(2017) A hotter, bigger vintage. Much creamier and with a fatter black fruit but still a little ashy and smoky lift, that touch of meatiness. The palate again so sweet, plush, the tannins tight, structured and fresh acidity makes it very easy to drink, but firm at the core. A touch of that floral character on the nose also appears in the finish.
(2017) 61% Grenache from Blewitt Springs sandy soils that usefully make the vine struggle a little, around 30% Shiraz and 10% Mourvedre. Lovely bright red fruit opening, with a touch of herb and floral lift, very fresh and appealing, with hint of nutty Grenache dryness. On the palate really dry, a nice herbal streak to the small dry red fruits.
(2017) Almost all Grenache, just a splash of Shiraz "to tempt the naysayers." Bright, a touch of schisty, characoally, watercolour paintbox dry lift, some spice too with a well-tempered palate, riven with a lemony acidity, a very fine and long line to the palate, with the lightest palate of the four so far, easy on the finish.
(2017) Certainly a broader fruit character, more weight than the Wirra Wirra, with great juiciness, a nice cherry lift of brightness, fine tannins - very dry - with the freshness and nutty flavours balanced by good acidity.
(2016) A fascinating wine, from a vineyard planted as Gamay in 1985, grafted to Chardonnay some time after, and then "we took a chainsaw to it," according to Taras Ochota, presumably below the graft, so that the vines once more grew as their natural Gamay selves. Spicy, dry, intense red fruits, the carbonic maceration softening a touch, but still a Gamay with a bit of steel at its core into a long, fruity and fruit-spicy finish.
(2016) More density to this then the 2014, more concetration with the spice and openness knocked back in favour of chocolaty, blueberry depth. A full, chewy density of the texture and spicy black fruit, tannins tighter and certainly one with more ageing potential. Note price and stockist is for the 2013 vintage at time of review.
(2016) From younger vine fruit, but still 40-year-old vines. Lots of spice from open top ferment and then into older barrels of French oak, mostly larger hogsheads and puncheons, plus some big vats. Lots of cherry, blackberry and lighter rose-hip notes to match the spice and fruit depth. Very approachable. Price and stockist is for the 2013 vintage at time of review.
(2016) Sourced mostly from the Clare Valley, but with around a third of the fruit from Coonawarra, this is another fine South Australian red from the 2010 vintage, with real floral, violet and kirsch-like lift to the abundant cassis and minty aromas. On the palate there's crowd-pleasing dark chocolate and loads of sweet blackcurrant fruit, but it has grip and a bit of substance, the earthy, dusty tannins and keen cherry acidity balancing.