Winemaker "A Classic Australian medium bodied blend. Plum, cherry, cassis and hints of vanilla. Drink now. - E is for excellence, it is for excitement, evolution, epicure, elegance and euphoria. E is for Elderton. E is for earth. Embrace and enjoy. Easy!"
94 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Crafted to be enjoyed sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, there is so much to enjoy from the leathery / herbal nose which flows into cassis, blackcurrant and blackcurrant leaf. The fruit provides a lovely sweet entry with dusty tannins providing balance. Today, this is fun and immensely enjoyable. Well made, well balanced, energetic with a light, spiced bite on the end. Unquestionably, this will provide lots of satisfaction to those seeking a well-priced wine which delivers time after time. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
91 Points - Jay Miller (erobertparker.com)
The purple-colored 2005 Parson’s Flat Shiraz (73%)-Cabernet Sauvignon (27%) was barrel-fermented and aged for 16-18 months in mostly American oak, 60% new. It offers up a fragrant bouquet of cedar, spice box, pepper, espresso, wild blueberry, and blackberry. Medium to full-bodied, it exhibits some complexity, layers of savory black fruits, and a lengthy finish.
Decanter Magazine – Top 10 wineries in McLaren Vale
94 Points - Stuart McCloskey "A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged several years in wood. Pleasing Pauillac-like nose of black currants, cedar wood, tobacco leaf, and spice box. The combination of eucalypt and blackberry/mulberry fruits are in complete harmony with the sweet cigar-box characters and ripe, juicy tannins. A sensational steal and profoundly brilliant at this price!"
Winemaker’s notes: “Lifted aromatics are the key component to this pretty wine. Aromatics of boysenberry, cherry, choc mint, pine nut, lamingtons and a slightly sweet citrus zest fill the nose. Palate flavours mirror the nose and complement the soft yet full palate texture. Bottling preparation involved minimal fining and no filtration.”
Winemaker Notes - "Originally just a Shiraz / Malbec blend, we added Cabernet Sauvignon to this wine to give greater textural diversity. The grapes are sourced from the same vineyards every year, fully and gently de-stemmed, hand plunged and basket pressed. The wine is then matured for up to 23 months in older French and American oak barriques, hogsheads, and large format vats, as well as some concrete vats for added complexity. Yellow Hammer Hill is a wonderful all round red wine to be enjoyed with almost any occasion."
Our full tasting note coming soon...
95+ Stuart McCloskey “A multi-regional blend from McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and a smattering from WA, which is the epitome of Thomas Hardy’s origins as his innovative regional blends can be tracked back to 1865. Set aside the prejudice which may exist towards the Hardys brand, and you will be pleasantly surprised. In fact, this will put one hell of a smile on your face as this is a real cracker for a snip over sixteen quid. Dried mint hits the olfactory senses with a ‘bang’ followed by cedar, cassis, blackcurrant leaf and a lovely dollop of liquorice. Granted, this is not an overly complex offering, but the flavours are fresh, bright and so pleasing. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins. The acidity is judged perfectly. In summary, there is nothing not to like or appreciate. Lovely job by team Hardys. Decant for 1-2 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
The Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon is a unique expression of the Margaret River wine region – one of the best Cabernet producing areas in the world. The fruit was sourced from mature vineyards in the Yallingup and Wilyabrup sub-regions of Margaret River and is crafted to be an expressive, yet drinkable, style of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winemaker’s notes: “Deep crimson with vivid purple hues. This wine exhibits aromas of cassis and dried herbs with hints of spice. The palate displays flavours of summer plums and dark berries with notes of sweet spice and dark chocolate from the use of both new and seasoned French oak. It is medium-bodied with fine, elegant tannin and persistent length. A true representation of Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon."
92 Points - James Halliday
Medium to full-bodied; black fruits interwoven with savoury tannins and a touch of regional chocolate.
Winemaker " Concentrated dark fruits fill the palate with hints of chocolate, supported by very fine elegant tannins that lead to a long and seamless finish. Full bodied, rich & classy.
