It’s another proud day here at Karrawatta! Again, every single one of our wines received a medal in the 2024 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion Awards!
Special mention goes to two of our ladies who have shown how outstanding they are! Our Anth’s Garden Grand Vin Chardonnay, who made her debut this year, received 96 points and a rave review; and Tutelina once again showed her prowess with yet another gold medal score.
We’ve also been recognised for another year as a 5 Red Star Winery! A special accolade awarded to outstanding wineries who have had a 5 star rating for at least two consecutive years. This year there are only 90 wineries to receive this honour – which is just 8% of Australia’s wineries.
It’s time to pop a bottle of Popsie to celebrate
2021 Anth’s Garden Grand Vin Chardonnay
The Grand Vin range is only made in the best vintages and in small volumes. Matured 10 months on lees with regular stirring in 60% new oak. Classy chardonnay. More sturm of phenolics and drang of salty freshness than most. Thoroughly intriguing as a result. Very savoury. The waft of apricot pith, peach and quince is secondary to the texture. A peaty, lees-derived core. The oak nestled beautifully, yet assertive, galvanising the fruit. A plume of acidity tows impressive length. Far from the contemporary Chardonnay 101 handbook. All the better for it.
A heady wine that is beautifully crafted. Salubrious oak tannins, mocha, cocoa nib and a luxuriant flow of dark fruits and spice. Sometimes less is more, but there are moments to revel in excess. Here it is!
Like a modern bordeaux, such is the quality of the oak and the precision of the tannins, alloyed ball-bearings on the attack, and a rub of chamois at the finish. Dark fruits, chocolate and bouquet garni. Despite the richness and rather obvious power, there is a sophistication, savouriness and lovely guide to this beautiful behemoth.
2018 Joseph Grand Vin Shiraz
The Grand Vin range is only made in the best vintages and in small volumes. Fruit from Christo’s Paddock in Langhorne Creek. Matured 18 months in 50% new French oak. A wine of a palate-staining largesse. Yet with sass, uncanny energy and vibrant aromatics all belying the heady alcohol. Miraculously, it works. Not a three-glass proposition, perhaps, but certainly a wine of flare and intelligent composition. Lilac, blueberry and nori cascade along a trajectory of growing fruit sweetness and intensity, lathering the thick finish with kirsch, rosemary and lavender notes.
2018 Christo’s Paddock Grand Vin Cabernet Sauvignon
An ambitious address, purportedly en route to organic certification. Currently sustainably accredited. A sumptuous, hot-climate cabernet from a low-yielding vintage. Distinctly maritime, with a plume of briny black olive/sea spray freshness. Dried sage segues to a morass of dark-fruit allusions, corralled by a curb of mocha oak. Varietal integrity never strays from the path of savouriness, yet the heat and fruit sweetness stray a little from the mark of poise.
2019 Popsie Blanc de Blancs
Sourced from a higher-elevation vineyard, hand picked and gently pressed, as is the wont of the style. Best, malolactic conversion was completed in older French oak, imparting a resinous depth and creamy complexity to the wine. The feel is one of richness, yet the acidity is pixelated and fresh, evincing an uncanny poise and levity to a flow of autumnal and citrus fruits. The only caveat is the sweetness that edges across the finish. Still, this is plenty classy.
2021 Bush Vine Grenache
For an address with such a quiver of shiraz and cabernet, it is a pleasure to taste the sole grenache. I like this. It is rich, dense and far away from the aspirational motif of Gredos, Spain, that many strive toward. Successfully, mind you. But here, a darker brood. Visions more of the southern Rhone. Full weighted, yet impressively fresh. Brimming with molten raspberry bonbon, aniseed, pepper, clove, grilled meats and lavender. The use of 30% new oak stunts the flow. But it is an impressive wine that argues well for future fine-tuning.
2021 Dairy Block Shiraz
Look here if seeking full-throttle shiraz with a contemporary sheen of classy oak, polish, concentration and despite the obvious heft, Rhone-inspired aromatics of purple fruits, dried nori, brine, charcuterie, a smear of tapenade and a trail of clove and pepper. This is impressive in its mechanics. One- to two-glasses sort of wine, but very well done.
2018 Dairy Block Grand Vin Shiraz
The Grand Vin range is only made in the best vintages and in small volumes. Seven rows of Dairy Block selected here. Matured in 33% new French oak for 14 months. Another large-framed wine, albeit one from a cooler, yet increasingly challenged climate in the Adelaide Hills. A whiff of barnyard opens proceedings, attesting to the high pH, fruit sweetness and fortress of alcohol. Yet it doesn’t get in the way of enjoyment. If anything, it adds a savoury allure to the assault of Cherry Ripe, llicorella, anise, green olive, clove and raspberry bonbon. The finish flows nicely, with little rasp or oaky impingement.
2022 Anna’s Sauvignon Blanc
A good style, far from the madding crowd of vacuity. No real surprises, mind you. But plenty of flavour for the fan club, a whiff of class and ample poise for the curious. Pear, greengage, guava and hedgerow with some deft barrel work imparting textural breadth and a little grip around the edges and mitigating any tangy excess. Finishes easygoing and impressively long.
2021 Ace of Trumps Shiraz
Opaque. Aromas of scorched rock, blueberry, smoked bacon, kirsch and a sachet of clove, cardamon, pepper grind and anise littered across the bolshy finish. A powerful wine manicured with a great deal of small format French oak (30â€“40% new) to impart a much-needed modicum of structure, for any sense of grape tannins are lost, or absent, in the melee. It works well, with the caveats being the heat and capacity to drink more than a glass … yay or nay
Sophie’s Hill Pinot Grigio
An interesting composition of partial mlf and barrel fermentation imbuing grip, tone and savoury undertones to the usual spurt of pear and green apple accents. With this, an attractive lees-derived mealiness, akin to almond shavings and white miso, fills out the mid-palate. Good drinking. Light years away from the grigio norm, in the very best sense.
2020 The Meddler Malbec
Levity and power on show, with malbec’s florals sashaying effortlessly with bumptious purple fruits before a belt of cocoa nib, oak, smoky tannins and gruff acidity compress the finish. This has been crafted well, but I can’t escape the drying, smoky finish.
2021 Anth’s Garden Chardonnay
Hand picked and whole-bunch pressed before a shift to barrel and partial mlf conversion for acid retention. A straightforward, mid-weighted expression with a gentle belt of reductive tension corralling rather sweet stone fruit and glazed citrus peel accents. The finish, a dutiful drift to modest length.
All reviews by Ned Goodwin MW