"The nose is elegantly presented, but well-concentrated, the fruit expression a little reserved initially, unfolding vibrant dark raspberries and blackberries, lifted by subtle, fragrant spice notes and aromatic black pepper, liquorice and cedar...The fruit is melded with layers of black pepper, liquorice and Asian spices, and shows vitality. Fine-grained, flowery tannins provide strong grip and structure, and the palate flows with acid vibrancy and energy, carrying to a luscious and lingering finish of black fruits and spices. This is a full-bodied, vibrantly rich and succulent Shiraz with blackberry and raspberry fruit, and notes of...
Pyrette Heathcote Shiraz is sourced from an impeccably sited and managed vineyard near Colbinabbin on the Mount Camel Range. The specific parcel of vines this fruit comes from is at the highest block on deep red, rocky Cambrian soils on a cooler easterly facing slope. The picking date is carefully assessed in order to capture fruit vibrancy and freshness whilst capturing the typical mouthfilling richness and length of the region. The wine is made in 1000 litre open vats, fermented with ambient yeast and matured in French barrels, 10% new. The yield, harvest date and winemaking are deliberately aimed at producing a wine of regional...
WA 92. Tanzer 92. Very deep purple-black in color, the 2012 Reserve Shiraz presents a nose of crushed blackberries, blueberry compote and plum preserves with nuances of menthol, cloves, mocha and licorice. Medium to full-bodied with mouth-filling blackberry preserves and spicy flavors nicely supported by medium to firm, rounded tannins, it finishes long with a refreshing lift. Drink it now to 2020+. LPB May 2014.
WA 90. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2012 Trumps Shiraz is scented of crushed blueberries and blackberries with hints of charcoal, coffee and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with black fruit flavors and is framed by medium level, rounded tannins and just enough acid to refresh on the finish with good length. Drink it now to 2018. LPB May 2014.
Wine Advocate 97/100 "The purple/black 2005 Evil Incarnate Shiraz (230 cases) was aged for 36 months in new French oak (now entirely absorbed by the wine) and offers up an other-worldly, kinky perfume of liquid slate, licorice, pencil lead, smoked meat, blueberry, and blackberry jam. This high-octane Shiraz is full-bodied, voluptuous, thick, and rich, with gobs of succulent, spicy blue and black fruits, enough ripe tannin for 6-8 years of further evolution, and a long, pure finish. It should be at its best from 2015 to 2035. " WA 97/100 Feb 2009
WA 95-98 The 2006 Evil Incarnate Shiraz stains the glass as it delivers aromas of sage, rosemary, blueberry, and chocolate. Rich, full-bodied, super-concentrated, and succulent on the palate, this impeccably balanced effort has sucked up all its oak. It has enough structure to evolve for several years and should drink well through 2021. JM Oct 2009.
WA 96-99 The 2006 F U Shiraz exhibits aromas of pencil lead, scorched earth, espresso, truffle, and blueberry compote. It, too, is tasting surprisingly forward but, according to Ringland, “it will go into a black hole and emerge in a new dimension”. JM Dec 2009
WA 98 There are 230 cases of the stupendous, generically named 2005 The Wine Shiraz (a bit of understatement akin to calling The Band a generic rock group). This hulking, brooding effort was aged for 36 months in new French oak and offers up a splendid bouquet of smoked meat, bacon, mineral, scorched earth, blueberry compote, and blackberry liqueur. Opulent, multi-tiered, and thoroughly hedonistic, this sexy, super-intense Shiraz will amply reward a decade of cellaring and should drink well through 2040. JM Oct 2009.
WA 95-98 The 2006 The Wine Shiraz is nicknamed “the show pony” by Ringland. It offers a similar aromatic profile and satiny, succulent fruit but comes off as a bit more forward and elegant on the palate. It conceals enough fine-grained tannin to support 6-8 years of additional cellaring. JM Dec 2009.
WA 96-99. The Anamorphosis project features Shiraz from Kalimna in the Barossa Valley aged in new oak from four of France’s finest coopers. Like most of the other R Wines, it has exceptionally creative packaging. There will be 100 cases of the 2005 Shiraz which will spend 30 months in new French oak. It was sourced from vineyards with 40- and 100-year-old vines. Opaque purple in color, it offers up an intense perfume of pain grille, scorched earth, tar, licorice, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Voluptuous, thick rich, and full-bodied, it is a powerful yet seamless expression of Shiraz from a great terroir. It will age effortlessly for...