Above average rainfall during winter, followed by a cooler than average spring, ensured adequate soil moisture for healthy canopy development. The cooler unseasonal conditions prevailed during January and February delaying veraison. Autumn saw the start of an Indian summer which continued well into April, resulting in perfect ripening conditions on the Valley floor for gradual development of flavour, with very fine grained tannins and excellent retention of natural acidity. The 2017 Elderton Estate Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon is a fresh and very pure fruit driven wine with an underlying elegance, depictive of a cooler Barossa vintage."
93 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The blend: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. All the boxes are ticked if you are seeking a refined and graceful wine that whispers its way around one’s palate. Softly-softly, classical and very fine. I enjoy the leafy / autumnal aromatics provided by the ‘little touch of Cabernet Franc.’ The plump, pillow-like shape to the wine will please many. I enjoy the menthol kick, cedar and lovely freshness. This is not a power packed wine – far from it. Neither is it a scrawny one. Everything is just right for a wine of this price and reflects the cool vintage. All-encompassing smoothness and the integration is faultless. Decanted for 2 hours (I'm not sure it’s necessary) and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking now…”
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is brimming with freshness and brooding with cedar, graphite, violets, liquorice and dark fruits with juniper, cassis, plum and damson being the main contenders. The flavours expand and draw you in with aeration (I suggest 2-3 hours in a decanter). The palate is medium bodied, the tannins svelte and the acidity providing freshness. There is an effortless quality to this Margaret River Cabernet which provides bags of flavour and wonderful length. Lots of finesse. Remarkably unforced and will suit fans of young Pauillac (those fans will pick up the lead pencil character). Drink now to 2025. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A wonderful nose following a morning in the decanter. Deep violets resonate in my glass along with a fresh herbal lift intermixed with ripe dark fruits, iron ore and sweet spice. The palate is sweet, expansive and impressive. Again, clean, ripe, juicy and brimming with damson, plum, blackberry, cedar and a lovely undercurrent of minerality. Incredibly satisfying with perfectly polished tannins – I love the freshness. A real triumph for the money. Decant for 2-3 hours and enjoy over the next decade.”
Winemaker’s notes: “Herbaceous characters of mint, capsicum, tomato leaf combine with rhubarb, plum and Campari like bitter orange to create a nose that is both varietal and vibrant. The palate begins with grippy tannins that lead to a mid-palate filled with sweet fruit and rosemary. On the back black cherry and choc-mint intermingle with grippy tannins providing a long finish. Freshness and vibrancy the key to this style.”
96+ - 97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet fills the room with layers of sweet spice, violets, liquorice, raspberry, bay leaf – there’s a cool mineral feel and a resemblance to a maturing Pinot Noir which intrigues. The palate is supple, succulent, and layered with spiced, sweet red and black fruits roll gently into the arms of supple, ripe tannin. The flavours keep coming with currant, bay leaf and a smidgin of dried herbs – liquorice too. Bitter coffee and dried mint creep in after a few minutes. The density is admirable – I enjoy the chew. There’s a touch of salinity rather than obvious acidity which provides relief from the richness. This is certainly a suave, seductive number and provides immediate pleasure, but does have the quality to carry on for another 5-7 years. I would suggest a few hours in a decanter before dipping your toes in. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The perfume has developed wondrously over the course of the day (4-6 hours decanting is a must) with black raspberry, plum, violet, bay leaf, white pepper, lead pencil, cedar, and dusty earth unfurling. The palate starts with sweeter fruit notes and falls to mineral, cedar, dried herbs and tobacco. There’s lots of brightness thanks to the streak of acidity – graceful and light on its feet which I enjoy. Classic Claret-esque and reminds me of Château Lynch Bages from 2004. Dusty tannins on the finish. A lovely wine which will appeal to those seeking mature sophistication (without crippling one’s wallet). Drink now through to 2023.”
96 Points - James Halliday
This hits the bullseye, a great example of the synergy between place and variety. Its colour is good, as is the bouquet, and that arrow arrives the moment the wine enters the mouth. It has waves of luscious, juicy red and black fruits that fill every corner of the palate, tannins and oak doing the job expected of them.
