(2017) Made from pre-Phylloxera Shiraz vines, some over 100 years old, this was matured in oak hogsheads (300-litre barrels), 65% of which were new, and a blend of 95% French oak and just 5% American. Such lifted aromas with eucalyptus and tomato leaf, masses of energy, blackberry and bright but dark-hued fruits. Such cool, sophisticated flavours on the palate, there’s an almost pastille quality to the fruit, a certain femininity, certainly real raciness and energy, the fruit sweet and mouth-filling, the tannins polished to a perfect sheen. Utterly delicious right now, but undoubtedly will cellar for decades.
(2017) There’s 4% Cabernet Sauvignon joining the Shiraz, in a wine that spent 17 months in new American oak hogsheads. Fruit came from across South Australia as always. Fabulous concentration, mind-boggling intensity, so many layers packed into this, chocolate and liquorice, coffee and balsamic, meat-stock notes and serious black fruit at the core of it. Very tightly wound at present and unlike the Hill of Grace 2010 it would be criminal to drink this now: it’s a massive Grange of power, concentration and great purity, and will require many years in the cellar to show at its best – and age for 20 years at least.
(2016) Thirty months in oak (50% new) for this 2012 where Shiraz made 98.5% of the blend. It adds a bit of sizzling bacon fat and meaty development over the 2013, but that is layered onto the plush black fruit, so much plushness and depth, and still little floral glimpses. A really firm core of tannins and acids, but all about the balance, the juiciness, a vital cherry skin edge of tannin and acid, and long and pure in the finish. Just delicious again and will age for decades I guess.
(2016) Just released and at time of review only available in-bond, the 2013 Runrig comes from the Hillside vineyards as always are the backbone, six plots along the Barossa hills, all dry farmed. Made in open-top fermenters then aged in French oak, around 40-50% new. Each vineyard is vinified separately and then assembled and blended with a touch of Viognier in most vintages – usually only around 1 to 1.5%. Fabulous nose here, just so much creamy black fruit, but always agile and lifted, with violet and floral notes, liquorice and graphite. There is huge intensity on the mid-palate, real depth of fruit and plushness, silky tannin structure and tightening acid freshness. Pretty fabulous already, but clearly with potential to cellar.
(2016) This has a creaminess, a plushness and, yes, a touch of volatility, but that gives a soulful meatiness and meat stock character as well as delicious plushness. The wine spent 30 months in 70% new French Oak, and the small (3%) co-fermented Viognier component adds a touch of nectarine and peachy finesse which brings such a lovely dimension to this beautifully mature example. Lovely stuff.
(2016) OK, a rather rare wine with only 120 cases produced and the UK's allocation being a fraction of that, but what a stunner. Very old vine Grenache is matured in 100% new French oak in this vintage, in a big (15.5% ABV) wine with massive chocolate depth and a welterweight of blue/black fruit. There's extraordinary plush juiciness to this, which is tight and hugely muscular, but it has great freshness, with real energy. Fabulous fruit, long, chewy, dense but superb definition of tannins and acidity against the huge ripeness and stunning concentration. The price quoted is per bottle, but available only as a pack of six. French merchant Voyageurs du Vin exports to the UK and at time of review also lists the 2012 vintage at 215 Euros per single bottle.