(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) Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache, 100% Blewitt Springs fruit from McLaren Vale, whole bunch pressed and matured in 10% new and 90% neutral French puncheons. This has real funkiness and earthiness, a slightly reductive barnyard character. The palate juicy and brimming with red fruits, a black plum fleshy and chocolaty density to this but then the fresh crunch comes through.
(2016) Is it a very light red or a dark rosé? Anyway, best served lightly chilled where its beautifully bright, light and orangey character with dry cherry pit fruit is given extra sappiness and really nutty dryness by including stalks in the ferment. Long and freshly balanced, really attractive. So light, juicy and orange pulpy.
(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) An unoaked cuvée inspired by the Juveniles wine bar in Paris, there is normally around 20% Mataro in the blend, but a poor crop in 2014 reduced that to 7% along with 85% Grenache and 8% Shiraz. "The Idea is to make an energetic, youthful GSM blend," says Stuart. It is more fragrant than the Woodcutter's, with a real bright berry fruit, hints of chocolate and briar, and it has a touch of forest floor too. In the end it's that juicy, fresh berry flavour that pushes through against pert acids and tannins, and it is just delicious. Note price and stockist is for the 2012 vintage at time of review.
(2016) A Grenache Mourvédre Shiraz blend from Torbreck, it is creamy, spicy and deeply red fruited, a little whisper of something meaty and peppery too. In the mouth the sweetness of the fruit is immense, though perhaps the acidity, alcohol and grippy tannins feel just a touch more astringent in the finish than I might hope for.
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