Australian wine is back! Trip Report 2019 

The Land of the kangaroos, insects, snakes, spiders, beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, and some of the most amazing cities in the world; Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. Yet I was not in Australia for any of the above. I was in Australia, to discover the wine scene, and over a 2 week period, I tasted over 150 wines. What did I think? Worried, very worried, why? Because I don’t think the wine world is ready for you, Australia is back, and back in a big way. If you are not drinking Australian wine, you need to read on. 

 

30+ years ago, Australia was known for its for its sweet and cheap wine. However this had significantly changed. Australia is home to some of the most interesting terroir on the planet. When you have access to the some of the best terroir on the planet, you just need a few passionate wine makers, and, well you can guess what happens next. I was lucky to spend the last the 2 weeks with some amazing and passionate owners, wine makers and brand ambassadors within the Australian wine industry. I was shocked at what I discovered.

Before arriving in Australia, I was expecting to be disappointed, disappointed with the quality, the lack of attention, the focus on producing large amounts of wine, and less on the terroir, the grapes, the vine. I found quite the opposite. I think I spent more time in the vineyards than in the tasting room. Everyone who I met was proud to show off their vineyard, and not their tasting room. Take note certain regions ;)

So I have come away from Australia, with a new learning, and understanding about Australian wine. I arrived, expecting Shiraz to dominate, all Shiraz to taste big, bold, fruity and spicy. Do not get me wrong, I did find this style of wine. However I was happily surprised, to find another, more soft and elegant style of Shiraz. Shiraz varied in styles from Barossa, Eden Valley and from Coonawarra to Victoria. I also found fantastic cool climate Shiraz, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir’s. Cabernet Sauvignons are both fruit driven yet elegant. Riesling are very unique in Australia, bone dry, crisp with fantastic acidity. You will not find this style anywhere else in the world today. I believe that Australia is building a certain unique style of different grape varieties. I was also happy to see that producers kept experimenting to a minimal, no crazy blends or growing grapes varieties where they clearly should not be grown. 

All the wineries that I visited continuously talked about improvements, and the future. They are continually wanting to learn the land, the soil, the different clones and how different planting techniques produce a different final product. The young winemakers I met, had travelled across the world to learn from the best, and were determined to produce wine at an extremely high level. Clone selection, soil type, well balanced oak integration, along with cultivation techniques were critical, to improve their already world class wines. 

 

My tasting approach involved both vineyard tastings, as well as independent tastings. The styles of these wines varied significantly across the country and so being able to taste the same variety from different regions, taught me how to differentiate a shiraz from Barossa to the Grampians. 

 

In terms of the vineyards visited, I visited Henschke, Torbreck, Penfolds, Wynns, By Farr and Bindi. Along with my own independent tastings, allowed me to taste over 150 wines. 

 

Henschke, from Eden Valley, mainly produces fantastic cool climate Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Bordeaux blends along with Chardonnays. I was impressed with their small scale, simple approach to wine making which is now in it’s 6th generation. This is very much a family run winery with a vision on quality. Their Cyril Henschke 2013 (96 points), Cabernet Blend and their Mount Edelstone 2013 (95 points),100% Shiraz were their highest scoring, and standout wines. These wines showed wonderful elegance and class, with a simple purity of fruit, along with great acidity, found in the Eden Vally. I also, particularly enjoyed their Julius Riesling 2017 (94 points), zesty, full on, grapefruit and lime juice filled the palate. If you can hold on to one of these bottles long enough(10+ years), you will be able to enjoy wonderful marmalade flavours, or so I was told. Most of the wines produced at Henschke, are estate grown, with sustainable methods practiced. Henschke is the benchmark of Eden Valley.

Torbreck from Barossa, produces some very powerful, big and traditional Barossa Shiraz and Grenache wines. These wonderful wines came across a certain elegance I was not expecting, along with a wonderful purity of fruit. The big stand out for me was the ‘Les Amis 2015’ a 100% Grenache aged for 24 months in French oak (96 points). This was one of the wines of my trip, and definitely the best Grenache in Australia. The purity of the sweet fruit, along with perfect balance and sweet spices on the finish, left me lost for words. Really impressive stuff. 

