2015 First Growth
First Growth is only produced when the growing season shows exceptional fruit quality, and when a particular vintage is deemed to have ageing potential beyond 15 years.
Traditionally, First Growth is predominantly made using Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from our 'Abbey' vineyard, with some vintages containing a small portion of Merlot and/or Petit Verdot. It is a wine that proudly reflects the sub-region it is grown in, and is humbled by critical reviews including Langton's 'Excellent' Classification V, a 5-star winery rating from James Halliday and unfailing benchmark scores from international wine critics.
An intense nose of pure cassis, liquorice and subtle seaweed notes with smoky French oak. Densely layered blackcurrant, mint and leather on the palate combine with the elegant oak frame for a long and fine mouth-feel with fine suede-like tannins.
2015 FIRST GROWTH REVIEWS
95 POINTS - HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
The colour is quite deep with a subtle tinge of purple, suggesting some early development, while the bouquet is similarly developed and shows tobacco, crushed leaf, raspberry and blackcurrant aromas. There's a tinge of tomato bush too. The palate is very full-bodied, concentrated and dense, with chewy texture and loads of extract. The tannins are very evident but not unbalanced. It demands patience, and will age for the long-term.
95 POINTS - STEVE LESZCZYNSKI - QWINE
All class. Coonawarra Cabernet at its best. There's lots of primary fruit on show here mind you. Still a pup, this is a wine made for later, not now. Despite its youth, it's easy to see where this is heading. Roasted peppers, blackcurrant leaf, cassis and blackberries. Acid is firm and taut waiting for time to do its thing. Black olive and aniseed add savoury appeal through the mouth. Tannins are shaped to deliver powdery feels, that is evident, but for now, they're drying and chalky drawing saliva from the mouth. A super Cabernet release. Watch this with interest. Drink 2023 until whenever you want.
DAN TRAUCKI - WINE ASSIST
Powerful Cabernet fruit aromas with a hint of cigar box lurking amidst the copious oak aromas. Absolute masses of big rich powerful flavours with great structure and balance, very classy and svelte, really tight at this stage and will develop superbly to become TRULY AWESOME - World class.
2013 FIRST GROWTH REVIEWS
96 POINTS - HALLIDAY WINE COMPANION 2018
The best cabernet from the estate's Abbey vineyard and 8% merlot from its Terry block, aged two years in 100% new French oak barriques. An astonishing array of complex flavours - mulberries, cassis, dark choc-mint, iodine and ferrous earth, but the palate is king. There's dept, detailed, powerful tannins and a secure place in the ageing stakes.
95 POINTS - HUON HOOKE
Deep, solid colour with a tinge of purple in the rim, and a bouquet of nutty, smoky, oak-suffused fruit, deep and concentrated, firm and bright, with fresh acidity and balanced ripe tannins. There's a superb core of concentrated sweet, ripe fruit and the wine offers satisfying depth of flavour and structure. Long, firm aftertaste. Excellent cabernet.
95 POINTS - TONY KEYS
Feel the depth, feel it reaching down, way down with those gentle notes of merlot floating in, tempered with the steady beat of fine oak. Man, this is a wine ready to excite, warm the blood, course through the veins. It’s already running at 95 but has more to offer. This wine has got to top out at 98, given time, and $105 is loose change in many rich folks’ pockets.
94 POINTS - CAMPBELL MATTINSON
From the best sub-sections of Parker’s Abbey Vineyard in southern Coonawarra, with 8% merlot from the estate’s Terry Block. 32 days extended maceration before going into 100% new Seguin Moreau French oak for 24 months. Two years in bottle – in temperature-controlled storage – prior to release.
A fine, ageworthy Coonawarra cabernet. It’s not overly dense but it’s well powered, tannic, juicy with fruit and complex enough – as a young wine – to suggest that it will have much to offer with age. Jubey blackcurrant and boysenberry, mint, chocolate, smoky oak with tobacco, peppercorn/eucalypt notes whispering over the top. It’ not a heavy wine, it’s almost light on its feet, but it’s satisfying and beautifully well set up, and structured. Oak sits fractionally separate from the fruit but it’s still comparatively early days.