The Syrah is sourced from red clay-loam over siltstone rock in Clarendon (which they now own) and Grenache from sand over orange sandy-clay in the much vaunted Blewitt Springs. Picked by hand, vinified with 15-30% whole bunches and cold soaked for 5-6 days before natural fermentation and basket pressed to aged French oak 500L puncheons. Deep inky purple with a nose of lavender, violets, blueberry, blackberry, Indian spices and a palate of leafy blackcurrant and a long, soft, silky texture.
64/36% syrah/grenache from 6 vineyards, both lower and more elevated, including Blewitt Springs for grenache. With this, sand, ironstone, gravel, loams and various permutations of clay, all contributing. Each site fermented apart, circa 30% whole bunches, in used French puncheons. A limpid mid-ruby. Dashing aromas of kirsch, freshly grated orange zest, pumice, aniseed, clove and nori. Texture the strike force: scrubby herb and beautifully tuned tannins, sopping up any regional sweetness. Not necessarily to subjugate it, but to make it a more transparent reflection of place. A brilliant offering.
94 points, Wine Companion (January 2021)
Velvety, generous and deeply flavoured, very fruit driven in style, almost sweet but cut back with spice, dried herbs, salty acidity and a lick of cinnamon-laced oak seasoning. Just over medium weight, incredibly elegant and seamless in its flow, finishes gently puckering and then sweet-ripe fruitiness kicks in, perhaps overtly. A Very Lovely Wine.
93 points, The Wine Front (March 2021)
Intense and deep purple core, brightening into the rim. Cardamom, plums and boudin noir on the nose. Medium to full on the palate. There’s a subtlety to the fruit, which sets it up to mesh well with the dark, stony, savoury minerality. Flowing and gliding into a very long finish. There’s a remarkable level of poise and class here.
95 points, The Real Review (March 2021)
Impressively rich fruit here, this has complexity already, with florals, spices, red fruit and darker berries on the nose. The palate is fitted snugly with long, fine tannins and a discreetly spicy thread of oak spice and structure. Succulent and sweetly fruited.
95 points, JamesSuckling.com (August 2021)
Syrah definitely dominates the nose, with lots of dark-berry character. Wonderfully tarry and serious, but there is accessibility too. Attractive black-olive note on the finish. The Grenache seems to soften the tannic blow, and there's a sense of restraint despite the full-on fruit power. Very lengthy. A great example of McLaren Vale's serious side.
17.5 points, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
This is a very different expression of McLaren Vale shiraz (Syrah) here that has a distinctly Rhone Valley edge to it. Fans of the classic McLaren Vale Shiraz might be a little shocked with its savoury personality. But give this wine some time and I guarantee you will be rewarded.
Right now there is tar, earth and coal dust aromas sitting over sweet mulberry and blackberry fruits but it is the savoury side that initially dominates. It’s reserved and just waiting to come out of its shell, as it does over a couple of days. It fleshes out more in the mouth but is lifted by savoury elements again – rocky, black pepper and even some Mediterranean garrigue (a combination of dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary and lavender). That savoury side lifts it into something special and with those chalky tannins and long finish you can see this wine is going to be a cracker for at least a decade.
96 points, Wine Pilot (March 2021)