(2023) From terra rossa soils and a single vineyard of ancient, dry-grown bush vines planted in 1949. Lovely nose spanning earthier and brighter, creamier red fruit with a little floral lift. The fruit on the palate is super sweet, with a real juicy core of burstingly ripe red and black berries smoothed by creamy oak. The structure starts to impact, a juiciness to the acidity and the tannins very grippy, but fine-grained and peppery too. Great length here.
(2023) Also from terra rossa soils and dry-grown fruit, a wine that spent 14 months in a variety of vessels, new and seasoned French oak vats, barriques and concrete vats. Deep and vivid colour. Pure, creamy black fruit. Svelte and plush, but immediately has some life about it too. The palate here shows a saltiness to the acids, and that really hones the edges of the black fruit, pushing the finish just as much as the tight tannins. A touch of herbal character adds to the very pure, almost minerally finish.
(2023) Grown on red clay over limestone, this was fermented in open American oak barrels, then matured 18 months in the same barrels - which were water bent, rather than charred. Ripe blueberry and mulberry on the nose, a certain lift and fragrance, a creaminess to the fruit and oak treatment. In the mouth that sweetness surges across the palate. A hedonistic style, super-smooth and crammed with spice and cocoa-licked dark fruits, the tannins very chocolaty and dense and acid so smooth it barely ripples the surface. A beautiful wine of its style.
(2023) Synonymous with Riesling and Shiraz, here the vineyards of Clare Valley in South Australia turn their hand to low-cropped Cabernet Franc. Forty percent whole-bunches were included in the ferment with wild yeast, before ageing in old French oak. Minimal sulphur was used. It's a violet-scented, aromatic Cab Franc, a deep seam of blueberry beneath, and a swirl of smoky sappy, stony minerals on top. In the mouth that intense, spice and herb-flecked black fruit runs smoothly through to a tight, nicely delineated and long finish. Delicious and impressive. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) The vineyards here lie at over 450 metres altitude, and 24 kilometres from the coast, planted with clones D5V12, 114 and MV6. Thirty percent whole bunches in the ferment and 10 months in seasoned French oak barriques. Attractive moderately pale colour. The nose gentle and fragrant, with a light herbaceous and stony character. The palate is really juicy and flavourful, cherry and raspberry notes. There's a peppery leanness here, grippy tannins and notable acidity, but always juicy.
(2022) Winemaker Sue Hodder celebrates 30 years with Wynns, and this wine represents the pinnacle of her portfolio. It is only made in the best years from the best 1% of their Cabernet fruit. The nose is very refined, very classic, cedars with polished oak over ripe, creamy black fruit. A little graphite and olive lift is lovely. On the palate it is medium-bodied and lithe, as supple and sweet dark fruits are supported by creamy-chocolate tannins and ripe cherry acidity. The quality of French oak is subtle and integrated. A very poised, fine wine that will retail for around £110 when released through La Place in Bordeaux in September 2022, appearing in retailers soon after.
(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.