Medium to full red-purple; rich, ripe blackberry and cassis aromas are mirrored in the palate, which does however dip slightly in the middle, rising again with lingering tannins and subtle oak on the finish.
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (67%) with Carménère taking up the remainder of the blend. The small addition of new oak aligned with the blend reminds me of a young Bordeaux. The wine opens with beautifully expressive notes of black cherries, blackberries, touches of redcurrants, a little menthol, dark, bitter chocolate and cloves. Despite its age, the mid palate provides richness and heaps of sweet black and red fruits, all tinged with dried herbs (sage). The palate is vivid with perfectly balanced fine, pillowy tannins. I detect a little graphite and tobacco infused black fruit on the long finish. This is really going to blossom over the next 5-10 years. This one comes highly recommended. Decant for 1-2 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Adorable and sampled without decanting. The bouquet is veracious and provides layers of creamy raspberry, dark plum and mulberry compote. Warming spices (white pepper) develop with more aeration and a touch of toasty French oak and cedar. The palate is vivid, fun and provides a Smörgåsbord of red and black fruits with a soupçon of dried mint. I appreciate the cooling feel / acidity. Dark chocolate / cocoa interplay with a little tart cranberry. Flavours build and change the more you taste (at the five minute mark, I pick up woodsmoke). This is a wine full of honest, good intentions which is admirable. Serve now or cellar to 2028. Decant for 2-3 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
94 Points - James Suckling "Flowers, black licorice, blackberries and minerals all rise to the surface. Transparent. Medium to full bodied, polished and ultra-fine. This is a wine guided for a long time by the owner of Pomerol’s l’Eglise Clinet. Regal. Drink now or hold."
97 - 97+ - Stuart McCloskey “This unfurls beautifully delivering scents of cedar, sage, bay leaf, olive, clove, minerals, blackcurrant, and blackberry. Graphite too which, and if you bring the aromatic symphony together, reminds me of a Pauillac. That said, and with a little more aeration, I sense more of a Burgundian personality. The palate unfolds gracefully to a wonderful medley of cranberry, raspberry and a little blackcurrant, which flow seamlessly into cedar, bay leaf and more graphite. The textural smoothness and harmony draws me back to my Burgundian comparison – the tannins are whispery and super-fine. Everything here is so precise, so pure and unforced – it reminds me of a graceful heron taking off and slowly gaining altitude before disappearing out of sight. A perfect trajectory is perhaps the point I am trying to make. There is a lot to love about this Aussie Cabernet. Fans of our previous offering (the 2013) will be delighted with this. Drinks fabulously now (decant for 1-2 hours) and will live on for another 5+ years however, I personally believe it has reached it apogee… Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Dark and deep colour as usual from Wild Duck Creek. The perfume is expressive and bursting with blackberry liqueur, blackcurrants, pen ink, cedar and a wonderful lift from fresh bay leaf and sage. The mirroring flavours (along with the addition of liquorice) coat the palate wonderfully. The tannins are silky smooth – almost suede like in their plushness. Stylistically, I would declare the wine to be generous in style, but the generosity comes from the exquisite, ripe fruit. It is far from an OTT wine. Ripe, balanced, and a real ripper of an Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon. Sampled using Zalto Burgundy glassware, which is unorthodox but spontaneous as I’m supposed to be tasting Pinot Noirs. I might stick with this instead as it evolves in my glass beautifully. Decant for 2+ hours or cellar and enjoy over the next 5-10 years."
