coonawarra 2015, there is a bloody and gamy note that is appealing in the mix as notes of eucalyptus and blackcurrant emerge. Really nicely open, sweet, ripe and mature, there is a creamy and supple depth and width to the fruit profile, tannins chocolaty and rounded and cherry acidity perking up the finish. Highly drinkable and in a good place.
(2022) Some 62-year-old vines in the blend here, along with 32-year-old, all planted on terra rossa. After open-top fermentation the wine spent a full 28 months in a combination of new French and American oak, plus a portion of older French oak. Again, a hint of warming brick on the rim, and a fine, classical nose, all about grapite and cedar, with understated tobacco spice and black fruits. There's a touch of hessian too. Flooded with creamy fruit on the palate, a sweet and supple blackcurrant with a nicely roughening rasp of plum skin tannin and acidity. Long, the tannins chewy despite the whole picture being medium-bodied, and very pleasing. Seeking UK distribution at time of review.
(2022) On terra rossa, vineyards are 32-years-old, and 6.5% Petit Verdot joins Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. It spent 16 months in French oak (58% new), on the skins. Just softening on the rim, there's a savoury, dried bloody earthy classicism here, herbal and chocolaate notes top and tail the black fruit. In the mouth an enveloping plushness as a welterweight of sweet and ripely unctuous blackcurrant floods the palate. Lovely fruit quality, some espresso oak adding a bass note, and very tight, fine tannins and acids kicking the finish on gracefully. I loved the 2015 vintage of this, but the 2016 is every ounce as good. Price and stockist at time of review are for the 2014 vintage. UK agent is Liberty Wines.
(2022) Vines aged from 34 to 43 years are planted on terra rossa and the wine is made in open top fermenters. It spent 20 months in French oak, 32% of which was new. The merest hint of pink on the rim of this 2018 wine, and a generous, fleshy nose with coffee and chocolate notes to the black fruit, a light herbaceous background to the picture too. On the palate it's a plush and sweet style, the ripe fruit offset by keen cherry-skin acidity and a welcome touch of bitterness to give this gastronomic appeal. Seeking distribution in the UK at time of review.
(2022) Vines here are 45-years-old and planted on terra rossa, and after fermentation in concrete open fermenters, the wine spent 16 months in French oak 300-litre hogsheads, 25% new. Dense and deep, the oak is more prominent than the Koonara, but quality is very high and it adds a lovely mocha depth to the ripe blackcurrant. There's a little graphite lift too. In the mouth this is very juicy, medium-weight, with a fine and dry tannin profile, slightly dusty, good acidity and fine overall balance and length.
(2022) From 30-year-old vines planted on terra rossa soils, this is an organic certified wine that was aged in French oak 300-litre barrels. There's a black cherry gloss to the blackcurrant aromas, the oak very discreet, just a little herbal hint adding interest. Full, creamy and rich on the palate, an undertow of espresso sits beneath savoury black fruit. Very nicely balanced, tannins and tangy acids not dominating the pure fruit of the finish. Seeking UK distribution at time of review.