With Penfolds, their wines are consistently some of the best produced wines in Australia. Grange 2014 (95-98), is just a monster of a wine, to even consider opening this, at this stage in its life would be criminal. This needs around 10-15 years, before this beauty opens up. I am a huge fan of St-Henri, the 2015 vintage (96 points) is just spectacular, with fantastic purity of sweet dark black and blue fruits, with waves of velvety tannins, that go on forever. On the white front, the Chardonnay of Yattarnara (95 points) is just so well balanced with great acidity and a round full finish. The wine maker Peter Gago and his team do a fanatic job to complement the purity of the fruit with the seamless integration of oak to produce this world class Chardonnay. 

Wynn’s tasting was a real eye opener, and one of my biggest surprises in Australia. I was lucky enough to be guided around by Chief winemaker Sue Hodder. Sue, has been working at Wynn’s for over 20 years, in terms of knowledge, of this wonderful terroir, I could not have had a better guide than Sue. Driving around the vineyards of Wynn, I instantly knew this was a very special terroir. Coonawarra, known for its Terra Rossa soil, produces very soft and elegant Cabernet Sauvignons and Shiraz. This Terra Rossa soil is by far one of the most unique soils in the world. Sue was explaining to me the specifics of the soil, with the reddish, silty clayey soil on top of a limestone base. This soil composition changes the drainage aspects as well as how deep the roots grow, and hence produces these excellent balanced wines. What I appreciated about these wines was the soft but firm structure, and how the terroir was easily noted in the bottle. The highlights of this estate was the Wynns Shiraz Michael 2013 (97 points), this Shiraz, was not big and bold, yet soft and elegant with wonderfully silky tannins, bright fruits, cacao and soft spice, amazing length. My wine of the trip! The Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label 2016 (95 points), is a gem for the price. Fresh black fruit, sweet spices, grippy tannins and bright acidity led to a very well structured finish. Wynns wines produce some of the most unique wines in Australia, and worth going out of your way to find. 

By Farr winery from Geeoling, Victoria, produces some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Australia, if not the world. I was lucky and privileged enough to taste with Nick Farr, the second generation of the By Farr winery. This was going back to school for me, Nick is one of the most knowledgable young winemakers I have come across in the wine industry. Having worked at Dujac, Cristom and Au Bon Climate, he knows his stuff. What is unique for By Farr, is the terroir, the clone selection, and how the wines tends to use a lot of whole bunch fermentation, along with slightly high oak use. You would expect therefore to taste, big, powerful wines. The wines though, are extremely structured, delicate with excellent balance and infinite length. The standout wines, was the By Farr Chardonnay GC 2017 (97 points), which showed crisp minerality, creaminess and fantastic energy, the structure of this wine is just mind blowing. The Pinot Noir Sangreal 2017 (97 points), was also a highlight, with fresh acidity, bright fruits, refined tannins and an endless length, this is at a 1er Cru Burgundy level. I was left in ore from By Farr, Nick’s wines will be showcased as some of the best made Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays on the market. Beg, borrow or steal these wines cannot be missed.  

My Final stop was Bindi, Another talented winemaker, Michael Bindi produces Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay using significantly different techniques that Nick, even though the two live only about 1 hour apart. The altitude and climate meant these wines needed to be crafted significantly differently. With a maximum of 5% whole bunch fermentation for the Pinot and a creamy finish, these wines showed a different style of Australian Pinot. I love it! Two producers, one hour of driving, two completely different unique styles. The creamy finish on these Pinots got me intrigued, Michael put it down to the fruit and the soil. The vineyards are planted on an old volcanic lava bed and with the perfectly balanced fruit allowed for this style of Pinot. The Bindi Kaye 2016 (96 points), showed multiple layers of fresh fruit, herbs even a balsamic side with a full, rich palate and an elegant finish. Also, the Bindi Block 5 2018 (94-96 points), is a serious Pinot, it makes you take a step back, wild flowers, a little spice, quite savoury, this is nearly like a light shiraz like is texture. With such a unique terroir, Michael produces some phenomenal Chardonnays and Pinots, which cannot be missed. 

