Representing the state of the art in Australian red wine, both traditional and modern, these six bottles comprise Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, the Canberra District and Beechworth in north-eastern Victoria, plus Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River and Coonawarra. All have won inclusion in the Langton’s Classification, an authoritative, independent guide to the best, most sought-after Australian wines.
Peter Lehmann ‘Stonewell’ Shiraz 2013
Barossa Valley, Langton’s Classified - ‘Outstanding’
Leeuwin Estate ‘Art Series’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Margaret River, Langton’s Classified - ‘Outstanding’
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2016
Canberra District, Langton’s Classified - ‘Exceptional’
Cullen ‘Diana Madeline’ Cabernet Merlot 2016
Margaret River, Langton’s Classified - ‘Exceptional’
Castagna ‘Genesis’ Syrah 2015
Beechworth, Langton’s Classified - ‘Excellent’
Parker ‘First Growth’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Coonawarra, Langton’s Classified - ‘Excellent’
This is a stoic, classically-styled Shiraz that has big and bold aromas of blackberries and tar. Some licorice and resiny oak. The palate is big and saturated in flavours of dark plums and blackberries with a big serving of sweet oak. The finish is long with ripe fruit and tannins.
92 points, JamesSuckling.com, August 2018
Smoked meat, black olives and licorice give the 2013 Stonewell Shiraz a savoury cast, balanced by notes of tea, blackberries and plums. Medium to full-bodied, it's firm and tannic, with at least a decade of aging potential, although it should be approachable within a couple of years.
92 points, Wine Advocate, September 2018
Very deep red/purple colour. The bouquet is all about concentrated, perfectly-ripened Cabernet fruit embellished with stylish oak. Cedar and berries. The wine is very intense and cast in an elegant but full-bodied style, with red berry fruit in abundance on the palate. The tannins are emphatic but fine and restrained, beautifully tailored. A lovely wine indeed -- to cellar or enjoy now.
96 points, Real Review, May 2018
From the great 2014 vintage comes this largely Cabernet-dominant wine using a small amount of Malbec. Gorgeous perfumes of tobacco leaf, and a trace of distinctive varietal bay leaf. The palate is stunning, with a great fruit, oak and tannin balance. There are chalky tannins to build structure, yet the fruit sweetness is retained. An elegant and most stylish cabernet which is as good as any from Leeuwin.
96 points, West Australian Wine Guide 2019
At first, the fresh herbs, such as eucalyptus and mint, really captivate, but this turns into blue fruits such as blackcurrants and blueberries. A hint of pine needles and mahogany, too. The palate has the answer to the punchy acidity as it shows a nice serving of fruit. This finishes chewy.
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, August 2018
Reticent. Firmly structured. Southern Margaret River across its verdant veins. Lathered in classy oak (23 months' ageing in all), this needs time to liberate itself from its structural carapace. The intensity, however, cannot be denied. Cassis, dried sage, plum and a herbal potpourri mingle within. The sappy length and emerging layers with time in the glass, all bode for a bright future ahead.
93 points, Wine Companion, August 2018
Silken mouthfeel. Good fruit power. Ultra-fine tannin and impressive length. It’s not a big or burly Cabernet but it impresses from the outset, and for all the right reasons. It’s creamy, chocolatey, curranty and varietal, its more herbal side tucked neatly within. Pure Cabernet.
93+ points, Wine Front, August 2018
The perfumed, spicy bouquet with red flowers and fruits doesn't prepare you for the intensity and piercing length of the beautifully balanced, medium-bodied palate. This is a truly glorious wine that draws you back again and again to explore the wealth of red fruit flavours, and the majesty of its textures and flavours.
98 points, Wine Companion, June 2017
Medium to deep red colour with a good rim of purple, the bouquet is fresh and pepper/spicy with a decidedly foresty whole-bunch nuance. A lovely complex bouquet, which will only get more so with time. The palate flows on from the nose precisely, with intense spice and berry flavours, a hint of violets and some floral nuances. A perfumed, high-toned, supremely elegant red wine.
97 points, Real Review, August 2017
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier has lost none of its charm or power over the years, but it has become a lighter, more elegant and more finely drawn wine. The subtle change is clearly evident with this 2016. For a long time we’ve played with the term Burgundian Shiraz, especially in relation to Clonakilla, but the phrase is becoming increasingly apt. This wine is light on its feet, perfumed, exotic, marshalled with fruit and spice, and tannic. It doesn’t wallop you upfront; it saves itself for the finish. It’s not an impetuous wine. There are candied notes here, dry spices, woody anise, a whisper of peppercorn. I would almost describe this wine as crisp, such is its lack of gloop, its finesse, its cleansing run of flavour-infused acidity. This release will age magnificently. Drink to 2036+
96 points, Wine Front, August 2017
The detailed layering in this wine is superb, as is the measured expression of exuberant fruit. Aromas of baking spices, pepper and bright red berry and cherry fruits make for enticing youthful appeal. The palate has an incredibly silky and elegant appeal. Bright red cherry and plum fruits. Drink now to 2030.
