(2021) From the Coonawarra's famous terra rossa soils and vines with an average age of 44 years, this was farmed organically and was matured for 18 months in French oak. That mint and chocolate nuance to the ripe and creamy black fruit signals this terroir for me. There's a precision too. In the mouth this is as ripe and sweet-fruited as any of the blind examples, substantial but not heavy, and certainly the tight tannins and juiciness give it really good energy. Perhaps not the layering of some, a little more straightforward, but very good. Price and stockist quoted are for a more recent vintage at time of review.
(2021) From ungrafted vines planted in 1990 on terra rossa over limestone, this matured for 18 months in Sylvain and Taransaud oak, "very fine tight grain Château Barriques," 66% of which were new. Wonderfully opulent mint chocolate nose, a humbug ripeness and creaminess, relatively straightforward but such a deep and lush aroma. Creamy, mouth-filling, supple black fruit and the mocha-chocolate density of the wine floods the palate, full-bodied and ripe. Quintessential Coonawarra Cab, the strong but creamy tannins and ripe acidity barely interrupting the flow. Price and stockist quoted are for a different vintage at time of review.
(2021) From the Eden Valley in Barossa, made following biodynamic principles, the vineyard here was planted in 1989 on sandy loam over sandstone bedrock, and the wine spent 18 month in French oak barriques, 20% of which were new. A touch of tapendade on the nose, plenty of black fruit, a gentle earthiness. It really does blossom - positively bursts through - on the palate, with such a welterweight of creamy and supple minty black fruits, very sweet and ripe, not heavy but quite large-scaled, against the fat of the fruit is cedar and spices, chocolaty smooth tannins and pert cherry pit acidity to balance. Lovely, and a slightly different expression again from the other regional examples here.
(2021) A long, mild season, with slower ripening of the fruit. Dense and deep, a touch of lighter orange on the rim. Just a gorgeous and clasic nose, pencil-shaving and graphite, a deep, mulled plum and blackcurrant fruit, that fatness of mulberry, but so much spice from the Shiraz and barrel. The cooler vintage comes through with very good acidity and intensity, dry and savoury fruit, but such sweet ripeness at the core. Very juicy, very gastronomic, with saltiness and spice into a long finish. A lovely cooler-climate style this.
(2021) Darker, more opaque and less developed in colour, this is much more driven by the ripe, taut, creamy black fruit than by the cedar and spice aromatically, a great creaminess and deep pool of aromas that are much more Shiraz (in fact, this did have an unusually high percentage of Shiraz for this wine, at 45%). Very intense on the palate - different from the 2012 too - with dry, intense plum and plum skins, great concentration and purity, and again that saltiness in the finsh melding with the vanillin from French oak. Intense, delicious.
(2021) More youthful colour, but much more deep ruby/black than purple, the nose an amalgam of bright glossy fruit and spice, a slick of vanilla and some background game or meaty, curry-leaf notes. Lovely palate - there is that meaty and meat-stock balsamic edge to this, very dense fruit, concentrated and intense, if relatively straightforward at this stage. Tannins are firm, powerful, but fine, the overall feel still quite smooth, sleek and powerful, with good juicy and, again, salty acidity. One to watch as it develops, with further in-bottle improvement is very likely. Available in-bond as a three-pack at time of review, approximate single bottle price quoted.
(2021) Colour-wise, back to that slightly softer red like the 2012. Aromatically this is quite fruit and fragrance-driven, with cherry and blackcurrant, a hint of brighter raspberry and leafy/floral spices, the verdant touch of the Cabernet evident. In the mouth a real welterweight of fruit and substance, loads of fat textured fruit, but then dusty, fine tannins sweep through, tangy fruit-skin acidity and savoury dryness, and masses of spice into the finish. Available in-bond as a three-pack at time of review, approximate single bottle price quoted.
(2021) What a beautiful wine this is, marrying the absolutely classic ripeness and abundance of Barossa Shiraz, with a hint of Old World elegance and savouriness. Coming from 20– to 70-year-old vineyards, fermentation was traditional with plunging and pumping over twice daily prior to basket pressing. The wine was matured in larger sizes of barrel, new and old, of French and American oak. The aromatics here really do leap from the glass, mulberry, blueberry and tons of lifted, violetty aromas, a great, deep pool of velvetty fruit. On the palate that very natural depth and concentration from these old vines is sumptuous, but the firmness of the structure here: peppery, creamy tannins and good blueberry-tart acidity, gives freshness too. Long, sweet, tangy, and delicious.
(2021) A very pretty, pale colour, from sandy, loam soils, the vines were planted in 1970 on the edge of the Blewitt Springs region. 20% whole bunches in this wine, made in a combination of ceramic eggs and French oak barrels. Fragrant red fruits and a herbal touches, the palate is juicy and firm, lots of keen raspberry but also pulpy strawberry softness, but all butteressed by very fresh acidity and tight, quite spicy tannins.
(2021) Still a medium hued crimson colour, no whole bunches here, nine months in older French oak. Spicier than the previous wines, a little meatier in terms of its aromas. Mouthfilling and ripe fruit, really quite tangy, there's a plummy quality, but a rasp of tannin and souring acidity that gives some grip and real gastronomic appeal.