(2023) A traditional method blend of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, this comes from the cool, elevated Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. It has a lovely nose of stone fruits on a bed of biscuit, a stony mineral character beneath. On the palate it has a richness and mouth-filling texture, creaminess to the mousse and the sweet-edged fruit licked into a refined, crisp finish by shimmering acidity. On offer at £15 at time of review, that's great value.
(2023) Classic Coonawarra Cab in many ways, from Terra Rossa soils and Hollick's the oldest blocks, the wine matured in French oak. Leafy and herbal edge flit around the aroma on first opening. Blackcurrant and something definitely meaty emerges. In the mouth the sheer sweetness surprises. Assuming this has negligible residual sugar, it must be the decadent ripeness of the black fruits captured in the glass. Tannins are firm, and along with 14.9% declared alcohol, do give a slight heat but plenty of grip. That sweet fruit drives the finish rather than oak, and the crispness of the tannins alleviates the meaty structure of the wine.
(2023) Four Bordeaux varieties in the blend here, led by 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. Blackcurrant on the nose, some eucalypt/menthol notes, and a smoothing sub-frame of the barrel. In the mouth it flows with really sweet, ripe black fruit, the 23% Malbec perhaps adding to the plush depth of the mid-palate. Tannins are suede-like, acidity is rounded but present, and the touch of vanilla and spice into the finish pleases. Mixed dozen price is £16.99.
(2023) A dry Riesling from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, it has punchy lime and green herbs on the nose, just a lovely hint of beeswax too. Delicious palate, riven with that pure lime flavour and acidity, but a little oiliness to the texture adds weight and authority. It's dry, but not austere, with delightfully bold fruit and crispness to the end.
(2023) A Barossa Shiraz from St Hallett, who built their name on this variety and place, this cuvée aged in American and French oak for nine months. Loads of blueberry and blackcurrant richness on the nose, minty and chocolaty too, a mere suggestion of gaminess in the background. In the mouth the rich, sweet, burstingly ripe black fruit powers the mid-palate, oak, tannin and acid perhaps a little harsh. Delivers on what you would expect from a mid-price Barossa Shiraz, but the sweet-ish character and harsh finish would be smoothed by a piece of red meat protein. £14.00 Tesco Club Card price at time of review.
(2023) From a single vineyard of dry-grown bush vines that was planted in 1889 on red-brown clay in the heart of the Barossa Valley. The wine spends 100-days on skins post-fermentation, and I believe it has minimal contact. Soft, autumnal tinges to the ruby colour. Chocolate and fragrant potpourri spices are joined by pert raspberry notes, in a wine that has a wonderfully resolved, mature nose but still with a vital fruit quality. Pure, ripe and plush Grenache, filling the mouth with fruit and spices, but balance it superb and it is an utter pleasure to drink now. Reminiscent of a maturing Château Rayas perhaps, and Grenache showing its Pinot side so perfectly.
(2023) A 35-year-old, ungrafted vineyard on terrarossa is the source of this wine. After fermentation it spent 12 months in French oak hogsheads, 30% of which were new. A true 'multi award-winning' wine that scooped Golds and trophies in several international competitions. Probably the darkest nose of the tasting, a chocolate depth to ripe cassis, though arguably not as nuanced as some. The palate is glorious however. There's weight and substance here, texturally the biggest wine of the selection, but the fruit is sauve and polished, filling the mouth impressively. Tannins are very tight and the bittersweet, endive like bite of the acidity along with the charry, cocoa notes of the barrels flesh out the finish. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review. The wine is imported into the UK by Bancroft Wines and has an RRP of £50.
(2023) These terrarossa vineyards are 20 years old on average, the fruit fermented in stainless steel-lines concrete tanks. Red liquorice springs to mind on first nosing the glass, maybe even a touch of beetrooty character, but pure black fruits show through, touched with mint. The palate has a sinewy, taut character, no flab here at all with tight tannins, juicy and intense acids and the fruit staying in a dry, savoury spectrum. Note stockist and price given is for the 2019 vintage at time of review (which I recently scored 92/100).
(2023) This 35-year-old vineyard is planted on terrarossa, and after extended cold maceration was matured in French oak. Winemaker Ben Wurst believes that the long skin maceration gives length in the finished wine. Quite a bright, glossy and fresh fruit character on the nose, a little background herbaceous note adding freshness. Balanced and medium-bodied, the palate follows the same line, fruit the driving force here, pretty and juicy, pert acidity and tight tannins creating a wine that seems to defy its 14.5% alcohol. No UK retail stockists at time of review. Again, already very drinkable.
(2023) A mixture of vineyards here, aged 18 to 40 years, and a mix of clones. The oldest blocks of fruit were fermented directly in oak barrels, other blacks transferred to oak after malolactic fermentation. Barrels came from both Bordeaux and Burgundy coopers, 47% new. Darkly hued, there's concentrated cassis and ripe black plum here, mint and cocoa in support. The palate here flows beautifully with ripe and juicy blackcurrant fruit, but the integration of the tannins and acids here, and indeed the creamy dark tones of the barrel, is excellent. That gives this a seamless character as it flows towards the finish. Highly drinkable.