In this dozen, you’ll receive eleven bottles of Giant Steps Known Pleasures McLaren Vale Shiraz 2018 and one bonus upgrade of Penfolds St. Henri South Australia Shiraz 2017
Giant Steps Known Pleasures McLaren Vale Shiraz 2018 Phil Sexton and Steve Flamsteed’s vinous ode to the late Ian Curtis, the new wave icon and lead singer of Joy Divison. The name and the label riff on the band’s seminal album Unknown Pleasures. The wine is deep, layered and edgy, and the palate equivalent of an earworm, fine work from the Giant Steps team. Track No. 1 on the album is Disorder. When your wine arrives, pour and play.
Penfolds St. Henri South Australia Shiraz 2017 Ned Goodwin MW ‘always loves this wine’ with its ‘sculpted palate’ according to James Halliday and judged to have ‘great potential’ by Huon Hooke backing up Ray Jordan’s claim that this is ‘a masterpiece.’ You’re in good company with this Outstanding Upgrade.
30% whole bunches, 30% new French oak. There are traces of bitterness to the aftertaste and yet it remains a beautiful shiraz. Meaty plum, roasted nut and dark cherry flavours burst through the palate in silken style, smoky oak and vanilla cream characters helping to usher it along. Tannin is spicy and ultra fine. Its quality is right up there.
95 points, Wine Companion (January 2019)
This masterpiece of Australian red wine is largely shiraz with about 3% cabernet just to keep it honest. A completely different animal to most of the Penfolds stable with maturation in big old vats that are more than 50 years old. The colour is deep. The aromas have savoury meaty characters, with that mix of stewed plums and liqueur cherry. Dark swirling fruits of black cherry, coffee grinds and dark chocolate on the palate. The acid line maintains the linear dimension to a very long finish. Just classic.
98 points, The West Australian (July 2020)
The cool and late vintage kissed the wine on both cheeks, making the classic maturation in 50yo vats doubly welcome. A glimpse of the future is the inaugural use of fruit from Port Lincoln joining the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, and Eden Valley in the blend. This has none of the hardness that sometimes gives an edge to St Henri, purity stepping in to its sculpted palate. Includes 3% cabernet sauvignon.
96 points, Wine Companion (July 2020)
I always love this wine. The breadth of larger format neutral French wood allows a vinous spread of fruit across the palate without the oak impingement. An explosion of blue to blackberry, mulberry, tapenade, Asian five-spice and smoked meats. This is a mellifluous expression of fruit over oak, making it a winning wine among those, perhaps, that often steer toward European expressions.
96 points (July 2020)
The colour is impressively concentrated, dense and dark, the purple tinge staining the glass. The bouquet carries some apparent oaky nuances as well as very ripe blackberry fruit aromas. Concentrated dark berries, graphite, tar and tremendous depth and density of flavour that rolls on endlessly along the palate. Fresh acidity and ripely authoritative tannin grip to close. Hints of mocha and espresso coffee throughout. The texture is supple and smoothly rounded. No oak is apparent on palate. A powerful, lingering wine with great potential.
96 points, The Real Review (July 2020)