James Halliday Wine Companion 2017

2013 Sophie’s Block Chardonnay Rating: 95 Hand-picked, destemmed, wild-fermented in French oak (35% new), matured for 10 months. Elegant and wonderfully fresh for a 3yo chardonnay, and no hint of unripe fruit. The new oak has been drawn inwards into the heart of the wine, leaving its fragrance and delicate flavours free to play. Makes your heart skip a beat.

2013 Henry’s Block Shiraz, 95 points: Hand-picked and sorted, crushed with a high portion of whole berries and some whole bunches for a wild open ferment, 12 days on skins, matured for 20 months in French oak (50% new). This is a wine that makes you sit up and pay attention, its finish all class, but plenty happening along the way with its dark cherry fruit impregnated by black pepper, spice and licorice. The tannin and oak management is impressive, particularly the latter, for the wine has absorbed all the new oak.