Iodine and savory, dried-herb notes with ferrous, sanguine aromas and licorice, blueberries and blue plums, loaded with fresh violets and some wet-earth notes. This is very complex and intense cabernet. Coal smoke here, too. Like essence of blackcurrant. The palate has such taut, fine tannin and carries a huge ball of perfectly ripe fruit that will unwind. Stays super fresh. Long and lithe. From 1975, 1971 and 1929 Eastern Vineyard plantings. Best from 2026.
98 points, JamesSuckling.com (August 2020)
Blackcurrant, port jelly, gum leaf and cedar. Tense and highly strung, grip of chalky and ironstone tannin, quiet succulence of fruit, nice and dark and serious, but also slightly jubey with it. Finish is very long, tight in tannin, and almost tangy fresh. A bit herbal, but hey!, it’s Clare Valley Cabernet, and I don’t mind that at all. Again, a ‘days of yore’ feel to this release. Wait for it.
94+ points, The Wine Front (August 2020)
Supple, succulent red of shapely, firm ribbons of tannin, powdery finish, loaded with jolly-jellied plum and blackberries, green herb, pepper, mint and coarse minerally feel. Cassis and dried flowers in perfume too. Bright flavours, tensile and taut, a bit raw and rugged in a way too, though that should be sorted out with time. Just a little mean at present, though some might like that, acidity coarse and zingy to close. Time, sure. But its parts aren’t quite at pace to other years too.
93+ points, The Wine Front (August 2020)
The Clare ValleyThe Clare Valley is located two hours north of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty ranges. The region was settled by John Horrocks who encouraged his servant James Green to plant the first vines in 1842. Climate in the Clare Valley is continental with hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall that necessitates supplementary irrigation. Soils in the valley are predominantly red brown loams over shale, permitting excellent drainage. Many of the best vineyards are located at higher elevations of 400-500m on sites that take advantage of the cool breezes that funnel up the corrugation of hills from the south. The Clare Valley is renowned for its zesty fruit-pure Rieslings particularly from the sub-regions of Polish Hill and Watervale. The region also produces intense age-worthy sturdy reds from Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.