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, I was expecting to be more disappointed than impressed by Australia. Taste a lot of similar styles of wines, with a region of winemakers from bought fruit. Similar styles, big and bold Shiraz, with Chardonnays and Pinots well made but not unique. I tried over 150 wines, and I am leaving Australia speechless. I have never been this continuously impressed than I have been by Australia. Australia, have some of the most interesting terroir and climate in the new world and they know it. The wines being produced, are being produced at a very high class level, from both small family run wineries, to some some of the largest producers. A word of warning though, Australia does still produce cheaper wines for both the domestic and international market. So I can only recommend the wines which I have noted in this report. I did try other wines, however if wines did not meet a 89 point grade, I did not include them. 

 

Australia is one of the largest wine producing countries in the world. I now feel the time for Australian wine is now. The quality is improving significantly and instead of trying to replicate other styles of wine around the world, they are creating their own unique style. I cannot be more excited for the future of Australian wine making, and hope that you will be able to try some of the wines which I have tried below. 

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz Michael 2013

97 points

This is just pure class, bright red and black fruits, strawberries, blackberries and cherries with a follow through of soft cacao, light spice and velvety silky tannins with a pure and elegant length which lasts and lasts forever. 100% Shiraz, aged in new and seasoned french oak for 15 months. Wow!

By Farr Chardonnay GC 2017

97 points

Wonderful minerality, along with rich and creamy texture, soft stone fruits and pears along with lemon meringue, this has fantastic energy and more. Wow! A serious yet soft chardonnay, best to wait 5 years then drink over the next 10 years. GC = Gary Charles vineyard, high density, exposed site. 35% new french oak,

By Farr Pinot Noir Sangreal 2017

97 points

A complete Pinot, floral notes and red fruits on the nose, this lead to a smooth palate of fresh cherries, with refined tannins and fresh acidity, the length was wonderfully long. Drink in 3-4 years and then the following 10. My Favourite Sangreal out of 16,17 or 18.

By Farr Pinot Noir Sangreal 2016

96 points

Plush red fruits, fantastic acidity with this excellent length, little herbal notes, this is more about the fruit compared to other By Farr wines and vintages (2017,2018). This is more Burgundy than New world style with fantastic whole bunch, oak integration. Might have guessed a Burgundy.Excellent. Will age this for 5-10 years.

By Farr Pinot Noir Sangreal 2018

95-97 points

Bright red fruit, Very perfumed, very floral, elegant. Barrel sample. Planted on red soil,75% whole bunch fermentation .95-97, time needed 

Torbreck Grenache Les Amis 2015

96 points

Best Grenache tried in Australia. This is just class all the way. Full of fresh black cherry, sweet red plums, along with notes of tobacco, sweet spices, cedar and a whiff of smoke. This has a soft palate, with highly refined and a precise tannin structure. The length is refined and elegant all the way. Only 150 cases made, so beg borrow or steal at least a bottle of this, I know I did! 100% Grenache, grown in the Greenock district in Barossa from the Slade Vineyard. The vines are dry grown and hand harvested. Upon which they spend 8 days in cement vats, before spending 24 months in french oak. Drink now over the next 20 years! 96-97

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon John Riddoch 2015

96 points

This has everything that the black label has, but just that little but extra, more structure, more structured tannins, more balanced, longer finish, a little more oak (~40% vs. ~30%), however everything in the correct proportion. I would wait 5 years but then drink over the next 20.

Henschke Cyril Henschke 2013

96 points

Wow! This wine is a unique style of Cabernet between a Bordeaux and a Napa blend. This has wonderful elegance yet shows a great fruit purity flavours. I found notes of Blackberry, Cassis, blueberry, along with floral violets, cracked black pepper and a whiff of tobacco. The tannins are beautifully polished along with great acidity, this will show its best in over 5 years and continue to improve to 15+ years. The balance here is close to perfect and the oak integration is just right. Blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, matured in 42% new and 58% seasoned french barrels.

