(2023) From a single vineyard of dry-grown bush vines that was planted in 1889 on red-brown clay in the heart of the Barossa Valley. The wine spends 100-days on skins post-fermentation, and I believe it has minimal contact. Soft, autumnal tinges to the ruby colour. Chocolate and fragrant potpourri spices are joined by pert raspberry notes, in a wine that has a wonderfully resolved, mature nose but still with a vital fruit quality. Pure, ripe and plush Grenache, filling the mouth with fruit and spices, but balance it superb and it is an utter pleasure to drink now. Reminiscent of a maturing ChÃ¢teau Rayas perhaps, and Grenache showing its Pinot side so perfectly.
(2023) A 35-year-old, ungrafted vineyard on terrarossa is the source of this wine. After fermentation it spent 12 months in French oak hogsheads, 30% of which were new. A true 'multi award-winning' wine that scooped Golds and trophies in several international competitions. Probably the darkest nose of the tasting, a chocolate depth to ripe cassis, though arguably not as nuanced as some. The palate is glorious however. There's weight and substance here, texturally the biggest wine of the selection, but the fruit is sauve and polished, filling the mouth impressively. Tannins are very tight and the bittersweet, endive like bite of the acidity along with the charry, cocoa notes of the barrels flesh out the finish. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review. The wine is imported into the UK by Bancroft Wines and has an RRP of Â£50.
(2023) From two vineyards planted in 1973 and 1990 respectively on terrarossa. A little Petit Verdot (4.8%) was blended "to add aromatic lift." It spent eighteen months in French oak, 52% of which was new. Very appealing nose, expressing the fragrant side of Cabernet (and that Petit Verdot) with a herb-touched, glossy cherry character as well as blackcurrant. In the mouth the tannins are powerful, and the charry toast of the oak adds another bass note, but the firm black fruit and very crisply framed acidity maintains a strict, fresh line to the finish.
(2023) From a typically warm and dry growing season in McLaren Vale, this has a saturated depth of colour and blueberry and blackberry aromas touched with violet and light, smoky, ashy character. In the mouth the fruit is bold and succulent, black fruits, with a certain gloss and intensity. A touch of bittersweet chocolate, tannins, acid and the alcohol giving a grippy finish that should soften over a few years in the cellar. Price and stockist listed at time of review are for a previous vintage.
(2023) Unusually this is a blend of Coonawarra and Margaret River fruit, from South and Western Australia respectively. A big, bold cassis nose, touches of eucalyptus and sweet plummy depths. In the mouth the oak adds a mocha underpinning, but sweet and juicy black fruit drives this. Tannins dry the side of the mouth, the acidiy has a certain sparkiness that freshens the finish, in a lovely Cabernet for drinking now or laying down. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2023) From higher altitude and cooler climate vineyards of the Eden Valley, there is definitely a cooler climate lift to this Syrah, violet and a touch of garrigue herbs, cool blackberry and raspberry notes. Fabulous sweetness on the palate: a luxurious, deep dive into summer pudding fruits with creamy texture, yielding tannins and plenty of cherry-skin acidity to add some edge to the finish. Delicious drinking this. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.
(2023) The grapes are sourced from vineyards in the northwest of the Barossa Valley at relatively high elevations. Big, plummy, black fruited stuff and yet there is lift here, some florals for sure and a pencil shaving finesse. In the mouth copious fruit, all ripe black berries and chocolate, spices too, with great concentration. The tannins are quite formidable at present, which along with plenty of alcohol and punchy acid, suggest a few years in the cellar will suit this.
(2023) The 2019 vintage was one of the Eden Valley's driest in recent years, resulting in rich and concentrated wines. This is bold, fresh and aromatic, with blueberry and damson plum, some florality too. Mouth-filling fruit, dense black fruits with a sandy tannin quality that coats the mouth, very sweet fruit touching onto cocoa, and good balancing acidity.
(2023) Sourced from near century old vines, this is black as pitch and offers creamy but dense aromatics, a bit of charry oak character here, chocolate and a hint of mint too, in a plush style. The palate is broad and generous, brimming with juicy but plump fruit, plum flesh and the tannic bite of the skins, plenty of juicy and ripe acidity too in an expressive, intense wine.
(2023) This blend includes Viognier skins co-fermented with the Shiraz, and the blend was matured for 14 months in 23% new French oak hogsheads, the balance in one year and older French oak. There's more pepper here than in the Octavius, but also more lift of florals and even peach, presumably from the Viognier. In the mouth it is super-ripe and sweet, a substantial wine with texture and a depth of red and black, smooth and supple fruit. There is plenty of spice here: clove and tobacco, a keen edge of acidity and quite creamy tannins to offset the bittersweet finish of fruit skins and cocoa.