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."
95 Points - James Halliday's Wine Companion "From the Zerk vineyard at Lyndoch. An almost ethereal bouquet, displaying aromas of raspberry, rose perfume and sweet vanillin spice. Rich and easy drinking (in a positive way) on first impression, there's depth and dimension to the flavour and texture which builds in the mouth and develops further as the wine breathes. High quality for now or later."
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Dark and deep colour as usual from Wild Duck Creek. The perfume is expressive and bursting with blackberry liqueur, blackcurrants, pen ink, cedar and a wonderful lift from fresh bay leaf and sage. The mirroring flavours (along with the addition of liquorice) coat the palate wonderfully. The tannins are silky smooth – almost suede like in their plushness. Stylistically, I would declare the wine to be generous in style, but the generosity comes from the exquisite, ripe fruit. It is far from an OTT wine. Ripe, balanced, and a real ripper of an Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon. Sampled using Zalto Burgundy glassware, which is unorthodox but spontaneous as I’m supposed to be tasting Pinot Noirs. I might stick with this instead as it evolves in my glass beautifully. Decant for 2+ hours or cellar and enjoy over the next 5-10 years."
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 " 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."
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++ - 97 Points - Stuart McCloskey "The blend changes with each passing vintage. The ’14 includes Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Tanat, Shiraz and Viognier. The perfume is brooding and laced with fauna and flora complimented with ribbons of dark, ripe red fruits (Very much reminds me of red fruits found in high quality, bitter chocolate). The palate is incredibly fine, the tannins silken, the structural element wonderfully feminine. All-in-all, exquisitely balanced, refined and full of charm. The rose hip / petal, wild mint and liquorice combination is a joy to taste. Profound it is not, but I am truly smitten by its overall charisma. This would be wonderful if paired with rare loin of venison served with a sweet berry and juniper sauce. En pointe now and will keep for a few more years, but this is one to be enjoyed sooner rather than later… We sampled using Zalto’s Universal glassware."
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.