Penfolds Shiraz St. Henri 2015

96 points

There is a wonderful elegance to this wine, full of plush and fresh black fruit, blackberry, dark black cherries along with cracked black pepper, a little meaty and mint, soft refined polished tannins which led to a smooth long elegant finish. Multi-regional blend, South Australia. Sourced from McLaren Vale, Robe, The Peninsulas, Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully, Adelaide Hills and Mt Benson. Aged in 12 month 50+ Large oak vats, This wine sees no fresh or seasoned oak.Drink now over the next 2 decades

Penfolds Grange 2014

95-98 points

So here we go. 95 points. Wow what a wine, this is very much a serious, intense, in your face, don't relax whilst drinking style of wine. Trying this wine was a really privilege. However this is painfully so very painfully young. This was even double decanted! This is a velvety layer cake with primary fruits of blackberry, sweet blueberries, vanilla, cacao, sweet spices, restrained tannins which express so much desire to open. The finish is super structures and the potential is just out of this world. However one must wait. wait and wait a little more. Do not even touch for 10 years to ensure this beauty fully integrates. Then enjoy over the next 3 decades. Blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Barossa, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate aged in 100% new American Oak for 20 months. This was like tasting a barrel sample 95-98+

Bindi Pinot Noir Kaye 2016

96 points

Everything that the 2014+, more complexity, more roundness with a fuller palate yet a long elegant finish. Very flamboyant, however wait another 6 years before fully enjoying this.

Tyrrell's Sémillon Vat 1 2011

96 points

At close to 8 years old this is still a stunner. Acidity cuts straights down the middle, great acidity minerality, with lemon zest, green apple, however spring flowers are as well more than present. There is fantastic precision to this wine which I love and it has the ability to age another 10 years easily. Is this the best white wine in Australia?

Bindi Pinot Noir Kaye 2014

95 points

Wonderful dark colour in the glass, multiple layers of fresh bright fruit, fresh herbs, a balsamic side even, velvety texture with a length with perfect precision, round texture on the palate also. Structure/balance was just perfect with this wine.

Bindi Pinot Noir Block 5 2018

94-96 points

This is full of fresh ripe fruit, powerful with a creamy intriguing finish. Lots of wild flowers, a little spice and cracked black pepper, this is nearly shiraz like. This is one serious Pinot which makes you take a step back. Wow!Barrel Sample. 94-96. 15-17 months in french oak, 35% new.

Torbreck RunRig 2015

95 points

Produced from wines of 108-168 years old, this wine is multi layered with plush red fruit, black fruit along with velvety chocolate, 5 Chinese spice and cinnamon, along with smooth soft tannins. This is just signing and is very early in to its life. Try from 2020-2035. Cote Rotie style of wine, with a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Viognier, aged in 30 months of new and used oak.

Penfolds Shiraz RWT 2016

95 points

Rich, full and Serious Shiraz. Full of rich sweet dark red fruits, fresh herbs, cinnamon, nutmeg, cacao, 5 spices. Grainy cedar tannins stained the palate. This is too young now to fully appreciate, wait 5+ years, then enjoy over the next decade. RWT stands for Red Wine Trial, incase someone wondered. Sourced from Barossa Valley, 12 months in french oak (72% new)

Penfolds Chardonnay Yattarna 2016

95 points

White Peach, nectarine, Meyer lemons, lemon meringue pie along with a nutty profile and great acidity, this is wine is painfully young, wait 10 years to fully enjoy this masterpiece. Multi-regional blend. From Tasmania, Henty, Adelaide Hills and Tumbarumba aged in french oak barrels (35% new) for 8 months.

By Farr Chardonnay 2017

95 points

Great Acidity, roundness, minerality with soft stone and citrus fruits, this is like a Chablis having a friendly conversation with a Meursault. Phenomenal length and precision. Barrel Sample. 30% New french oak for 11 months.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label 2016

95 points

Wow! Blown away by this wine. 95 for this price is unheard of. This had everything, fresh blackberry, dark red cherries, sweet spices, cacao, black pepper, elegant and soft, incredible balanced velvety tannins with a smooth finish. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 16 months in french oak (30% new). Drink now over the next 15 years.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz V & A Lane 2016

95 points

Sue described this as a Pinot drinkers shiraz, could not agree more. Wonderfully light yet complex and delicate, blackberry, ripe cherry, sweet blueberry pie, nicely layered with refined tannins, spice and cracked black pepper round off this very elegant style of Shiraz. 100% Shiraz, aged in 13 months seasoned french oak. Drink now over the next 10 years.