96 points, JamesSuckling.com, January 2018
...displays trademark florals, spices and red fruit. It's voluminous without being weighty, fruity and savoury, with licorice, pepper and meaty notes on the long, silky finish. Fans of the style will want to grab extra bottles of this one, as it should drink well for up to two decades.
95 points, Wine Advocate, February 2018
93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 1% each of Malbec and Petit Verdot, matured for 14 months in French barriques (67% new). Elegance personified, no compromise likewise. Then rack up extraordinary attention to detail, and the Wilyabrup district, the greatest part of the Margaret River. Given these parameters, the fluid grace of this beautiful wine might seem almost inevitable. But, of course, it's not -- it's the distillation of two generations.
98 points, Wine Companion, July 2018
Very deep, bright purple/red colour leads into a sweetly ripe, rich berry and violet bouquet which is fruit-driven, vibrant and fresh. Blueberries and herbs. Wonderfully elegant and piercingly intense. An outstanding wine.
97 points, Real Review
Spicy, intense with a polished texture and some balsam notes. Not nearly ready. Put it away!
18/20 points, JancisRobinson.com
Here’s a sleek wine of exquisite perfume and balance that treads lightly, but surely through the palate. Dances, even. There’s a quiet storm of graphite tannin, red and black fruits, a distinct pencil and mineral thing going on, clean fresh acidity, and a wonderfully long finish. It’s painting with water colours, to borrow a phrase, but gee it makes a beautiful picture. It’s rare to find a Cabernet with this level of poise and control. Yet again, Cullen is leading the pack.
96 points, Wine Front, March 2018
Granitic DNA defines this mid-weighted Syrah. Of a mineral grind, flirtatious and energetic of ambition and crunch, this is iodine cloaked in dried seaweed and umami; blueberry, tapenade, charcuterie and sour cherry sass. Of an impeccably detailed weave of transparent acidity and moreish tannins -- firm without grate -- this flows long and juicy. Among the country's exemplary cool climate Syrah, this is revelry and sophistication all at once.
97 points, Wine Companion, January 2018
Beechworth. Biodynamic farmed. Traditional winemaking, per se. Syrah. Castagna. “You know the drill”, in the words of Dylan from 90210... A mesh of red berries, red plum, game meat, sweet earth, clove/cinnamon and faint floral notes all conspire in bouquet. Fleshy in the palate, inward concentration but only a lick over medium weight. Mouth-staining just-ripe red fruit flavours and lingering spice, a web of fine powdery tannins drawing things a little taut. It’s an excellent wine, almost a pinosity, but wholly in the zone of fine Syrah wines.
95 points, Wine Front, January 2019
Made from the revered Reynell Selection of Cabernet vines grown on the best portions of the estate Abbey Vineyard, plus 3.3% Petit Verdot. Fermentation and skin maceration took 35 days; matured in new French thick-staved Chateau barrels, held for three years in temperature-controlled storage. It is a monumental wine, still a decade or more away from its best, flooded with regional mulberry, cassis and a faint hint of mint, the tannins in shape, the cedary oak in balance.
96 points, Wine Companion, July 2015
The swagger of it. This is a wine of staggering size and impression. It’s a hulk of tannin and dark curranty fruit with dust, mint, black olive and tobacco notes all wedded to the cause. It’s like a steak in a glass. It’s just – just – starting to mellow but the power and glory of it is still abundantly clear. It’s going to be a long, long termer.
95+ points, Wine Front, August 2015
Deep, dense, red/purple colour, most impressive for a four and a half-year-old. The bouquet is smoky, sooty and black olive new oak characters, with fragrant violet and blackberry fruit aromas and no hint of any herbal characters. It responds to airing and is a truly superb cabernet bouquet. The concentration of blackberry, cranberry and violet flavours is most impressive. A powerful, superbly structured wine with great amplitude and length, the tannins very ample and yet powdery-smooth. Surely the best First Growth that Parker Estate has produced to date.
96 points, Real Review, September 2014
Deep, dark red colour with a good tinge of purple. The bouquet is rich, ripe and berry-like with a regional mint overtone. It's full-bodied and rich, smooth and plush and loaded with supple tannins. Bottle-age is introducing a savoury note now, but it's still fresh and young. The texture is excellent. Balanced, long and satisfying -- a very smart Cabernet.
96 points, Real Review, August 2015