(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.
(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) 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.
(2022) Some 62-year-old vines in the blend here, along with 32-year-old, all planted on terra rossa. After open-top fermentation the wine spent a full 28 months in a combination of new French and American oak, plus a portion of older French oak. Again, a hint of warming brick on the rim, and a fine, classical nose, all about grapite and cedar, with understated tobacco spice and black fruits. There's a touch of hessian too. Flooded with creamy fruit on the palate, a sweet and supple blackcurrant with a nicely roughening rasp of plum skin tannin and acidity. Long, the tannins chewy despite the whole picture being medium-bodied, and very pleasing. Seeking UK distribution at time of review.
(2022) Vines aged from 34 to 43 years are planted on terra rossa and the wine is made in open top fermenters. It spent 20 months in French oak, 32% of which was new. The merest hint of pink on the rim of this 2018 wine, and a generous, fleshy nose with coffee and chocolate notes to the black fruit, a light herbaceous background to the picture too. On the palate it's a plush and sweet style, the ripe fruit offset by keen cherry-skin acidity and a welcome touch of bitterness to give this gastronomic appeal. Seeking distribution in the UK at time of review.
(2022) Vines here are 45-years-old and planted on terra rossa, and after fermentation in concrete open fermenters, the wine spent 16 months in French oak 300-litre hogsheads, 25% new. Dense and deep, the oak is more prominent than the Koonara, but quality is very high and it adds a lovely mocha depth to the ripe blackcurrant. There's a little graphite lift too. In the mouth this is very juicy, medium-weight, with a fine and dry tannin profile, slightly dusty, good acidity and fine overall balance and length.
(2022) From 30-year-old vines planted on terra rossa soils, this is an organic certified wine that was aged in French oak 300-litre barrels. There's a black cherry gloss to the blackcurrant aromas, the oak very discreet, just a little herbal hint adding interest. Full, creamy and rich on the palate, an undertow of espresso sits beneath savoury black fruit. Very nicely balanced, tannins and tangy acids not dominating the pure fruit of the finish. Seeking UK distribution at time of review.