96++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Another wine which I sampled over two days with day two showing a blossoming beauty. Unmistakably from the Margaret River with screaming aromatics of blackcurrant, leather, black olive, cedar, mint, dark chocolate. The palate is ripe and packed with flavour. As you would expect, it lacks some of the depth of Ace of Spades, but it is a stellar effort nonetheless, and one which richly deserves to be enjoyed by us all. There’s a lovely freshness which underlines the wine’s character. Tannins are svelte with the merest smidgeon of dust / dried herb, which adds character. Wait a few minutes and a tang from orange peel emerges along with savoury, earthy notes. Lots of bright acidity which lifts the wine. A belter and one that can be enjoyed now through to 2028. Decant for 2-3 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Winemaker "Harvested from vineyards in the Northern Barossa sub-region of Ebenezer. The soil profile is sandy clay loam over solid limestone. Layered and full. The fully ripe blackberry and liquor cherry fruits are unpinned with the savoury edges of cigar, leather and dark chocolate. Oak tannins frame the body of the wine adding spiced toast notes, whilst fleshing out the fruit tannin profile to meld with blackcurrant notes, creating a seamless finish. Cherry red with blood orange hues. Raspberry, fig and white cherries with hints rhubarb leaves."
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A blend of 44% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and the curious addition of 23% Nebbiolo, which I originally thought would provide a less than exciting drinking experience. However, I was completely wide of the mark as it’s bloody marvellous and packed to the rafters with fresh, juicy fruit. I sampled the ’18 over two days and directly from the bottle – both occasions providing a fabulous experience. The nose reveals cassis, blackcurrant, dark plum, violet, blood orange and leather. The palate is complex, layered and follows the same synergy as the bouquet. The fruit is ripe and wrapped with lithe tannins. The acidity being judicious and the oak regime (10 months of which 25% is new) provides a fresh bite of structure. I love the suede-like texture; it’s so evocative and inviting. There’s intensity and abundant flavour without the slightest sign of heaviness or any notion of being a cumbersome hodgepodge. It’s surprisingly approachable now, and with a quick hour or two in the decanter will provide a thoroughly satisfying experience. Unquestionably, worth every penny. Drinking now to 2030. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "While tasting through a suite of 2017 Greenock Creek releases I kept gravitating back to the non-shiraz wines, specifically the cabernet sauvignon and mataro that were sent. This is one of the wines that sees French oak at Greenock Creek. Unfined-unfiltered to bottle. Bold, luscious and assertive style of cabernet sauvignon but it holds its muscular physique well. Rich cassis, new leather, lavender, woody spice and sandalwood characters emerge. Tannins are chewy, slightly woody, and finish the wine in chomps of wood spice and slight bitterness, though that feels apt after the thick, generous front and mid-palate stuffed with ripe fruit and lavish flavour. Strap in."
Winemaker "Very intense colour. The nose is dominated by fruit notes such as cherries and blackcurrants. A touch of cedar elegantly brings the nose together as a whole. On the mouth, the wine is well balanced and expresses with subtlety its purity and loyalty to the Pauillac’s territory. It really is Château Pontet-Canet’s little brother."
Stuart McCloskey "It’s difficult not to be impressed, silky / supple tannins work harmoniously with the high quality fruit. Cabernet flavours dominate with blackberry leaf, cassis with a touch of cocoa coming through as the wine starts to reach its tenth birthday. Really delicious but does require 2-3 hours in a decanter."
93 Points - Joe Czerwinski (robertparker.com) - A 50-50 blend, the 2018 Tin Lids Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon is a solid, inky mass in the glass. Smoky, peppery essences emerge on the nose, backed by dense blueberries and blackberries. There's a pleasant briery note, hints of sage and bay leaf, with any oak treatment pushed into the background. Full-bodied and rich, yet not overly heavy, it's poised on the cusp of being over the top in terms of its concentration, but remains balanced and reasonably harmonious from start to finish, buoyed by supple tannins that turn gently dusty on the long finish."
96+ - 97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is brooding and requires a good 4-6 hours in the decanter before tackling. Aromatic with a lovely floral perfume, dried herbs, mint, bay leaf, graphite – there’s a salty / mineral feel to the nose which intrigues the senses. Medium-bodied, cool-climate feel with the sweet fruit cloaked with dried herbs and spices. There’s a crispness to the fruit – cranberry with juicy acidity. Iodine and a real marine feel to the finish. The tannins flow beautifully with the fruit and offer just the right level of support. Detailed and everything seems very natural. Very satisfying and incredibly long. My score is unkind – I will retackle in a few weeks as the original sample bottle showed much better. Too much work and not enough time to enjoy wine which takes its toll! Drink now through to 2025”.
