(2021) High Sands is a very old vine vineyard, at the highest point of sandy and clay dunes, planted in 1946. Certified biodynamic, 50% whole bunches used, and no press wines included. Eleven months in older French oak. A more intense colour than many here, but not opaque, a vinous, silky perfume, very pure, the oak very much in the background. On the palate such full and luscious fruit, heady and perfumed as you drink, but sweet and mouth-filling, with a lovely juiciness to the acids and fine-grained, sandy tannins.
(2017) A third of this matured in new French oak, and from three of the preferred five clones 777, D5V12, MV6. Again a nicely pale colour, a distinct minerality here, chestnut and tight cherry fruit, hints of meatiness, of oregano perhaps, The sweetness on the palate of the fruit is striking, delicious hint of peachiness and again cherry, the spices and the briar, the touch of graphite into the finish. Delicious.
(2017) Aged 14 months in new oak, 80% French and 20% American. Big, super-ripe, even slightly raisiny, pruney aromas, but Amarone-like rather than being stewed or baked: cloves and spices too. Terrific energy and real freshness on the palate, an electrical charge of power, all the time the solid fruit at the core and a grippy finish. Very good - big, but fleet of foot. Should cellar well for a decade.
(2017) Creamy, dense, blue/black fruit, intense blueberry and damson plum spectrum. Tight and polished on the palate, there’s a liquoricy core, which gives this lots of grip, lots of length, and given the alcohol remarkably fresh – though not so fresh as the 2010, the 17 months in French and American oak also a little more evident.
(2016) A wine made by the other half of the Ochota team, Taras's wife, Amber. From a single vineyard "the size of a tennis court," only around 300 bottles were produced. Silky stuff, but with a real sense of precision, elegance and the exotic, touches of Sandalwood and bracken, the palate sweet with fruit but always under tension, it finishes very long, gently spicy, and tapers to the finest point.
(2016) The Syrah for this wines comes from McLaren Vale, 100% matured in new French oak puncheons for 12 months. Filled with opulent plum fruit, cherry and spiced floral red cherry. A broadly juicy character with so much lemoney acidity and and those herbal notes adding layers of complexity. 93
(2016) From a vineyard planted in 1927 and knows as the 'Old Quarry block.' This is 100% Mataro (Mourvèdre) and is highly aromatic again, a beautiful lift to this, so much floral character and the creaminess of the all-new French oak, but there’s a little meatiness, and fine mid-palate density and texture. It has a graininess to the tannins, good keen acidity, but long spicy length too. Not showing UK retail availability at time of review: contact importer Fells.
(2016) A wine from a cooler vintage, again a co-ferment with around 8% of Viognier joining the Shiraz. At 14 years old this still has immediacy of fruit but also all the smokiness, the bacon fat, the absolute purity of the fruit with raspberry and cherry freshness, with more chocolate and smokiness coming through and fabulous freshness on the palate, touches of herbs and sappiness seeing to that. Loads of fruit and still so enjoyable, I loved this wine for drinking now.
(2016) This wine, made from a vineyard planted in the 1990s with cuttings from the RunRig vineyards, is aged in barrels that were used for last year's RunRig. A Shiraz/Viogner co-ferment. Absolute peachy Viognier presence here, with lots of perfume and the plush black fruit coming through. Big, chewy palate, lots of fruit concentration and black fruit skins, lots of extract and liquorice chewiness and density. Firm, firm tannins, and certainly needs time (when it's score might edge higher too).
(2016) All American oak for this bottling, which Stuart describes as “Our old school Barossa Shiraz.” About 40% of the oak is new and this is loaded with spice and meatiness, loads of leather and richness, but there is savouriness here, it’s not stewed or dead. Terrific depth and opulence on the palate as more of that leather and smoky bacon character wraps around the black fruit, It is full and long, and a superb example of the uniquely Barossa style.