(2022) From vines with an average age of 25 years grown on predominantly gravel soils. There's 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec in the blend and the wine spent 14 months in French oak, 40% new barrels. It's a rich, deep, cherry- and blackcurrant-scented wine, with a definite, firm herbal and cedary edge. In the mouth quite buoyant and ripe black and red fruits, a lean spine of acid and fine tannins, leaving it fresh and quite racy on the finish.
(2021) Maturation took place in 40% new French oak barriques for 12 months, parcels of fruit fermented and matured separately. There's a bit of steeliness and more pert raspberry cutting through black fruit here, a background of leafiness. The palate has loads of juiciness, with a sour cherry tang at the core, to the fruit and acidity, and big, drying tannins making their presence felt in the finish.
(2021) Open-top fermentation included a s small parcel (7%) of whole bunches, before 15 months in 3,500 litre French oak foudres (25% new). There is a small addition of Viognier. Creamy, gently smoky berries, a little more red fruited than the Plan B!, quite perfumed, but still dark and glossy. Lots and lots of unctuous black fruit on the palate has succulence and flesh, though nicely judged and very tight tannins and juicy black fruit acidity extends the finsih. Very nice drinking. No UK stockists at time of review.
(2021) From 25-year-old vines in Frankland River, individual batches were aged in barrels (10% new) for additional 15 months before blending. 6% Tempranillo was included in the blend. Powerful, super-sweet and concentrated blackcurrant and blueberry aromas, a litle violet lift and a sprinkle of white pepper. After a buoyant and bright opening, the palate does not disappoint, the creamy ripeness of black fruit persisting, but there's a bittersweet edge to this, a rasp of plum-skin bite to the tannins and edge of the fruit, and keen acidity adding another sharpening angle. The finish is all about fruit, just underpinned by the charry barrel component.
(2021) From 10- to 15-year-old vineyards planted on sand and gravel soils, this was feremented with 20% whole bunches and matured in French oak for nine months. Great Southern is a cool region of Western Autralia, and this has meat-stock and gaminess against some toasty oak and dark bramble fruit. In the mouth there's a vivid explosion of fruit sweetness, a fleshy and unctuous black fruit melting into espresso-dark oak flavours. Savoury for sure in the finish, a dry tannin quality and nicely balanced acidity, finishes with a bit of spicy tang among the deep fruit flavours. No UK retail listing at time of review, though Majestic carried the 2017 at £16.99.
(2018) Margaret River is a small, high-quality appellation in Western Australia. Its ocean-influenced climate is one secret to its renowned Cabernet Sauvignon wines, which often makes a nod towards a European style. Howard Park's 2012 from the Leston single vineyard is a beauty. Eighteen months in French oak has given a polished sheen to the deep pool of glossy blackcurrant fruit, with a hint of mint and cocoa, but also a little dusty briar and olive so typical of Cabernet Sauvignon. In the mouth that really lovely combination of the supple, plush black fruit with creaminess of oak, but firm tannin and the whole picture tensioned by keen acidity to give structure and extra length. Finishing on fruit, spice and fine-grained tannins, a really terrific Cabernet. Watch the video for more information, and note that by the case the price falls to around £20 per bottle.