A special McLaren Vale Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blend from the excellent 2002 vintage. Originally made for a private client from Fox Creek's own grapes, it was for sale to private customers and not available for normal retail sale. The blend in this wine is 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Shiraz was fermented on skins for 8 days and about 10% of the wine saw barrel fermentation during the later stages of the fermentation. The Cabernet Sauvignon components were fermented to dryness, before being transferred to oak. Maturation was in approximately 20% French and 80% American oak, with about 30% of this being new oak.
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “This comes across more serious and restrained compared to the Grenache – I would recommend 4-6 hours in the decanter. This is powerful and grown-up with a brooding bouquet which does take time to develop. Deep, deep, deep aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, liquorice, Indian ink, bay leaf, clove and the sweetest of spices. Equally, the palate has a serious side and will certainly benefit from time in the cellar. For now, blackcurrant, blackberry and damson add an autumnal feel against a background of savoury black olive and a little rosemary and fresh sage. The tannins are broad and provide a lovely framework to the fruit. It’s a beautiful wine, calming and cooling. There’s generosity but it’s considered. Thoughtful and reflective winemaking with the power of mother earth on show. Deeply impressive and leaves me feeling reflective. Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Gosh, this is a serious, evolved Cabernet which comes across older than its physical years. The colour has a dark core running out to brick orange. Contrary to my Shiraz statement concerning ‘old school’ – Well, this is old school but that is far from a negative observation. The oak bounds across the surface with some punch however, the sheer intensity of the fruit and liquorice provides balance. I have been sampling over two days and find day two more satisfying – the bouquet has evolved beautifully with chocolate, camphor, tea leaves, graphite, cigar box, cold steel, liquorice and blood orange dominating. Like the Shiraz, there is obvious freshness which I believe is necessary. The palate mirrors the nose – perhaps a touch more cedar. There’s admirable density and structure – rather muscular and not dissimilar to a Pauillac from Bordeaux. There’s freshness and energy all the way through to the pencil lead finish… Stylistically, fans of the 2005 Robertson of Clare Max V (and there are lots of you), will absolutely adore this wine. The similarities are striking. Drink now to 2030. Decant for 3-6 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”
Stuart McCloskey "Alfred and his team produced a super-delicious wine during a difficult vintage. The Grand Vin equalling all the First-Growths and his second wine is comfortably comparable (if not better) than many second wines for double the money. This is a refined Pauillac and drinking beautifully now..."
Winemaker "Very deep colour. The nose is a complex spectrum of fruit and graphite notes with a touch of vanilla which comes to elevate the ensemble. A dense and distinctive mouth with a touch of silky tannins. A very beautiful wine of pure pleasure."
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Mataro, which and despite its tender age is singing wonderfully from the decanter (we sampled after 6 hours). The bouquet is incredibly pure and defined by sweet blueberry, mulberry, dried spice, violet, pen ink and a flicker of mint. The palate is wonderfully structured with grippy tannins – a slight huskiness which will soften with some bottle age. Without stating the obvious, there’s a lovely natural feel to wine. There’s a succulence and coolness to the fruit which I find particularly attractive. Dark plums are in abundance – I detect a little cold metal too. Clearly, a super-classy wine filled with pedigree. Not only a triumphant Biodynamic wine, but a wine which exemplifies modern Aussie winemaking. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2035+”
Winemaker - "Deep red in colour, the nose is distinctly Cabernet-like with mulberry and blackberry fruit and hints of mint backed by French oak, pencil shavings, and wisps of violet. Juicy red berries on the palate are surrounded by velvety tannins, tobacco and spice notes. A long tannin/acid profile to finish is indicative of this wine’s aging potential."
