(2022) Winemaker Sue Hodder celebrates 30 years with Wynns, and this wine represents the pinnacle of her portfolio. It is only made in the best years from the best 1% of their Cabernet fruit. The nose is very refined, very classic, cedars with polished oak over ripe, creamy black fruit. A little graphite and olive lift is lovely. On the palate it is medium-bodied and lithe, as supple and sweet dark fruits are supported by creamy-chocolate tannins and ripe cherry acidity. The quality of French oak is subtle and integrated. A very poised, fine wine that will retail for around £110 when released through La Place in Bordeaux in September 2022, appearing in retailers soon after.
(2022) Yalumba don't make many mistakes, and this inexpensive Provence-style pink made from Sangiovese proves that point. Quite delicate but pretty and pert red fruit with a sherbetty lift. The palate balances sweet fruit ripeness and a fresh, rippling acidity, leading to a balanced, dry finish. Very sippable.
(2022) Louise Rose's flagship Viognier was harvested over a two week period, presumably to balance acidity and the unctuous ripeness Viognier can achieve. That's done ever so successfully in this 13% abv wine, which spent 10 months in French oak. It is rich, the nose crammed with white flower and apricot notes, a creamy almond oak quality beneath. The palate has such lovely weight, textured and full, succulent with ripe, ripe fruit, orange acidity adding lovely tang and brightness. It's a wine that risks overloading the senses, but thankfully never does thanks to its precision and refinement.
(2022) Yalumba's Y Series is a supermarket-level brand in their portfolio, and the sort of wines that will regularly be 'on promotion'. This is down to £6 for Clubcard holders at Tesco at time of review, but note that deal finishes on 18th April 2022. Others will be along. Wild fermented from South Australian fruit, I think this sees a bit of oak expsosure, which adds a certain spiciness to the otherwise plummy and ripe fruit flavour, densely packed into this chunky, crowd-pleasing wine. Cherryish acidity and bit of tannic structure add balance. If you are lining up the barbie for this summer, it could be the ideal match for burgers and steaks. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2022) Picked from vineyards in Barossa (67%) and Eden Valley (33%), the average age of the vines is 80 years, with the oldest vineyard dating from 1854. Maturation is in a combination of new French oak (28%) and second use barrels  of various sizes from French, American and Hungarian oak. There's a meatiness to the aromas here, as well as a depth of savoury black fruit, some toast and vanilla in a deep-set, rich set of aromas. In the mouth that sweet combination of vanillin oak and ripe black fruit is succulent and fills the mid-palate. So much chocolate and charry depth here, but tannins are creamy and svelte and the cherry ripeness of the acidity adds to the smooth and rounded picture. A baby of course.
(2022) From a vineyard in Coonawarra purchased by the Hill-Smiths in 1992, on terra rossa soils, the majority of the vineyard was planted in 1975. The wine matured for 22 months in barrels, 30% new French oak hogsheads, the remainder in older barrels from France, America and Hungary. Almost black in its saturated colour, fruit straddles blackberry, blueberry and damson plum, with a sheen of polished old wooden furniture, gigar smoke and again a firmness suggested by gravel and graphite. Sumptuously sweet and succulent in the mouth, and enveloping richness and depth of glossy black fruit lies over mocha and sweet smokiness, tannins so sandy and fine and acidity pert like cherry pits. It's big, it's classic, it's a wonderfully expressive wine of grape and place.
(2022) From Barossa vineyards, 53% is Caberent and 47% Shiraz, the oldest plantings dating from 1925. The wine spent 21 months in barrel, 28% new French barriques plus an assortment of different sized older barrels from France, America and Hungary. Creamy and ripe blackcurrant dominates the nose, with an undertow of spices and tobacco, a little graphite firmness suggested too. In the mouth it is sweet-fruited and smoothly-textured, so much blackcurrant flavour but edged with a gravelly intensity, some plum skin grip and bittersweetness of tannin and acidity playing against a touch of espresso from the barrels, into a long and harmonious finish.
(2022) The vineyard was planted in 1889, on red-brown clay in the heart of the Barossa Valley, the wine matured for just four months in older French oak barrels. Pale and quite transparent, the nose is beguiling, with floral and woodland scents, fine dried berry fruits and all sorts of mellow, autumnal notes. In the mouth just lovely delicacy and sweetness to the fruit, all herb-strewn cherry orchards, with a light creaminess of flavour and texture, and plenty of light and shade, some bittering notes of acidity and very fine tannins extending the finish. Note the price quoted is for the 2015 vintage at time of review, which I scored 94/100.
(2022) Wild-fermented in French oak, with 10 months ageing in barrels of various sizes, this comes from elevated Eden Valley vineyards planted in 1980 and 1995. Pale gree/gold in colour, it is peachy, full and creamy on the nose, with twist of confit lemon and hint of something spicy and nutty. In the mouth it very nicely straddles full texture and palate-weight, and crispness, with no shortage of apricot and peach fleshiness of fruit, and a taut core of acidity that is quite pithy and lemony-dry, smoothed by the barrel component.
(2022) From terra rossa soils and a 52-year-old vineyard, this wine spent 18 months in French oak barrels of 300-litres, a combintation of new and older vessels. Showing a little more development than the Patrick of Coonawarra 2015, there is a bloody and gamy note that is appealing in the mix as notes of eucalyptus and blackcurrant emerge. Really nicely open, sweet, ripe and mature, there is a creamy and supple depth and width to the fruit profile, tannins chocolaty and rounded and cherry acidity perking up the finish. Highly drinkable and in a good place.