The Samantha Paddock Cabernet Blend is a Bordeaux-inspired blend of impressive detail, currant scents, graphite savouriness and beautifully hewn tannins, finely tuned and well alloyed to carry this superb wine into a long future. The oak is impeccably nestled into the fray.
Blackberry, plum, white flower perfume, smoke and spice, pencils and dried herbs. Medium-bodied, deep fruit backed with spice and pencil oak, firm gravelly open weave tannin, slight sweet/sour character of oven roasted tomato, cool acidity, and a very long finish of red and black fruit, top quality oak weaved neatly in. Classic Cabernet. Beautifully made.
95+ points, The Wine Front (July 2019)
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (73%), Merlot (17%), Malbec (4%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (3%) from Hill Road’s younger vines shows greater fruit generosity and expression. Cassis, blackcurrant, blackberry and cherry fruit flesh out a ripe but present backbone of tannins, while bitter chocolate, balsamic and radicchio notes add nuance and lift. This wine spent up to five weeks on the skins and 18 months in 225-litre French oak barriques, 55% new.
94 points, Sarah Ahmed, Decanter (July 2018)
A cooler-climate expression, defined by notes of bell pepper and redcurrants, as well as cassis and deeper, spiced oak, too. The palate is firmish with plenty of depth and concentration of purple, red and blue fruit. Long, really focussed tannins. Good intensity here, too.
93 points, JamesSuckling.com (June 2019)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.