WA 96. Very deep garnet-black in color, the 2006 Shiraz presents gorgeous aromas of cassis, florals, some red fruits, damp earth, sage, charcoal, licorice and a hint of pepper. This 14.6% wine spends 42 months in oak and is a stark contrast to the previous vintage, as it is tight and crisp with medium levels of rounded tannins and shows a little evolution. It finishes long and elegant, with some oolong tea notes coming through. Only 1,300 bottles and 50 magnums were produced. Drink it now to 2024+. LPB Feb 2014.
WA 97 Also deep garnet-purple in color, the 2008 Astralis is a little reduced and brooding on the nose showing aromas of dark berries, meat, licorice and dark chocolate. Big, full-bodied and rich in the mouth it has balanced acid along with medium-firm grainy tannins. It finishes long and balanced. Drink it now to 2028+. LPB Feb 2014
WA 92 The 2005 Syrah Bakers Gully offers fragrant aromas of smoke, bacon, tar, mulberry, and blueberry compote. Perhaps the most forward of the Syrah selections, it can be enjoyed in its youth but should drink well through 2020. JM Oct 2007.
WA 92 The 2007 Syrah Bakers Gully was aged in 60% new French oak. Deep purple-colored, it displays aromas of smoked meat, game, incense, and blueberry. Flavorful and easy-going on the palate, this is a Syrah for enjoying over the next 8-10 years. JM Dec 2009.
WA 94 The impressive 2001 Syrah Brookmans Vineyard reveals a saturated blue/purple color as well as gorgeous aromas of smoke, licorice, acacia flowers, and black fruits. Full-bodied and dense, with nearly the volume and palate persistence of the 2002, this killer Syrah should age effortlessly for 20 years. RPJ Aug 2003.
WA 95 A black, sexy beast, the 2004 Syrah Brookman (aged in 50% new French oak) offers up amazingly full-bodied, intense, blackberry fruit intermixed with notions of roasted coffee, flowers, and creme de cassis. Full-bodied, rich, beautifully textured, opulent, and long, it should drink well for 10-15 years. It appears to be slightly more forward than it was last year. RPJ Oct 2006.
WA 96 The 2005 Syrah Brookman Vineyard exhibits a complex array of toasty oak, violets, espresso, tar, blackberry, and blueberry. Like its siblings, it is opulent, sleek, and rich. It can be enjoyed over the next 20-25 years. JM Oct 2007
WA 95 The 2006 Syrah Brookman Vineyard was aged in 100% new oak. Complex both aromatically and on the palate, it will benefit from extended cellaring of 8-10 years. JM Dec 2009
WA 93 The 2007 Syrah Brookman features violets, blueberry compote, and blackberry liqueur-like aromas leading to a dense, flavorful, rich Syrah with plenty of underlying tannin. All components are well-integrated but this is a backward effort that will require extended cellaring the winery suggests a drinking window of 2017 to 2040. JM Dec 2009.
WA 92 Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2008 Brookman Vineyard Syrah has a few reduced, rubbery notes to begin leading to warm cassis, scorched earth, smoked meat, black pepper, cassia and cedar. It’s very rich and condensed on the palate, giving and high level of grainy tannins, refreshing acidity and a long savory finish. Drink it from 2013 to 2020+. LPB Dec 2010.
WA 95 One of McLaren Vale’s most astonishing Syrahs is Clarendon Hills’ amazing 2004 Syrah Hickinbotham. Its inky/blue/purple hue is accompanied by aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, smoked meats, melted licorice, coffee beans, graphite, and bacon fat. Extremely full-bodied, powerful, and rich, with moderately high tannin, huge structure as well as massive concentration and intensity, but a sense of elegance, balance, and equilibrium, it should be cellared for 2-3 years, and drunk over the following two decades. RPJ Oct 2006
WA 93 The 2008 Hickinbotham Vineyard Syrah is deep garnet-purple in color and gives a minty / eucalypt laced nose with a core of kirsch, blackberry compote, crushed blueberries, mace, vanilla and anise. Crisp and well balanced in the mouth, it has medium-firm fine textured tannins, a good amount of fleshy fruit and a long finish with some earth notes poking through. Approachable now, this Syrah should drink well to 2020. LPB Dec 2010.
WA 96+ Notions of melted tar, blackberries, liquid minerals, and charcoal emerge from the inky/purple-colored 2003 Syrah Hickinbotham Vineyard. Revealing a meaty richness along with great concentration, length, purity, and definition, it is a tour de force in winemaking. This amazing Syrah should age effortlessly for two decades." RPJ - Wine Advocate Oct 2005
WA 97 The 2005 Syrah Hickinbotham Vineyard is opaque purple-colored with aromas of crushed rocks, toasty oak, tar, licorice, bacon, blueberry, and blackberry. Muscular and large in scale, it will profit from a decade of cellaring and drink well through 2030. JM Oct 2007.
