(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) From Blewitt Springs, arguably the home of the new wave Grenache movement. From vines planted in 1952 in deep sandy soils, open-topped fermenters then aged in the lees in tank for 12 months. Very pure, very direct fruit, combining red and black fruits, a background of firm, leafy green herbs. Super-juicy on the palate, still with a good mouthfeel but great alacrity, keen fruit, elegant and edged by fine, sandy tannins and pert acidity. So drinkable.
(2020) The latest incarnation of the original wine from British MW Giles Cooke's charitable label, Our Fathers, where all profits go to support worthwhile causes in the UK and back in Australia, home of the 125-year-old vineyard that is the source of this wine. Only 750 bottles are produced, the wine fermented with wild yeasts and aged 18 months in French oak (30% new). The nose is terrific, deep with mulberry, blackcurrant and spices, a little hint of a herbal cherry edge adds a top note, the oak an infill of smoky, vanilla-dusted depth. In the mouth the wine walks that lovely line between silky, velvetty plushness and ripe, mouth-filling fruit, and the tension of tight but very fine tannins and juicy black fruit acidity. It is pretty irresistable now, but will cellar of course. A six pack is available from the ourfatherswines.co.uk priced at £150 with free shipping. At £25 a bottle I'd call it a bargain.
(2020) From a cold, wet year before the drought started, but long hang time allowed full ripening. Grapes are de-stemmed but not crushed, so around 20% whole berries. Long cool ferment. There's a fine Cabernet expression here, with a touch of olive and background herbaceous character, but much more minty black fruit and a touch of violet perfume comes through. The palate is medium-bodied and super juicy, lots of zip and freshness, plus there's a gamy, ripe nuance to the black berries. There's a smoothing, chocolaty quality to the oak and to the tannin profile, giving this creamy and supple qualities too. A lovely style. £15.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2020) Matured for 18 months in a combination of French and American oak hogsheads, fruit comes from selected parcels of Schild's Barossa vineyards. Deep crimson in colour, plum and cherry aromas also suggest something mineral and meaty in the background. The palate has a nicely savoury, steely edge thanks to the tannins and bright, juicy acidity, so the fully ripe and sweet fruit stays fresh, a spicy tobacco touch adding another dimension to the finish.
(2020) Schild's GMS southern Rhône blend marches to quite a different beat from the two Shiraz wines tasted, given only very light oak treatment, and all about juiciness and prettiness of fruit. Significantly lighter in colour too, the aromas are buoyant with cherry, red plum, even a hint of strawberry. A little spice adds to the bouquet. In the mouth the sweet fruit is allowed free expression, smooth but relatively gentle tannins, a creamy acidity and just a polish of oak add to the long, very drinkable character of the wine.
(2019) Named in homage to Max Schubert, the Cabernet is sourced from three regions of South Australia: Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra, and the wine aged in French and American oak, only around 7% new. It's a bold, luxurious style of Cabernet, fully ripe, licked with tobacco and smokiness, bursting with black fruit and yet with a hint of cedar and blueberry cool precision. In the mouth it has substantial presence with its 14.5% alcohol, no shortage of ripeness and plummy weight, but the smooth tannins and balanced cherry-skin acidity is very well handled. A fitting partner to the Max's Chardonnay. Watch the video for more information.
(2018) Quite a different vintage from the 2015 this, with more pronounced herbal, peppery and raspberry notes joining the black fruit, a little balsamic and lifted character, all very attractive in a firmer way. In the mouth the wine has the same sense of opulence and plushness, a dark, glossy pool of black fruits inviting you to dive right in, but there's a little more of an edge too, firm, liquoricy, mocha-deep, but giving a certain tangy presence. This is a slightly more savoury, structured interpretation, and again, a very successful one. This will improve further with mid-term cellaring, whilst the 2015 is irresistible now.
(2017) Made in open fermenters and aged in French oak. A nice spiciness and Morello cherry, with a lovely smoky and pencil shaving quality, taut black fruit coming through. Lovely ripeness and creamy, juicy black fruit into an elegant and quite lifted perfume on the finish.