Winemaker "We hand pick the fruit from Matthews Lane vineyard ensuring each parcel of fruit is in pristine condition. After a yeast starter the juice rests on yeast lees for 11 months in new 1,000L German Oak Fuder Barrels. The use of Fuder barrels in this way ensures our Single Vineyard white wines develop a greater complexity and refinement because oak doesn’t dominate. The ratio of wine in contact with the barrel surface is less than smaller barrels so oak pick up is less. The staves of Fuder barrels are thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer and we find the fruit characters gain greater depth and complexity."
92 Points - Robert Parker
The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2008 Branon displays chocolatey, earthy undertones intermixed with black currants and Asian plum sauce. Medium to full-bodied, rich, impressively endowed, supple and evolved, it can be drunk over the next 10-12 years.
Steven Spurrier - “Eileen Hardy Chardonnay is, in my view, the Grange of Australian white wines”.
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A stunning bouquet offering a profusion of aromatics ranging from vanilla, lemon zest, Seville orange marmalade, wet limestone to maritime salinity and finishing with freshly grated, spicy ginger. The wine has put on some weight with a lovely silky textural feel, but far from viscous. Harmonious and exquisitely judged to be succinct. Flavours are more difficult to pin down at this stage, but one thing is certain, it’s effortless and washes across my palate with consummate ease. I love the spice, salinity – very maritime which changes with more aeration. Fascinating is the wine's development in the glass. As I mentioned in my previous notes - This would shame many white Burgundies at double the price. This is simply a beautiful Chardonnay which offers more potential for those with patience. Just magnificent and for me, the best Chardonnay in our portfolio. The value is unbelievable. I recommend drinking this superb wine from now to 2028. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware” Tasted 9 May, 2019
* Special 6-pack price - equivalent to £24.20 per bottle *
94 Points – James Halliday
Deep crimson-purple; competes with its sister Bay of Fires Pinot, and has a similar throbbing power behind the deep colour of its robes. It is still impossibly young and trenchantly demands time for its texture to open up and its spicy black cherry/plum to supply the mouthfeel.
16.5+ Points – Julia Harding MW (JancisRobinson.com)
Mid cherry red, the fruit aroma not too sweet, with more dark-red fruit and raspberry character. Peppery and scented and even very slightly floral. Delicate and peppery on the palate too. Fine, dry, elegant texture. This was a great match at lunch with the duck pastrami.
97 Points – James Halliday "100% McLaren Vale from 106yo vines in Upper Tintara and from McLaren Flat. Open-fermented with pneumatic pigeage/punch down, 3 days cold soak, 14 days on skins. The vivid, deep crimson-purple hue tells of an intense mix of blackberry and blackcurrant flavours, with breathtaking texture, the ultimate fist in an iron glove. A 25-year life span is extremely conservative."
97 Points – James Halliday "Shiraz from 100+yo vines, wild yeast open-fermented, matured in 70% new French oak. It proclaims its extreme class from the first whiff of blackberry, plum and licorice, but equally quickly disavows what might be characterised as a McLaren Vale cliche: overt dark chocolate. Instead spicy, savoury, beautifully structured tannins (and quality oak) add both textural and flavour complexity - all this with perfect line, length and balance."
Top Rated Shiraz at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards
Decanter World Wine Awards: Platinum 2018
98 Points - James Halliday "From two old vineyards in McLaren Vale with an average age of over 80yo, wild yeast open-fermented, plunged, basket-pressed. Deeply coloured, this plum, blackberry and dark chocolate wine has countless layers of tightly wound fruit, the gently savoury finish providing flavour and texture balance beyond compare. Oak? Yes, it's there somewhere."
95 Points - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front) "It’s much like last year’s release with just a bit more weight. It’s a better wine as a result. This is a powerful, sturdy red, built Tonka Tuff, with blackcurrant, black olive and bay/gum leaf notes rumbling throughout. In flavour terms it’s almost into gravel territory, and indeed almost into coffee grounds/bitter chocolate. Ropes of muscular tannin pull assuredly through the fruit,. This will be a 25 year+ wine. It is excellent."
95 Points - James Halliday "There is definite synergy in the blend, even it if it's the Yarra Valley that provides most of the flavour and the glue; grapefruit is in the driving seats, but there's a special texture to the mouthfeel, part fruit, part oak-derived."
95 Points - James Halliday "D654 McLaren Vale Clare Valley Frankland River. Open-fermented, basket-pressed. McLaren Vale dark chocolate and black fruit richness, the Clare Valley providing some mint and fine, firm tannins, Frankland the pepper, violets and soft black fruit finish. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole, brought together and bonded on the full-bodied palate by persistent, ripe tannins that also add texture."