(2021) A blend of fruit from the Taylor family's vineyards in the Clare Valley and from the Limestone Coast. There's a plummy character on the nose, a little wisp of something herby and lifted too. The full-on sweetness and chocolate density of the wine surprises as it hits the palate, a mocha coffee raft of black fruit flavours, super-ripe and mouth-filling. Plush is the word for this wine, with its creamy and generous tannins and acids, it's for immediate pleasure I'd say, as long as you like that uncompromisingly ripe and large-scaled style.
(2021) It's so easy to overlook the very familiar brands, on the basis that by their very nature they are consistent, so tasting vintage after vintage is a bit of a waste of time. Indeed I see from my database that the last vintage I reviewed of the Sauvignon Blanc from Oxford Landing was 2001. I don't recall it having only 10.5% alcohol, so without a doubt the recipe has changed in 20 years. It's a wine with very decent southern hemisphere Sauvignon characteristics, but is basically like quaffing lemonade: very light, passion fruit and tropical notes and a clean finish, but nothing by the way of texture or acidity to disrupt the quaffing picture. Though a very commercially 'constructed' commodity wine, it does a good job and with its low alcohol might just be a useful summer in the garden picnic or party standby. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) Barrossa-grown Tempranillo is fermented with wild yeasts and aged in oak for this red wine from the Hill-Smith family, who own Yalumba and Jansz among other brands. Though it weighs in with 14% alcohol, the colour is medium to pale, suggesting a lighter touch on the winemaking, and the nose has cherry cola aromas, a touch of wild strawberry and spice. In the mouth the fruit is super sweet, a creamy fruit coulis style, with barely perceptible tannins and ripe, generous acidity barely ruffling the flow. Easy-drinking with a captial Easy.
(2021) Ten months in a combination of American and French oak for this wine, which I'd certainly describe as classic Barossa Shiraz. That's to say it is bountiful and crammed with fruit, but it absolutely does not lack in freshness or vibrant personality. There's elegant, floral lift and raspberry brightness to sit against the creamy depth of vanilla-infused berries. In the mouth it has a racy acidity, firm, slick tannins and loads of almost mindlessly pleasurable chocolate-smoothed dark berries. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2021) This is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, aged 15 months French and American oak. There's something a little bit nutty on the nose here, tobacco-spicy and touch herbal that proceeds typical blackcurrant aromas of the Cabernet. On the palate a big, sweet surge of black fruit, really intense and concentrated, fruit skin bite, firm tannins and keen black plum acids in a powerhouse style, but retains excellent freshness too.
(2021) Fruit for this is from the Musque clone of Chardonnay, rarely seen but know for its aromatics. It is made with wild yeasts in barrels, with lees stirring. It matures for 10 months in oak, 20% new. There's some spice and ripe but quite lean and restrained fruit, a little ginger note. The oak is present but understated too, and onto the palate it has fine oranges and lemons vibrant juiciness, a nice texture and plenty of punch.
(2021) A wine from a single vineyard block, matured for nine months in larger 350- and 500-litre barrels, all 100% new French oak. Lean soils are credited with producing small, compact and intensely flaboured. More obvious oak here, but it is of lovely quality, creamy and biscuity/toasty, with coffee depth. The fruit bursts through on the palate, really pushing that creamy and toasty character into the background. Very intense and concentrated, it really does have drive: a great acid line here, scything through the richness and fat of the fruit on the mid-palate. Excellent length and intrinsic quality through to the finish.
(2021) Predominantly from high altitude vineyards, this was whole bunch pressed into mostly older French oak, with some lees stirring. Winemaker Michael Downer's family established the vineyards in 1988. Quite subtle oak here again, more almond and oatmeal than toast, crisp and clean white fruit aromas, restrained a touch flinty but clean. Once again the palate bursts through with vibrant fruit, real saltiness here, a saline wash over lemons and apples, into a long finish. Delicious, with tangy mineral intensity.
(2021) From an ex-apple orhcard in cool Lenswood, some old vines here dating back to the mid 80s. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically. Very subtle, cool, precise and restrained, a touch of flint. The oak is almost transparent here, the wine staying cool and oh so precise on the palate. With only 12.5% abv it's much more Chablis-like I suppose. Concentration and intensity, but nothing too flashy. Lemony, juicy and zesty, salinity into a balanced finish. Subtle and taut.
(2021) Again fermented and aged 10 months in French oak, 50% new barrels, and the best fruit selected specifically for this bottling. What an attractive nose, one of the Chardonnays with gentle honey and almond rather than overt toastiness, generous ripe pear and lemon fruit beneath, hinting at peachy tropicality. The palate majors on bursting orange and lime fruit vibrancy, really vivacious, the oak gently supporting in the background, but the juiciness of the fruit and line of acid is lovely.