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(2023) These terrarossa vineyards are 20 years old on average, the fruit fermented in stainless steel-lines concrete tanks. Red liquorice springs to mind on first nosing the glass, maybe even a touch of beetrooty character, but pure black fruits show through, touched with mint. The palate has a sinewy, taut character, no flab here at all with tight tannins, juicy and intense acids and the fruit staying in a dry, savoury spectrum. Note stockist and price given is for the 2019 vintage at time of review (which I recently scored 92/100).
(2023) A mixture of vineyards here, aged 18 to 40 years, and a mix of clones. The oldest blocks of fruit were fermented directly in oak barrels, other blacks transferred to oak after malolactic fermentation. Barrels came from both Bordeaux and Burgundy coopers, 47% new. Darkly hued, there's concentrated cassis and ripe black plum here, mint and cocoa in support. The palate here flows beautifully with ripe and juicy blackcurrant fruit, but the integration of the tannins and acids here, and indeed the creamy dark tones of the barrel, is excellent. That gives this a seamless character as it flows towards the finish. Highly drinkable.
(2023) From a 53-year-old vineyard on terrarossa, this was made in a mix of open top and rotary fermenters (horizontal tanks that rotate to mix the cap, rather than using punch-down, etc. as in vertical tanks). It spent 18 months in 300-litre French barrels, new and second use. Meatier than the Balnaves, also an ashy, slightly eucalypt character touching the ripe black fruit. The sweetness on the mid-palate is apparent, a wine that's not too broad, instead there is a freshness here, real lip-smacking juiciness to the acidity. Tannins are firm in the finish, adding to the impression of freshness along with a little pepper and spice.
(2023) A GSM blend from the Barossa, which enjoyed similar hot and dry conditions to the Eden Valley. A little more earthy and subdued than the Balthasar aromatically, but there is a jammy ripeness of fruit and a balancing touch of leather in there. Bold and savoury, there's plenty of juicy acidity and nicely plummy, roughening tannins, that give an edge to the sweet and plump fruit that build on the mid-palate.
(2023) A little bit (8%) of Malbec joins the Cabernet, the wine matured 16 months in French oak, some new. From classic terra rossa soil. Very attractive, all about quite bold and creamy cassis. It doesn't move into jamminess, but instead the sweet and ripe plushness of the fruit is balanced by structural, fine tannin and acid components. It is sauve and smoothly creamy with no jagged edges, but it has balance and great length. This one should age too.
(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) 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.
(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 priced at £150 with free shipping. At £25 a bottle I'd call it a bargain.
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