WA 93 The 2007 Syrah Hickinbotham has slightly muted aromas of mineral, underbrush, spice box, blackberry, and blueberry. On the palate it displays a stern personality with plenty of underlying structure and some austerity. It has excellent balance, depth, and length which will be fully exhibited in another 4-6 years. JM Dec 2009.
WA 93 The dense purple-hued 2003 Syrah Liandra Vineyard reveals robust, meaty, smoky bacon fat characteristics along with black fruits and a hint of tar. Long and substantial, with a pure, well-balanced finish, it will drink well for 10-15 years. RPJ Oct 2005.
WA 92 The 2004 Syrah Liandra was fashioned from 100-year-old vines grown in clay and sandy soils. Its inky/purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, blackberries, tar, and hints of smoke and bay leaves. Full-bodied, opulent, and rich with low acidity as well as sweet tannin, it can be drunk young or cellared for 10-15+ years. RPJ Oct 2006.
WA 94 The 2005 Syrah Liandra Vineyard was sourced from 100-year-old vines. It is a glass-coating, deep crimson color with aromas of smoke, grilled meat, tar, and blackberry. Full-bodied, opulent, and layered, it neatly conceals its structure. This lengthy Syrah merits 6-10 years of cellaring but can be enjoyed in its youth. JM Oct 2007.
WA 93 Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2008 Liandra Vineyard Syrah has earthy, slightly musky notes over warm berry fruit, cassia, nutmeg, vanilla and anise. Full and voluptuous, it’s well supported by medium-firm rounded tannins and high acidity, lending pleasant texture through the long finish. Drinking now, it should develop nicely and cellar to 2018+. LPB Dec 2010.
WA 92+ The 2007 Syrah Liandra is a bit more reticent aromatically. On the palate it has plenty of sweet black and blue fruit, pepper, and other savory notes as well as outstanding length. It will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and drink well through 2019. JM Oct 2009.
WA 92 Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2008 Liandra Vineyard Syrah has earthy, slightly musky notes over warm berry fruit, cassia, nutmeg, vanilla and anise. Full and voluptuous, it’s well supported by medium-firm rounded tannins and high acidity, lending pleasant texture through the long finish. Drinking now, it should develop nicely and cellar to 2018+. LPB Dec 2010.
WA 95 "The exceptionally fragrant, dark purple 2003 Syrah Moritz Vineyard boasts an extraordinary perfume of acacia flowers, blackberries, cassis, roasted meats, and subtle wood. With fabulous concentration, an expansive, savory texture, well-integrated acidity, alcohol, and wood, and a remarkable finish with plenty of sweet tannin, it can be drunk now or cellared for 12-15 years. " Wine Advocate Oct 2005
WA 95 An amazing performance, even better than last year’s showing from tank, the 2004 Syrah Moritz is produced from one of Clarendon Hills’ youngest vineyard sites (planted in 1975). The wine was aged in 42% new French oak for 18 months prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Gorgeous aromas of flowers, blueberries, cassis, and meat jump from the glass of this cuvee. With huge body and a rich, intense style, Bratasiuk claims it is his hypothetical blend of a Cornas and Hermitage, although it possesses more fruit than most of those wines. It should drink well for a minimum of 15 years. Roman Bratasiuk is one of Planet Earth’s...
WA 96 The 2005 Syrah Moritz Vineyard was sourced from “only” 30-year-old vines. It offers floral notes, cassis, bacon, smoked meat, and blueberry compote. Opulent and sweet with gobs of flavor, it should have a 20 year lifespan. JM Oct 2007
WA 95 The 2006 Syrah Moritz Vineyard is more structured, with 5-7 years of aging potential. Roman Bratasiuk’s Clarendon Hills is one of the world’s great wine estates. The wines are all 100% varietal, produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, and Syrah. The vineyards are all ungrafted, planted on their own roots, most of them with very old vines. Only French oak is utilized, seasoned barrels for the Grenache, 100% new for the Merlot and Cabernets, and 50-100% new for the Syrahs depending upon the vineyard. The wines typically spend 18 months in oak prior to bottling without fining or filtration. All of the above 2006 bottlings...
WA 95 The 2005 Syrah Onkaparinga delivers scents of toasty oak, crushed rock, pencil lead, game, bacon, and blueberry. Voluptuous but impeccably balanced, it has enough structure to evolve for 8-10 years and should drink well through 2030. JM Oct 2007.
