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."
98 Points - James Suckling
Quite the bottle here! Spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as dried meat and plums with cedar and sandalwood. Full body. Deep and dense in the center palate and a long, long finish. Shows finesse and tightness. Very polished tannins. Long and ethereal. Try after 2023.
98+ Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
Composed of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, yields for the grand vin in 2017 were 43 hectoliters per hectare, and it was aged in 60% new oak. It came in at an alcohol of 13% and an IPT of 68. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cos d'Estournel needs a little coaxing to unfurl, revealing beautiful expressions of preserved plums, boysenberries, blackcurrant pastilles and wild blueberries with hints of Indian spices, menthol, lilacs and mossy tree bark plus a compelling suggestion of iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a solid backbone of firm, grainy tannins and well-knit freshness supporting the tightly wound blue and black fruits layers, finishing long and fragrant. This wine will need a good 5-7 years in bottle before it begins to blossom and should go on for at least another 40 years. I expect this wine to be a blockbuster of a head-turner when I come back and taste it at 10 years of age!
93 Points - James Suckling
98 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
95 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Léoville Barton charges out of the gate with bold notions of baked plums, crème de cassis and blueberry preserves plus wafts of pencil shavings, fragrant earth and cedar chest. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black fruit preserves with compelling herbal sparks and a firm, grainy texture, finishing long and lively.
95 Points - James Suckling
The purity of cabernet sauvignon really comes through here with currants, blackberries and stones. Perfumed, too. Medium to full body. Very fine, polished tannins and a fresh, fruity finish. This shows a compact palate with a polished, creamy finish. Much higher percentage of cabernet than is usual. Drink after 2023.
92 Points - James Suckling
Really refined tannins with a creamy, mouth-filling texture. Full to medium body. Juicy fruit with a lovely finish. So enjoyable now. Why wait?
93 Points - James Suckling
Fascinating aromas of white pepper, dark berries, dark chocolate and dried flowers. Medium-bodied, tight and tannic, yet the tannins are fine and angular. Bright acidity. Shows drive and focus. Extremely well done. Better after 2022.
96 Points - James Suckling
Lots of blueberry, hot-stone, slate and walnut aromas. Terracotta, too. Iodine. Full-bodied, round and dense with layers of fine tannins. Lovely depth and intensity. Extremely long and focused. Needs three or four years of bottle age just to start. Try after 2024.
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...