Henschke Shiraz Mount Edelstone 2013

95 points

This is just pure class, full of blackcurrant, blackberry, sweet plums along with an intriguing mix of sage, black olives and black pepper. The finish is nicely refined and the tannins executed close to perfection. 100% Shiraz, grown in Eden Valley and matured in 81% french and 19% American new and seasoned oak. Wow! Hold for 5 years then drink over the next 15!

Penfolds Chardonnay Reserve Bin 17A 2017

95 points

Wonderful array of soft fruit, yellow apple, yellow plum, ripe peach and soft apricots, mixed white nuts, well integrated oak with notes of sweet spices and nutmeg. Finish was fresh and with good acidity and a long long finish. Sourced form Adelaide Hills, 8 months french oak (40% new)

Torbreck Descendant 2009

94 points

Very elegant and perfumed, with dried flowers, dark blackberries, cherries and blueberries all whisked together in a melody along spice and nutmeg along with a great refined tannin structure and a smooth finish. Drink now over the next 10 years. Blend of 92% Shiraz along with 8% Viognier, aged for 20 months in 2nd use french barrels previously used for RunRig.

Torbreck Shiraz The Factor 2010

94 points

Full of plush plums and dark red cherries, with a backbone of black pepper , spice, tobacco along with a light espresso. Fruit driven but with good tannin structure makes this Shiraz a home run. 100% Shiraz from different regions within Barossa Valley, then matured in french oak new and seasoned for 24 months.

Bindi Chardonnay Quartz 2018

94-96

This feels more complete compared to Kostas Rind with full ripe fruit, creamy lemon tart, more concentrated, great chalky minerality, intense and excellent precision on the finish. Barrel Sample. Additional time in barrel along with additional new oak. Similar terroir to Kostas Rind, however from the drier part. 93-96

Bindi Pinot Noir Kaye 2018

94-96 points

This is a much more complete Pinot, with wonderful floral notes, along with good red cherries, striking minerality and a creamy elegant finish Barrel Sample, fantastic soil composition on this site, with quartz rock, sandstone, a thin layer of volcanic top soil exists on this site. 5% whole bunch, 94-95

By Farr Pinot Noir "Farrside" 2017

94 points

Spicy fruit, good minerality, powerful and serious Pinot. Wait 10 years before enjoying. Grown on blacksoil this had 60% whole bunch fermentation. Aged in oak for 18 months.

Henschke Riesling Julius 2017

94 points

This is a very serious Eden Valley Riesling, the nose citrus driven with a palate full of zesty grapefruits, sharp lemon zest and concentrated lime juice, all of these fruits combined along with fantastic minerality. Great balanced acidity with the length still developing however this has a long life ahead of this. Drink this now for the lively acidity, or wait 10-12 years for the marmalade flavours to develop, either way this is one of the top Rieslings in Australia.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Messenger Vineyard 2015

94 points

I found this more savoury, with notes of Eucalyptus, lavender, green pepper, notes of blackberry were present however in the background, good grainy tannins, I would wait 5ish years before enjoying it over the next 10+. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Messenger Vineyard. Aged for 17 months in new and seasoned french oak.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Shiraz V & A Lane 2016

94 points

Plush red and black fruits on the nose, on the palate I also get a certain amount of sweet Moschino cherries and a little bubble gum as well, this is nearly Gamay in style, however there is a rich and full texture which brings you back to a more refined and elegant Cabernet, a little black pepper and black olive linger. This wine has a wonderful elegant finish, with refined structured tannin, this is ready to drink today, however can be enjoyed over the next 5-10 years. A Blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Shiraz, co-fermented and aged in new and seasoned oak for 17 months.

