After the hard work of the years 2007 to 2009 it was so utterly refreshing to have fruit that behaved in a way that I have come to expect from our vineyard; so well in fact that this wine, in essence, made itself. The nose opens with a compote of dark plums, a whiff of earth – turned sods in the early morning, dried herbs – sage, oregano, thyme and finally a crack of black pepper. On the palate it adds hints of raspberries with subtle notes of spice; cedar, nutmeg and cinnamon, all drawn together by notes of freshly-turned earth and long, very fine tannins. As it opens in the glass the long palate extends and tightens, to a peppery, graphite-like finish that balances out the beautifully ripe but not sweet fruit. Just gorgeous. (Julian Castagna)
A deeply complex, ripe and compelling nose of granite dust, plum, blackberry, pepper and baking spices, this is a wine that has terrific allure in the glass; fragrant and enticing. The palate is beautifully balanced and texture is driven by fine sheets of ripe tannins that carry black granitic mineral flavour, dark cherry and a vast array of spices, dark chocolate, and dark plum and cherry stone freshness to close. Thrilling wine.
96 points, jamessuckiling.com
The 2010s are different. It’s like the vines have ticked over into a new phase. Vine age, end of the drought, the season itself. This is less exuberant than previous releases; more reserved. It’s like there’s an inner confidence at play here; like the wines know they’re good, and don’t feel the need to say it so loudly. There’s still the violetty, spicy, aniseedy perfume. Part of this was matured in a concrete egg, so essentially (slightly) less of the wine has seen oak. This has a sinewy character that I’ve not seen in Genesis before. Buoyant but not voluptuous. A little more strictness. Castagna’s reds have always been so sexy; there’s a button or two extra been left buttoned here. Long, spicy, meaty finish. Drink to 2022+
95 points, Wine Front
More reserved than previous releases. Trademark notes of violet, Asian spice and jubey aniseed, but more serious than flamboyant this time around. More judiciously applied/better integrated smoky/sawdusty oak is part of this impression. Interestingly a portion of this wine was matured in a concrete egg-shaped vessel. Retains those spicy, meaty characters for which this label is renowned.
95 points, Wine Companion
Make a pie of whole berries of blackcurrant and blueberry, with a few junipers thrown in. Sneak some really peppery watercress in there somehow: maybe layer the bottom pastry with it before you spread the fruit on there – the pepper in this wine is watercress pepper, not peppercorn pepper. It has some anise, some licorice, some smote granite, some trippy petrichor, and the whole thing about this wine is the adventure anyway not the flavour. It’s science fiction, with much ozone oozing bluely from simmering electric connections. Like nuclear fuel rods glowering in the cooling brine. After it’s prickled and twitched your nostrils right up past the Jacobsen’s Organ, it goes kinda velvety and says everything’s all right. Don’t believe a word of it. You’re suckered. The Alien lives within you now.
94++ points, Drinkster
Located in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, Beechworth is a small cool climate region with high continentality. The vineyards enjoy a large number of sunshine hours and are generally planted at altitudes of 400m. A variety of soil types are found with the two dominant ones being ancient sandstone gravel and clay and granitic loams over decomposed gravels and clays. While north or north-easterly slopes are generally favoured, the best sites are located away from higher altitude, cold-air drainage channels, with the risk of frost high in both spring and autumn. Restricted water availability means most vineyards are dry-grown. A region of small boutique producers, Beechworth is best known for premium Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir, although plantings of Italian varieties including Sangiovese and Nebbiolo also show great promise.