James Halliday "Fruit from Greenock and Stone Well, 100% whole-berry fermented, aged on lees in older oak for 15 months. There's a smoothness about this wine which will win friends easily - it just slips down. Aromas and flavours are in the typically dark-fruited Barossa spectrum, and whilst not overly ripe there is a sense of sweetness on the palate. The tannin quietly plays its part."
The surly muse reflects the technique of ageing 'surlie' (on lees) for an extended period, giving palate texture and phenolics. Combing the rich texture of Marsanne with the heady aromatics of Viognier gives a white blend with incredible texture, intensity and simply superb mouthfeel. Rich gold in colour with bright straw coloured highlights. The nose displays aromas of apricots, honeysuckle, wild fennel and grapefruit. The palate is rich but balanced, with succulent tropical flavours that are matched with fresh acidity, a broad texture and a taught band of minerality. Given the searing quality here, this is simply a steal…
97 Points - James Halliday "Hand-picked in two parcels from the original ancient vine plantings (1857), fermented and aged on skins in a ceramic egg until Oct '17. The second parcel was 100% whole-bunch fermented and matured in used puncheons. You might guess a $100+ price. This is a really attractive varietally pure wine, with very good colour and structure."
James Halliday "A field blend from a vineyard planted in 1858. Wild yeast, whole bunches included, aged in neutral French oak for 15 months. The ancient vines have produced a wine of great finesse. Cherry-like aromas and flavours with a seasoning of Mediterranean herbs and a faintly smoky note. Silky and seamless on the palate with finely tuned tannin, it's all impeccably balanced."
95 Points - James Halliday "Fruit from these 70+-yo old vines has produced - or contributed to - some fine Eden Valley rieslings over the years, in different guises. This release is in the classic mould, alive with all manner of citrus; zest and juice, blossom and curd. Floral and mineral notes are in the mix as well, with the sweet fruit and tang of acidity running long on the palate."
It took us a while to get this one right, when we were first experimenting with Petite Sirah the tannins were so pronounced that tasters actually started howling as it crossed their palate. We later planted other naturally tannic varietals Tannat and Saperavi, softening the tannins so the only howl we hear now is one of enjoyment. Taken from Dadd’s Block on the high side – sandy loam with long sunlight hours and low rainfall. The best of these varieties is selected each year, either on their own or as a blend.
Best Chardonnay at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards
98 Points - James Halliday "Hand-picked from specific rows, whole-bunch pressed to French oak for wild fermentation, and 9 months maturation prior to bottling. Rigorous selection of five barrels. Pale straw-green; this is remarkable as is the vibrant freshness and poise of the palate, the flavours running from pink grapefruit to white peach, the length admirable."
97-98 Stuart McCloskey “A powerful nose of lemon oil, white flowers, sweet pastry, leading to lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and wet stones. The palate is medium-bodied, crystalline and delivers finesse over power. Currently, a wine filled with tension which runs to its core. That said, and with the benefit of time in the bottle and glass, spicy, citrus and stone fruits unfold with more aeration. Even a tinge of heat coming from fresh ginger. Complexity is the greatest component with a ten-year cellaring journey ahead which will be fascinating to follow. It’s great to see a Margaret River Chardonnay which isn’t afraid to be expressive from the get-go. I would cellar for 3-5 years for that real “wow” factor. Sensuous, zesty and a finish which is everlasting. Brilliant winemaking…Served at warehouse temperature and using Zalto’s Bordeaux glassware. PS: Impatience has gotten the better of me as this wine arrived only thirty-minutes ago. In hindsight, I would decant for 20-30 minutes. I’ll resample in a few weeks which is not too much of a hardship.”