By Farr Pinot Noir Tout Près 2018

93-95+

Very full and complete Pinot, with ripe spicy fruit, depth and concentration, along with meaty characteristics, this will need along time in bottle to show its full potential. However this will be a superstar in 8-10 years. Barrel Sample. 100% Whole Bunch with 100% New French Oak. 93-95+

By Farr Pinot Noir Tout Près 2017

94 points

Great minerality and structure to this wine, if so just a little young, quite stalky for now, however no doubt age will help everything integrate together. There is a wonderful spice balance as well as fruit composition which keeps this wine very interesting. Wait 6-7 years before fully enjoying.

By Farr Pinot Noir RP Côte Vineyard 2018

93-95

More Burgundy in style, less on the fruits and more earthy than the other By Farr wines, there is a creaminess, a little fatty however with an elegancy that I love. Barrel sample. 50% Whole bunch with 50% new french oak for 18 months. 93-95

Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny NV

94 points

Lots of dried fruit, nuts, oranges, caramelized sugar all softly inter-welded together to create this wonderful soft Tawny with a wonderful soft and elegant and long finish. Very nice

By Farr Shiraz 2018

91-93 points

So much softer than Barossa Shiraz, oak is slowly integrating. Nice fresh soft yet elegant black, blue fruits with a rich finish. Barrel Sample. 20% Whole Bunch, 2% added Viognier, 20% new french oak for 18 months.

Pewsey Vale Vineyard Riesling The Contours Museum Reserve 2013

93 points

A lot less on the zippy citrus peel, a lot more floral, approachable grapefruit, spring flowers, still bone dry however with some wet stone notes, the finish a lot more round compared to other Eden Valley Rieslings. Well made. Drink now.

Bindi Pinot Noir Original Vineyard 2017

93 points

Bright fruit, however with an underlining of fresh herbs, this gave it a savoury notes, with additional fresh earth, the finish was elegance with the markable cream texture on the finish. Keep this in bottle for 5-7 years.

Henschke Pinot Noir Giles Lenswood 2016

93 points

Sweet red cherries, roses on the nose along with a palate of wonderful spices, cola and cinnamon, dominated by the soft extraction of the sweet red fruits with a finish of wonderful elegance. Originally a pet project for Stephen Henschke, I believe this is becoming one of the standout wines in the Henschke portfolio. This is Grown in the Lenswood Estate of Adelaide Hills, This Pinot Noir uses around 20% Whole bunch fermentation, and is matured for 10 months in seasoned french oak. Drink now over the next 5 years.

Penfolds Bin 389 2016

93 points

Sweet juicy black and dark red fruit, vanilla tart, dried nutmeg, bitter chocolate, grainy tannins, quite held back at this stage, wait 3-4 years for everything to come together, then drink over the next 10-15 years. Blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Shiraz, aged in American oak (37% new) for 12 months.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz Black Label 2015

93 points

Ripe and plum bright red fruits, cherries and bright acidity, spice and good length. Acidity reminded me of Eden valley. I was surprised this came from Coonawarra. I found this less unique than the Michael which was out of this world.

Torbreck Grenache Hillside Vineyard Barossa Valley 2016

93 points

This has elegance with notes of cherry, raspberry, plums, black pepper, this is a very rich and full Grenache with excellent oak integration. Drink now or over the next 10 years. 100% Grenache matured in seasoned french oak for 15 months.

Henschke Shiraz Vineyard Selection Tappa Pass 2016

93 points

A very smooth Shiraz from Henschke, More floral compared to other Shiraz tried from Henschke. Plush fruit, violets, and velvety tannins along with a more refined and structure finish. The fruit shines in this wine. 100% Shiraz from Eden and Barossa valley. Matured in 19% new and 81% seasoned french oak.

Henschke Shiraz The Wheelwright 2015

93 points

More smoky, meaty and dried spices on this Shiraz, I do find ripe dark blackberries, and blueberries however it is less obvious. Tannins are nicely structured. This is very much a savoury style of Shiraz. 100% Shiraz grown in Eden Valley and matured in 10% new and 90% seasoned french oak.