94+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "This is quintessential Pauillac and the best Pedesclaux I have sampled from the estate in over 10 years. The palate is full-bodied with copious sweet ripe black fruit, marked by soft tannins and wonderful harmony and tension. This is undoubtedly an outstanding Pedesclaux which could get better?"
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The ’19 Cabernet Sauvignon shone from the get-go and resampling is merely a gratifying experience rather than a necessity. Little has changed (as one would expect) – the perfume is utterly beguiling with an intoxicating mix of ripe, black and blue fruits juxtaposed, and perhaps now the more dominant flow of coal, graphite, steel, liquorice, camphor and the most wondrous marine lift. Although very young, everything about this wine gets the heart racing – the perfume, the balance, the freshness, the gossamer sheen of silk which glides across the palate with amazing grace. The tannins and acidity provide the faintest touch of crispness and merely provide a gentle arm of support rather than towering structure. Utterly spellbinding and comfortably one of my favourite Aussie Cabernet Sauvignons and my favoured ‘19 Utopos wine. Masterful, in a word. Decant for 4 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window – there is no harm is awakening this beauty today however, a decade will provide a heavenly vinous experience.” Sampled 21 July 2021.
"I believe this is the most lavish Cabernet Sauvignon I have sampled. A wine of genuine pedigree and class."
98-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey "The 2018 vintage produced wines with an extra level of richness (versus the ‘17) resulting in less Shiraz. The composition is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Shiraz. The aromatics are profound even at this stage. Indian ink, blood orange, plum, whispers of leather, freshly sawn cedar and I am swaying between a sense of mineralité or ocean (perhaps both?). I am certainly consuming more than I am spitting which isn’t too difficult as the creamy, sweet fruit coats every millimetre of my palate. I believe this is the most lavish Cabernet Sauvignon I have sampled, but it is important to add a note concerning the polish, the exquisite sense of detail and precision. It is easy to produce an exaggerated unbalanced wine. This, on the other hand, is simply majestic – a wine of genuine pedigree and class. The ripe layers of blackberry, boysenberry and mulberry are flanked by ripe tannins which add the perfect level of balance. The mineral rich finish is a masterstroke. Sublime. Decanted for 8 hours and guzzled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Heavenly now and will be for at least 15-20 years."
97+ - 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “I am not persuaded by my opening sentence, “And now to the most structured of the trio” - this is particularly evident when you dive straight in. The bouquet is intense with a Smörgåsbord of ripe, black fruits – blackberry, blueberry, violet and potpourri come rushing from the glass whilst minerals, Indian ink, liquorice and traces of brine and kelp provide unfathomable layers of complexity. I like how the wine builds in intensity – every swirl of the glass provides a new facet to consider. The fruit radiates but with a degree of restraint – the wine feels tighter and perhaps more classical compared to the single varietals. I detect more mineralité and tension – lovely freshness too. Perhaps less flamboyant than the other two. Regal and beautiful - a wine which provides precision and has no need to show off. For many, this will be irresistible in its youth, but a decade in bottle will provide exquisite drinking. I certainly prefer this to my original sample. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Shiraz. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Sampled 21 July 2021.
97+ - 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is not powerful per se – more ethereal, terroir driven and as close to a left bank Bordeaux I have ever sampled from Australia. The wine needs coaxing from the glass - 4-hours in a decanter does the trick and delivers an extraordinary sense of minéralité. Supremely focused with tightly coiled fruit. Time being the only key to unlock its full potential. Violets aplenty which work wonderfully, along with brooding, dark fruits, laced with fine herbs, bay, graphite, minerals and sea salt. The balance is astonishing, the flavours slowly creep up on you. A wine which is utterly effortless, so pure and so precise. Today, this wine exudes intellect and detail – the best years are yet to come. Nonetheless, it is outstanding in its youth, but will be close to perfection in its prime (10 years in my opinion). In short, a very special wine which must be served with consideration and the mood to match. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
97 Points - James Halliday "The bouquet provides a perfect idea of what is about to follow on the full-bodied palate: towering blackcurrant fruit with bay leaf, black olive and earth all dripping from the fruit where they meet implacable tannins and a poultice of French oak."
