From Block 31, the highest elevation at 210m, with the deepest sand. Hand-picked, mechanically sorted, 50% whole berries, open-fermented, 21 days on skins, 11 months on lees in French oak. A rainbow of aromas, leading me to abort my first mental description because I'd already run out of breath.
98 points, Wine Companion (February 2020)
Quite rich and ripe feeling, slippery texture segues to sheets on sheets of grippy, puckering, powdery tannin. It’s quite brutish and rough house as a release under this High Sands guise, not lesser for it, but misses a little of the finesse of previous. Booze soaked cherry scents and flavours, a bit breathy and warming in sniff and tongue, around this, lavish spice, ripe fruit, dried fruit and savoury things like salted liquorice, salt bush and faint game meat characters. Packs in plenty of detail, lots to sink teeth into.
93 points, The Wine Front (July 2020)
Deepish red/purple colour, bright. The bouquet is complex with mixed-spice and dark-fruit aromas, plus a dusty-earthy mineral overlay. The wine is full and round and supple in the mouth, with soft, almost pillowy tannins and savoury dryness, the after-impression one of harmony. There is a core of deep-buried sweet fruit that comes on all pastille-like, and the tannins on the finish are earthy and peppery in the same way green olive-oil leaves a peppery feel in its aftertaste. This is a baby, a bit closed, and demands more time. High potential.
94 points, The Real Review (June 2020)
The 2017 High Sands Grenache comes from a cool vintage and hence had a longer hang time than most others and a higher pH, which makes it paradoxically more approachable than some warmer years. Delicate raspberry and strawberry nuances mark the nose, as the bulk of the wine was aged in older barrels, with some spending time in ceramic egg as well. It's medium-bodied and silky in texture, with a lingering red-fruit finish.
93 points, Wine Advocate (August 2020)
This is so very complex and detailed and has an array of fine-ground brown spices with bright red berries and a gently herbal kick. The palate has drive and power with dynamic tannins whisking raspberry, strawberry and red-cherry flavors along in streamlined, linear mode. Excellent grenache.
97 points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2020)