Henschke Abbotts Prayer 2015

93 points

This Bordeaux blend shows the full potential of what the Adelaide hills can deliver. A Full punch of red and black lush fruits along with cacao, black pepper and cedar notes, the tannins are grippy and the finish reserved, this is till very young and time is required to fully enjoy the full potential of this Bordeaux blend . Blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Merlot, matured in 30% new and 70% seasoned french oak. Drink from 2022 - 2035 . 93+

By Farr Pinot Noir "Farrside" 2018

92-94 points

Less on the fruit compared to the Sengreal, great acidity, more mineral and more earthy, Barrel Sample, 40-50% whole bunch fermentation, 65% new french oak, 92-94

Henschke Euphonium Keyneton Estate 2013

93 points

One of the best Henschke wines quality vs. price. Blackberry Jam, ripe plums and stewed dark cherries, on a base of sage, fresh herbs, black pepper and a little cacao, the finish was had a little spice, however had nice soft tannins. Drink now over the next 10+ years. Blend of 45% Shiraz, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 2% Cab Franc, (56% Barossa and 44% Eden), 15% new and 95% Seasoned french oak for 18 months.

Penfolds Shiraz Bin 150 Marananga 2016

92 points

Less spicy than other Barossa Shiraz, notes of sweet blueberries, sweet blackberries, more earthy and tannins very refined. Get out the steak for this Shiraz! 100% Shiraz from Marananga, Barossa. Aged in 16 months new and seasoned French and American Oak.

Bindi Pinot Noir Original Vineyard 2018

92-94 points

This feels less creamy and more on the herbaceous notes. Fresh and dried herbs, spice, wild fruit with a more savoury finish. This will need time in bottle. Barrel Sample, 15-17 months in french oak, 25% new. 92-93

Bindi Chardonnay Kostas Rind 2018

91-93

Notes of peach, nectarine, lemon zest, round and full with a creamy texture.Not fully settled for now and work to do in the bottle but this shows potential. Barrel Sample. 20% new french oak, 7 months on lees within barrel and then another 3 months in barrel after racking. 91-93

Bindi Pinot Noir Dixon 2018

91-93

This is all about the fresh fruit, fantastic creamy finish, quite perfumed as well. Barrel Sample. 11 months, only 5% whole bunch with 20-30% new french oak. 92-93

Penfolds Shiraz Bin 128 2016

92 points

Plush dark cherry, blackberry, jammy notes but with elegance, fruit driven, cedar and black pepper and less spice, soft tannins. 100% Shiraz aged in 12 months french oak(30% new)

Parker Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Terra Rossa 2016

92 points

Sweet dark black fruit, Christmas cake spices, soft palate with cacao and a little nutmeg, liquorice and cracker black pepper. Soft grainy tannins with a medium finish, enjoyed this. Drink now over the next 12 years.

By Farr Chardonnay Irrewarra 2017

92 points

White peaches, citrus peel with nicely balanced oak and minerality. Round palate. This is easy drinking yet with a certain restrained elegance. A new vineyard for By Farr. 92+

Penfolds Riesling Bin 51 2018

92 points

Citrus peel, lime juice, good minerality yet very floral compared to other Eden valley Rieslings tried, elegant length.

Oakridge Pinot Noir Hazeldene Vineyard Yarra Valley

92 points

Well balanced Pinot noir, with nots of plush cherry, cola a little vanilla, smooth tannins, a simple yet elegant finish. Really enjoyed this. Drink now.

Torbreck Shiraz The Struie 2016

92 points

Sweet blackberries, blackcurrants, more elegant and classy than the other Shiraz. Floral notes along with pepper and spice filled the palate as well. I found this quite jammy as well, but in a good way. Good length, drink now over the next 5 years. Blend of 100% Shiraz from both Barossa(86%) and Eden(14%), matured in both new and seasoned french oak for 20 months.

Henschke Chardonnay Archer's Vineyard 2016

91 points

Very easy drinking Chardonnay, notes of soft pear, peach and lemon meringue, along with vanilla and a nutty texture. Finish was simple yet elegant. Sourced from Adelaide hills, this Chardonnay had been matured in 100% french seasoned oak for 8 months. Drink now over the next 3-4 years.