2014 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.
The timing of the 2014 First Growth release this year is somewhat unusual, as it actually follows rather than precedes last year’s 2015 release. We have taken this unusual step, as the timing for release is ultimately determined by the preparedness of the wine, and not necessarily the chronological order of vintage.
2014 FIRST GROWTH REVIEWS
100 BEST AUSTRALIAN WINES 19/20 - MATTHEW JUKES
My goodness me this is a seriously impressive wine and it happens to come from a superb vintage, too. Recognised as one of the finest Cabernets in the land, Parker’s First Growth is on stupendous form in 2014 and it does an amazing trick of being a big boned, solid wine while still possessing incredible, fine, filigree detail from the oak used to the magnificent fruit which has lovingly been tended for this cuvée. I put wines like this through their paces when I taste them, often leaving bottles on my tasting table for a week in order to see how they change as they gradually oxidise. This wine barely moved an inch such is the calibre of fruit involved. I urge you to taste it because one sip will likely compel you to buy a case to compare to other great world Cabernets in a decade or so.
92 POINTS - STEVE LESZCZYNSKI
...The 2014 sees 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot all coming from Parker's Abbey Vineyard and saw 100% new French oak for 18 months before three years in bottle. This is all savoury with good fruit. A wonderful parcel of dried sage and thyme, black olives, black tea, black earth and leathery notes mesh with dark berry fruit. There's a sly minty undertow synonymous with Coonawarra Cabernet cautiously threading its way through the well-weighed fruit. Firm powdery tannins plant themselves mid-palate with a gradual drying finish...
2015 FIRST GROWTH REVIEWS
94 POINTS - JEREMY OLIVER
A long, complete and luxuriant cabernet whose deep bouquet of cassis, violets, mulberries and fresh cedary oak overlies gravelly, truffle-like complexity. Medium to full in weight, its intense, vibrant core of dark berry/plum fruit extends with artful balance down a supple, tight-grained spine towards a measured, stylish finish.
94 POINTS - TONI PATERSON
A fleshy, balanced cabernet with good weight and density. Intense red fruit with good energy and fine balanced tannin. There are accents of crushed leaf and dried herb which adds interest and complexity. Well-made, generous and flavoursome.
95 POINTS – HUON HOOKE
A very full-bodied, powerful vintage for this wine, which showcases classic Coonawarra crushed leaf, tobacco, raspberry & blackcurrent aromas. Its big, dense & concentrated, finishing with a crescendo of tannin. A stonking cabernet. Cellar it 3-23 years.
100 BEST AUSTRALIAN WINES 18/19 - MATTHEW JUKES
Finally 2015 First Growth is, as you might expect, very detailed and very grand. While not a very much bigger wine, in terms of framework than Terra Rossa, this is an immensely finely wrought model with layer upon layer of extravagant blackcurrant fruit and heavenly leather and carpentry notes in all of the right places.
95 POINTS - HUON HOOKE
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
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.