(2021) Ten months in a combination of American and French oak for this wine, which I'd certainly describe as classic Barossa Shiraz. That's to say it is bountiful and crammed with fruit, but it absolutely does not lack in freshness or vibrant personality. There's elegant, floral lift and raspberry brightness to sit against the creamy depth of vanilla-infused berries. In the mouth it has a racy acidity, firm, slick tannins and loads of almost mindlessly pleasurable chocolate-smoothed dark berries. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2021) This is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, aged 15 months French and American oak. There's something a little bit nutty on the nose here, tobacco-spicy and touch herbal that proceeds typical blackcurrant aromas of the Cabernet. On the palate a big, sweet surge of black fruit, really intense and concentrated, fruit skin bite, firm tannins and keen black plum acids in a powerhouse style, but retains excellent freshness too.
(2021) Portugal's great grape transported to South Australia, and this really emphasises floral, violet and old roses perfume of the Touriga Nacional, some buoyant red fruits and a little cinammon spice too. In the mouth substantial and creamy, lots of ripeness and juiciness, but a black fruit gloss and weight. My favourite wine of this small sample, with some substance without weight, and the balance of sweet and supple fruit, tannin and acid is excellent.
(2020) Mencia, the favourite grape of the Bierzo region in northwest Spain, is much rarer in Australia. Often associated with Italian varieties, here the Oliver family present an approachable red that is a really good expression of the variety. Like a turbo-charged Beaujolais in a way, it is crisp and juicy, packed with vivid cherry, red plum and a wisp of smoke and tobacco, there's abundant creaminess too, the palate supple and deep, but never losing that edge of energy and freshness. Unfortunately no UK stockists are listed for this limited release wine at time of review.
(2020) Part of English M.W. Giles Cooke's small not-for-profit wine range, where all proceeds go to support charities close to his heart, this is a blend of Shiraz and Grenache from Barossa and Langhorne Creek, that pours a deep crimson/violet colour with aromas soaring from the glass: all crushed raspberry and pomegranate, some spice and peppery notes too, and all very appealing. On the palate there's a glorious uncompromising sweetness of juicy, crunchy, ripe berries, some chocolaty tannin smoothly supporting and the acidity elegant and well-judged. A fabulous barbecue or winter casserole wine.
(2019) A new release from Our Fathers, a label created by British MW Giles Cooke, with all profits going to a small number of charities that have a very personal connection to Giles and his family. The 'big brother' Our Fathers Shiraz is a cracking wine, made from a 125-year-old vineyard in the Barossa Valley, but it sells for £30 per bottle. At just £14, that same Shiraz fruit is blended with juicy Grenache to make a slightly more easy-going but delicious wine, packed with ripe plum fruit, hints of tobacco spice and chocolate, and that nutty character from the Grenache. It's silky and creamy in the mouth and the sweet fruit is so well balanced by the svelte tannins and juicy acid. Available only from the ourfathers web site, by the six-bottle case. Watch the video for more information.
(2016) A Grenache Mourvédre Shiraz blend from Torbreck, it is creamy, spicy and deeply red fruited, a little whisper of something meaty and peppery too. In the mouth the sweetness of the fruit is immense, though perhaps the acidity, alcohol and grippy tannins feel just a touch more astringent in the finish than I might hope for.
(2016) Majestic often sources a number of 'when it's gone, it's gone' parcels, on sale whilst stocks last, this coming into stores for autumn 2016. It is mostly Grenache and Shiraz, aged 12 months in French oak. It's black as pitch and delivers full-on spice and blackcurrant, plum and tobacco, a muscular and deep aroma leading to a similar palate, the sheen of oak underpinning savoury vine fruitiness and the bittersweet twist of plum-skin grippy tannins and acidity. Very nicely done, and note that the price drops to £9.99 if purchased as part of a mixed six. Watch the video for food matching ideas and more information.