WA 94. The 2006 Syrah Onkaparinga was reviewed as a barrel sample in Issue 173. From a better vintage, it is a fragrant, relatively forward, spicy, layered and friendly Syrah that will evolve for another 4-6 years. JM Dec 2009.
WA 93 In a vintage that seemed to produce lean, structured, sinewy wines, the 2007 Syrah Onkaparinga borders on opulence, a rarity in 2007. Complex aromas of incense, violets, spice box, bacon, blueberry, and blackberry are followed by a medium to full-bodied, dense, sweetly-fruited wine with layers of flavor, excellent density, and well concealed structure. It will improve in the cellar over the next 4-6 years and drink well through 2022 and even longer according to the winery. JM Dec 2009.
WA 92 The 2008 Onkaparinga Vineyard Syrah is very deep garnet-purple in color, revealing notes of tar and tires over fruits of the forest conserve, warm black currant, licorice, loam, vanilla, cedar, meat and damp leaves. Ripe and fleshy in the mouth, it has a solid backbone of high acid and medium-firm fine tannins, finishing long and earthy. It should be best from 2013 to 2020+.LPB Dec 2010.
WA 97 The 2005 Syrah Piggott Range is quite backward currently. Glass-coating, it is deep crimson in color with mineral notes, violets, spice box, black pepper, espresso, smoked game, and blueberry aromatics. Deceivingly opulent, it has enough structure to merit 8-10 years of cellaring and should make old bones. Drink it through 2035. JM Oct 2007.
WA 95 The 2007 Syrah Piggott Range offers a kinky, sexy bouquet of earth, bacon, game, incense, and assorted black and blue fruits. Rich and layered, this is a dense, packed, and impeccably balanced powerhouse that will require 8-10 years to reveal its full potential. This lengthy effort will easily provide pleasure through 2027. JM Dec 2009.
WA 95 The 2008 Piggott Range Vineyard Syrah has a very deep garnet-purple color and intensely minty, ripe blackberry and fresh black currant aromas plus some forest floor, cinnamon and kirsch. Very crisp, very rich and concentrated, it gives a high level of fine-grained tannins and very long seductive finish. Give it 2-3 more years and drink it 2014-2022+. LPB Dec 2010.
WA 98. The exquisite 2006 Syrah Piggott Range is more structured yet. Thick, dense, and tightly wound, all the components are there for future greatness. Only patience is required. Roman Bratasiuk’s Clarendon Hills is one of the world’s great wine estates. The wines are all 100% varietal, produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, and Syrah. The vineyards are all ungrafted, planted on their own roots, most of them with very old vines. JM FEB 2009.
~ Buy Six and Pay $42 net~ James Halliday 95 points. James Suckling 94 points. “This is another cracking release under the Hilltops label. Superbly balanced with an impeccably silky and fine palate, it is a wine you must put in the cellar: it is lovely now, but will reward those who can resist for as long as possible.” James Halliday Wine Companion, October 2016.
~ Buy Six and Pay $55 net ~ "“A strikingly fragrant and perfumed effort from Clonakilla, this wine captures you instantaneously. It is superbly constructed, aromatically fragrant, perfumed and darkly fruited; on the palate spice, superfine tannins and then the finish that just lingers and expands.”" - James Halliday 97
James Halliday 98 points, Jancis Robinson 17.5/20 points. "95% Shiraz, 5% Viognier. Light and lively - very fresh. Bony and very different from the Australian Shiraz norm. Dry finish with spice and subtlety. Most distinctive! Very northern Rhône really..." Jancis Robinson, May 2016.
"This is a rare beauty, to see a syrah-based wine that delivers power in such an elegant way. 2015 is a really impressive vintage for Clonakilla across the board and this, the flagship wine, is every bit as great as it should be. The aromatic spectrum is vast, from fine musky florals to white pepper and almost every imaginable spice, then an incredibly exuberant explosion of fruit, boysenberry, raspberry, cherries of every shade, and plums from red to blue and purple; it is full of life. The palate has an incredibly deep draw, total palate saturation of ripe red cherry, raspberry and red plum flavor, chocolate and a dusting of white pepper....
Wine Spectator 92 points. Dense, rich and beautifully focused, a lavish mouthful of blueberry, blackberry, licorice and pepper flavors balanced deftly with vibrant acidity and fine tannins. It all lasts effectively on the long, multilayered finish. WS, Harvey Steiman Issue: Nov 30 2004
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