(2021) From various soils including clay, sandy loam, red-brown earth and sand over limestone, part of the blend includes fruit from 100-year-old vines. The wine spent 17 months in French oak barrels, 35% new, of varying sizes. Vinous, dark, fragrant, with blackberry and plum, a suggestion of real ripeness and sweetness on the nose. Refined oak aromas. The palate has lovely weight and plushness of texture, but an elegant mix of sandy tannin and pert, juicy acidity slices through a more opulent mid-palate, giving this lovely overall appeal.
(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) 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.
(2021) From old bush vines, this is fermented in layers of whole bunches and destemmed fruit, matured in a combination of oak and concrete tanks. Elegant ruby colour, fabulous fragrance again, real spice and a natural feeling earthiness in the background, great fruit sweetness, and a lusciousness here balanced by very fine structure indeed.
(2021) 60% of this wine comes from 80-year-old vines, the rest 50-year-old. 75% feremented as whole buches and aged in neutral barrels and oak casks. Fragrant, creamy, lifted red fruit with a distinct floral edge. Some creamy, almondy touches. Red fruited but really firm and gravelly on the palate, taut structure and elegant but incisive acidity. Long.
(2021) From sandy soils with clay, vinified in open-topped fermenters with 20% whole bunches, it spend time maturing in large, old oak barrels. Soaring creamy aromatics here, real eucalyptus lift and floral notes, very distinctive with a sprinkle of pepper. In the mouth it has rich texture and quite a solid, concentrated feel, and yet the finish is bright and focused, good structural components and long.
(2021) Vine grower Bernard Smart is the charming man, featured riding on his tractor on the label. Giles says he was selling his fruit to local families for home winemaking because there were no commercial buyers, even though a beautiful vineyard with vines up to 100 years old. 20% whole bunches and aged in 300-litre french barrels, 25% new. Much deeper and more violet in colour than some, perfumed, a touch of lipstick and vinous, keen red fruits are firm. Very firm on the palate too - a much more obvious tannin than in some, but retains its charm, brightness and the inherent fruit concentration and sweetness comes through beautifully.
(2021) From two vineyards, one 82 and one 99 years of age and planted on deep sand, 92% of fruit was destemmed, and aged in old puncheons and foudres. Again quite an intense, deep colour, but not dense, this has a solidity to the fruit too, more plummy and full, but once again that does not mean heavy or dense: the fine tannins and the good, tangy and sour cherry acid balance is excellent, in a big and mouth-filling wine, but not without finesse.
(2021) A blend from three different districts of McLaren Vale, planted between 1930 and 1960. 20% whole bunches, this is made in open fermenters with natural yeasts, and ageing was in 500-litre barrels of French oak, with minimum added sulphur. A very pale wine this, a warmth, nuttiness and earthiness to the nose, a touch of chestnut and pepper, solid but fragrant red fruit. In the mouth dry, savoury tannins give a very gastronomic feel. Is there a touch of heat from that 15% alcohol? I think there is, but really tha balance is very good, with freshness and keen acidity ensuring this is not heavy.