Nick Glaetzer's incredible 2014 La Judith Shiraz smells something like pfeffernüsse and cherry preserves, offering layered aromas of cracked pepper, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and red fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, feeling bigger and more expansive than its modest 13.7% alcohol, while being rich, silky and long. The oak, entirely new, has been nicely absorbed into the wine, contributing spice and texture without getting in the way of the fruit. It's a tour de force of Tasmanian Shiraz, albeit one produced in micro quantities of 232 bottles. If Mon Père is Saint-Joseph, this is Hermitage.
With only 251 bottles produced, this tasting note will be largely academic, but the 2014 La Judith Pinot Noir is as profound an Australian Pinot Noir as I've tasted. After around three years in new oak, it's seamless and supple, with notes of rose petals, caramelized cherries, cinnamon and tea leaves that swirl endlessly on the palate. Add in notions of dried leaves, clean compost and autumn rain, and it's a wine that can transport you through the seasons, from spring through summer and into fall.
Price tag made the eyes pop last year. Quality this year takes centre stage. Sure there’s plenty of spicy-sweet oak here but the fruit is both intense and complex, tannin strikes a firm blow, the finish boasts a final flourish and every step is full of conviction. This wine is a quality statement if ever there was one. Stewed plums, raspberry, violets, undergrowth, a sweet array of roasted nuts and spices, tips of mint, washes of woodsmoke and cedarwood. It’s compelling now, but its best days are well ahead of it.
Made by a scion of a prominent Barossan winemaking family, it perhaps should be no surprise that the 2016 Mon Pere Shiraz is a top Tasmanian example. Prominent cracked pepper notes accent ripe cherry fruit in this medium-bodied wine that combines the weight and feel of Old World Syrah with the bold fruit and expressiveness of the New World. Perhaps most akin to a top Saint-Joseph, it's the sort of Shiraz that is winning new converts to the variety.
It's a testament to the power of the fruit that the 2015 Reveur Pinot Noir spent 19 months in 40% new French oak and yet emerged with such profound purity and freshness. Hints of tea and roses add complexity to ripe cherries and clean compost, which infuse the palate from front to back in richly textured layers of flavor. It's medium to full-bodied, with plenty of tannin, yet it remains approachable and should drink well through at least 2024.
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey