2012 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.
DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL - 2016 Six Nations Wine Challenge
GOLD MEDAL - 2016 Limestone Coast Wine Awards
97 POINTS - JAMES HALLIDAY
A classic cabernet that pulls no punches in its formation, starting in the vineyard and running through to the finish of the palate. Blackcurrant and cedary oak drive the bouquet, the medium to full-bodied palate following suit. There is a flood of fruit, then the tannins wash ashore as the wave of fruit recedes, oak floating on the whims of the palate; the length and balance are exceptional.
95 POINTS - RALPH KYTE-POWELL
Aromas of briar, blackcurrant, mint and cedary oak say classic Coonawarra cabernet on the nose of this refined wine. It’s intense, seamless, finely textured, and a super-long finish rests on grippy tannins.
94 POINTS - HUON HOOKE
(Cabernet sauvignon) Deep red colour with a tinge of purple and a rich, ripe, bright bouquet of chocolate and vanilla, with some fruitcake notes, the palate full-bodied and rich, with a superbly smooth, supple mouthfeel....fruit sweetness and liquorice echoes on the middle and finish.
95 POINTS - CAMPBELL MATTINSON
An imposing style of cabernet out of Coonawarra.
Voluptuous. Generous. Seductive. In short, it’s an overflowing style of wine, its curranty fruit flooding the palate before crashing on through the finish. It’s also shot with spice, coolmints and tobacco leaf, and throughly endowed with creamy oak; the more the merrier. But eddies of tannin spin furiously throughout, and for all its girth it never breaks its banks; it’s not loose. The river is deep. The river is wide. Flavour runs through it.
95 (97) POINTS - TIM WHITE
Dark and drenched in sweet black berries and currants: a touch of Aussie sous bois evolves in the liquorice spectrum. Massive palate: serious fruit concentration and simmering, latent complexity. Mouth-sucking textures with carbon paper tannins which plump up with air. Needs a decade to really strut its stuff.
96 POINTS - TONY KEYS
When handing over $100 for a bottle of wine one expects something special in return. Those that have the money and an interest in the world’s great wines would not be disappointed in buying this. It’s drinking so very well now, yet shows promise for the future. 96 points now and more to come
2010 FIRST GROWTH REVIEWS
96 POINTS - JAMES HALLIDAY
Deep crimson-purple; as the often-pilloried name suggests, the best grapes from the estate vineyards are married with new French oak for an extended stay; luscious, perfectly ripened, cassis fruit blots out the competition (no mint here) and is harmoniously joined by supple tannins and quality French oak.
19/20 - MATTHEW JUKES - WINES OF THE YEAR
There is a fanfare (collective noun) of Cabernets at Parker these days and I have plucked two of the most important wines out of their ranks for this list. The first is 2010 Parker Estate, Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon and this is your action packed infantryman with blackcurrants for muscles and discreet cedar, mint, leather and boot polish in this weaponry. Just starting out on what will prove to be a successful campaign this wine, one deployed, is guaranteed to storm your defences and fly its flag in the heart of your palate. A long way up the chain of command lies Field Marshal First Growth. Coming from the imperious 2010 vintage and winning 19/20 in my notes, this exacting wine sets out its character in the very words written on its label. In need of decanting and also immense respect this is the top Coonawarra Cabernet of the year. Since taking over this famous estate John Hesketh has not only preserved John Parker’s original vision, he has enhanced it immeasurably.
96 POINTS - HUON HOOKE
(Cabernet sauvignon & petit verdot) 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.
95+ POINTS - CAMPBELL MATTINSON
Mature vine Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon with a smidgen of petit verdot. Matured in all-new, all-French oak for two years and then stored, in bottle, for three years in temperature-controlled conditions prior to release. It’s not an inexpensive process.
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.
PAUL IPPOLITO - 5 MIN WINE RUSH
Brilliantly youthful inky purple, still in its infancy. An impressive vibrant intense deep and spicy nose. A heady set of berry filled aromas, think blackcurrants, blueberries and mulberries. Polished distinctive fruit, varietal, regional and varietal in presentation, this is quality as reflected straight up through its brooding long deep seductive nose. Lively and fresh in acidity, the French oak premium treatment is a ying and yang to the dominant fruit, keeping each and other in check very nicely. Delicious in taste, long smooth ripe tannins as well fleshy berry fruit carrying through effortlessly til the end. Very drinkable now and yet much more in store to come. Try it with roast lamb. 10 years plus plus in it easily.
95 POINTS - JEREMY OLIVER
Richly textured and stylish, this reserve level cabernet reveals a faintly leathery, cedary bouquet of blackcurrant, redcurrant and blood plums, sweet vanilla oak and a violet-like perfume. It slowly unfolds a round, generous and seamless palate of whose intense, vibrant fruit, dusty vanilla oak and initially raw and sinewy texture become significantly more supple and pliant with aeration. Give it time.
WINE OF THE WEEK - November 28th 2015 - WINSOR DOBBIN
This is a Coonawarra take on the great first-growth wines of Bordeaux, produced only in classic years and released when ready to be enjoyed. It is always made predominantly from cabernet sauvignon, usually with small additions of other classic Bordelaise grapes; in this case just over 3% of petit verdot. It is a wine with classic appeal; powerful but elegant and matured in quality French oak that supports rather than intrudes. This comes from a great vintage and is pretty much guaranteed to cellar well for a couple of decades. A very sophisticated Christmas present