95 Points - Campbell Mattinson, The Winefront "This is swish. Straw-yellow in colour, stone fruit riddled, shy on the nose but textural and alive on the palate. A gentle creaminess, spice notes, slate even, honeysuckle and toast. Extremely pure. Flowing robes of flavour. Grapefruit-like bite to the aftertaste, as a distinct positive. It’s still gathering itself but already it’s a treat to drink. A beautiful, beautiful wine."
Top Rated Pinot Noir at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "Franco’s 1er Pinot Noir always comes from a block from his top paddock vineyard called 'SRM'. This block faces West but runs down to the South. This is the only block which sees the inclusion of around 20-25% whole bunches in the ferment. There’s a heavenly, very pure bouquet – crushed wild strawberries intermixed with a melange of red berry fruits, anise, a tartness coming from cranberry scents and a lift from aromatic violets and rose petal. Everything is pulled together with a lovely minerality bordering salinity. The palate is medium-bodied and tensile. Wonderful judgment between the fruit, filigree tannins and perfectly pitched acidity. As with the nose, the purity is breathtaking. There’s a captivating sense of weightlessness – Feminine and highly intellectual. The never-ending finish of blood orange sorbet is a joy. Franco should seriously consider a rebrand from 1er to Grand Cru as this is special. Drinking now to 2025 and would benefit from a further 1-2 years in the bottle. Decanted for one hour and served using Zalto’s Burgundy glassware."
97 Points - James Halliday "This is the standard-bearer for Hoddles Creek's estate-grown pinot noirs. Bright crimson-purple hue of moderate depth; the perfumed bouquet has spice, hints of violets (unexpected so soon, but don't complain), cherry and plum, a gathering replayed on the stage of the palate which is wonderfully long."
97 Points - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "Struck match, lime, grapefruit, almonds, chicken stock, flickers of cool green. Fine and composed, surges through the mouth, grips on tight, and doesn’t let go. So long. Flint, chalk, crunch, texture, subtle bitterness. It’s all here. It’s very Adult Chardonnay. Racy. A nudge and wink to those in-the-know. Outstanding."
96 Points - James Halliday "Bright straw-green; the complex bouquet has a positive touch of funk, as does the palate, but it's here that all the parts of the wine are fused together. The seamless flow of white peach, melon and grapefruit is given context by delicate cashew oak and fine acidity."
Top Rated Pinot Noir at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards
97 Points - Wine Companion "From a single close-planted block. It's fragrant, pretty, powerful and statuesque at once. The quality here is considerable. Deep with plum, boysenberry, mint and red cherry fruit flavour, though crackles of spice, wood smoke and mineral all make important contributions. Tannin, what beautiful tannin. We're into the upper echelons of quality here."
95+ Points - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
"A single vineyard wine, close planted to Pommard and MV6 clones.
I liked it from first sniff. Cherry, spice, subtle biscuit oak, a distinct sweet earth/mineral thing happening, and some dried herbs and flowers. Medium-bodied, good amount of flavour, particularly impressive tannin – fine, thick and graphite – pulls the ripcord of juicy acidity on the long finish. Complex. Composed. Cracking. My kind of Pinot Noir. Tasted May '19"
93+ Points - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "Juicy and peachy, spiced oatmeal, fennel and a little stuck match. It’s flavoursome with ripe pear and nectarine flavour, flinty texture, an appealing grapefruit cut to the acidity, and a long, well-defined chalky finish. Feel the quality of quiet confidence. It’s a great thing to drink even as a young wine, though a couple of years will help it along too."
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."