Wow. Very complex, rich, red to dark fruit and plenty of very fine, exotic, sweet-scented spice, as well as a red floral edge and a thread of dried herbs and fresh earth. The palate has a powerful, layered, long and symphonic feel and is packed with rich red-plum and black-cherry flavor. Such attractive freshness and majestically long, smoothly wrapped tannins. The finish is so long, seamless, profoundly pure and perfectly balanced. Freshens into a lasting, plum-stone finish. This is incredible, the best Wendouree shiraz of the modern era. A single parcel of 1919 Eastern Vineyard plantings. Already quite approachable but try from 2026.
100 points, JamesSuckling.com (August 2020)
Red fruits mainly, but some blackberry, quite a lot of gum leaf, cedar, and camphor, lavender too. It’s a little sappy and tangy, crisp feel laid in with firm dense almost grainy tannin. Cranberry crunch. Goes a bit purple and nutty on a long and leafy finish. You have to like a bit of gum and mint, but very good in that classic Wendouree way. Pulls somewhat herbal and sandpaper-y in tannin quality to close. In evolution, and has a certain toughness and old school feel to it.
94 points, The Wine Front (August 2020)
Perhaps the weakest link on the table (of 2018 releases) but that’s off a high base. Soft texture, a sheen of clove-y oak and a slightly shrill finish pull this off the podium. A little out of whack with fruit, tannin and acid on tasting, Dark berries, faint choc-mint and lots of undergrowth and eucalyptus notes here – palate and bouquet in a handshake on that. Mid-palate is lush and lovely, the gummy-then-rough tannins come to play in the relatively abrupt finish. Bolder style, a little breathy, some lovely flavours all amongst this with ‘classic Wendouree shiraz’ writ large in characters. This one doesn’t feel like it will unfurl with cellaring time to be better, more for it to pull its parts together.
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.