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A lovely, super-pure Margaret River bouquet revealing sweet blackcurrant, lavender, violets, a beautiful floral lift which works a treat with the herbal undertones and touches of iodine. For me, this wine is all about ‘texture’ which is wonderful, but let’s start from the beginning. ‘The Ace’ is their flagship creation blended from two clones, one an isolate of the Houghton’s clone and one a descendent from Margaux in Bordeaux (70% Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 5, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337). There is a captivating symmetry and precision which I find irresistible. The fruit exudes an almost exotic quality but is entirely unforced. I love the touch of graphite on the finish. The wine flows effortlessly supported by velvet tannins (just a touch of dusty grip which creeps in). Satin-like in texture with an opulence and luxuriousness which are kept on a tight leash. It fans out perfectly on the finish. This is a deeply impressive wine and one which would benefit from 10-15 years in a cellar however, this delivers so much pleasure today. An amazing wine regardless of whether you decide to drink today or store… Decanted for five hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
James Halliday "Full-bodied, rich and opulent, with new oak very much in evidence from start to finish. Unexpectedly, it is on the aftertaste that the fruit breaks free from the yoke of the oak."
Winemaker "Rich blackberry and cassis fruits follow on the palate, with nuances of bay leaf. The generous fruit flavours are supported by a backbone of tightly wound tannins that will further soften with medium to long term cellaring.
The 2017 vintage was characterised by steady ripening of fruit across the Barossa. From our vineyards we were able to get great fresh flavours particular to each site, with some tight just-ripe tannins behind to balance the fruit. The hand harvested fruit was fermented in open top concrete fermenters with chilled ferments, hand pump-overs and cap submerging with oak header boards for eight days; the process finished with barrel ferment and malolactic fermentation in new French oak."
Erin Larkin, Wine Companion "Hand picked and destemmed. Up to 40 days on skins and matured in French oak for 18 months (60% new). For all the work in the winery, the fruit was clearly very gently handled, with judicious tannin extraction. Medium-bodied, supple, and texturally constructed of fine silk. Densely packed with berry flavour, and corseted by exotic spice, this is a supremely elegant wine."
Top Rated Cabernet Sauvignon - 2020 Wine Companion Awards
98 Points - James Halliday "From a single vineyard owned by the Zerk family, planted 1880 to 1890, making it one of the oldest cabernet vineyards in Australia (and the world). Wild yeast-open fermented, hand-plunged, 8 days on skins, pressed to French hogsheads (44% new), on lees 17 months. This is pure and simple cabernet, elegant, long and finely structured. A great cabernet vintage for this great vineyard."
Mike Bennie (The Wine Front) "From an 1880s planted vineyard and a mere 478 cabernet vines. You’d know them by name. It’s a wine wholly unto itself, powerful yet svelte, concentrated and deep yet lifted on sheets of fine, bulging, grippy tannin and cool acidity. It’s so seamless, flows beautifully, a gilded freight train of cabernet heft and engineering with grace and glide on its side. Scents of mulberry, truffles, bouquet garni, old fire pit and old spice cupboard, but no labouring under oak or syrupy fruit, everything just so and formidably balanced. Flavours marry a similar array of words. It’s a righteous, outstanding cabernet from the Barossa that leaves me scratching my head and rubbing my belly. Righteous."
Dave Phinney – “A dark crimson with a blue band, the nose presents immediate aromas of boysenberry, currants, graphite, cedar, fir ash and vanilla. Seamless on the entry with resounding energy, the mid-palate features lush blackberry and bing cherry as well as a hint of sweet red licorice. Long, complex tannins punctuate the finish with an elegant and tapering note of black tea.”
96 Points - James Halliday "A single vineyard planted in '78. 55% new oak for 14 months. Redcurrant, blackberry, violets and bay leaf bouquet; characters of cedar and chocolate on the palate are oak-derived, but sit seamlessly within the wine as well. The fruit and the tannin filling the mouth expansively."