97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A blend of 44% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and the curious addition of 23% Nebbiolo, which I originally thought would provide a less than exciting drinking experience. However, I was completely wide of the mark as it’s bloody marvellous and packed to the rafters with fresh, juicy fruit. I sampled the ’18 over two days and directly from the bottle – both occasions providing a fabulous experience. The nose reveals cassis, blackcurrant, dark plum, violet, blood orange and leather. The palate is complex, layered and follows the same synergy as the bouquet. The fruit is ripe and wrapped with lithe tannins. The acidity being judicious and the oak regime (10 months of which 25% is new) provides a fresh bite of structure. I love the suede-like texture; it’s so evocative and inviting. There’s intensity and abundant flavour without the slightest sign of heaviness or any notion of being a cumbersome hodgepodge. It’s surprisingly approachable now, and with a quick hour or two in the decanter will provide a thoroughly satisfying experience. Unquestionably, worth every penny. Drinking now to 2030. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96–97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The nose is more classical – herbal, rusty metal, cranberry, warm earth, leather and tea. The flavour profile is expansive and impeccably pure. Less flamboyant compared to the Hexham but the open-knit complexity is a delight. Finely tuned with a delicacy and a gentleness which I really enjoy. I am intrigued to see how this develops over the coming 5 years. Ambitious yet sensitive winemaking. Unforced and natural. Admirable length and will offer immediate pleasure”.
96-97 Points – Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Franco’s wines are famous for their quality and longevity. The 2019 Estate Pinot Noir is showing incredibly well for such a young wine. The perfume offers a superb medley of fruit, spiced beetroot, pencil lead and violets. The palate follows suit with the addition of minerals. The length is impressive, especially when considering its modest price tag. There is no compromise on quality and the wine intensifies with decanting, revealing wonderful complexity. This must be one of the best buys under £20, but please treat it like any serious wine and decant. Sampled using Zalto Burgundy glassware on opening and again on the following day, when it showed even better."
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is a beautiful wine to drink. Seamless, the fruit is ripe and plush, the tannins pillowy with some lift from a judicious line of acidy. I will say that the tannins and acidity provide wonderful shape and support. All-in-all, everything is perfect for a wine of this quality. It reminds me of putting on a cashmere jumper… The fruit leads with raspberry which provides yin & yang of sweetness and acidity. The texture is striking simply due to the silkiness. I detect a sprinkling of dried herbs and earth. Long and balanced to perfection. Drinking fabulously now and will continue to do so until 2025. Decant for an hour or two. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”
Winemaker “Although massively structured, the best examples show remarkable elegance, typical aromas of sour cherries and tar and almost never ending cellaring potential.
Our Nebbiolo shows aromas of tar, rose hips, sour cherries, dark cherries, liquorice and heaps of flint. This can’t be anything else but Nebbiolo! Juicy and fresh on the palate yet with a strong backbone and succulent smooth tannins. Cherries, currants and cranberries are accompanied by liquorice, black pepper and hint of earthiness. Long and tight finish. Wine with considerable ageing potential.”
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A subregional blend, produced in tiny quantities and will bring a huge smile to those seeking a wine which delivers on flavour (which it does in bucket loads) and drinkability. The aromatics are explosive and take no coaxing. Warm earth, camphor, tobacco, cedar, ink and coal blend perfectly with a heady mix of dark berries and plums. The palate opens to a rush of sweet fruit which provides a wonderfully sensual gloss and mouthfeel. The tannins support but are supple. The sense of symmetry is deeply impressive which is a nod to a great winemaker. The wine builds and builds in the mouth… I would categorise the wine as sensual, structured and showing some masculinity. Black fruits, tobacco and smoke lead to a very long finish. Excellent and a real charmer with grip. Decant for 2-3 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “How daft of me to sample the most junior wine after the magnificence that is Subterra. Another way of looking at it is – is there breadth and depth to Gemtree’s entire portfolio? In short, the answer is affirmative as this is a joyous beauty strutting with confidence, despite its respectable price tag. The nose offers some warmth from clove and sweet spices. Brooding and actually proving more adult than I expected. The palate is washed with sweet, ripe fruit. Interestingly, this wine lacks the ‘coolness’ of its big brothers, but it misses nothing for it. This is a really joyous slap and tickle of delicious quaffable Shiraz (I have omitted using our Aussie friends’ description, ‘smash-able’). It’s drenched with plums, blueberries, blackberries, mint, vanilla, coconut, kirsch and olive all wrapped in a gentle hug of tannin. The length is super-impressive. In fact (and a little secret) I have a few wines at 25 quid which are not as good! Decant for a few hours and serve using Zalto Bordeaux glassware (this will make all the difference). Drink now to 2025+.”
Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - I always get mesmerised when I see a flock of birds floating and drifting in the wind. It brings a sense of freedom and joy to me. I knew the bluebird is the symbol of happiness so I had a concept for the label – I just needed the wine!
So with this idea floating about in my head, I set out to make a great drink that brings a true sense of delight. I found an east facing vineyard in the shallow soils of the Adelaide Hills that just gets the morning sun – no baked flavours here. I got rid of the stalks and just fermented this as whole berries. Just before coffee in the morning and after a cold beer in the afternoon I quickly give it a plunge by hand, nothing too serious or strenuous. It’s bottled early to catch the brightness I’m looking for, meaning it’s dangerously drinkable whenever you need a pick me up.
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (67%) with Carménère taking up the remainder of the blend. The small addition of new oak aligned with the blend reminds me of a young Bordeaux. The wine opens with beautifully expressive notes of black cherries, blackberries, touches of redcurrants, a little menthol, dark, bitter chocolate and cloves. Despite its age, the mid palate provides richness and heaps of sweet black and red fruits, all tinged with dried herbs (sage). The palate is vivid with perfectly balanced fine, pillowy tannins. I detect a little graphite and tobacco infused black fruit on the long finish. This is really going to blossom over the next 5-10 years. This one comes highly recommended. Decant for 1-2 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Winemaker " Concentrated dark fruits fill the palate with hints of chocolate, supported by very fine elegant tannins that lead to a long and seamless finish. Full bodied, rich & classy.
Above average rainfall during winter, followed by a cooler than average spring, ensured adequate soil moisture for healthy canopy development. The cooler unseasonal conditions prevailed during January and February delaying veraison. Autumn saw the start of an Indian summer which continued well into April, resulting in perfect ripening conditions on the Valley floor for gradual development of flavour, with very fine grained tannins and excellent retention of natural acidity. The 2017 Elderton Estate Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon is a fresh and very pure fruit driven wine with an underlying elegance, depictive of a cooler Barossa vintage."