Packaged like the von Kasper cabernet in the classic old bottle under cork, this wine is the broody foil to the elegance of The Beauty: intense, dark chocolate and mocha, blackcurrant compote, spiced plum pudding layered over chocolate éclair but with savoury notes of liquorice and even steak tartare. The oak is more prevalent here than previous wines, in spice, vanilla and cigar box aromatics, and the palate is broody, chewy, masculine, muscular. Big tannins for a big Barossa Valley wine. So delicious on opening and was even better decanted for a few hours, but imagine if you could leave a few bottles to open in ten years’ time, and then a few more bottles for twenty years’? Reward in buckets. Holy dooly, this would have to be with a five-hour slow-roasted lamb shoulder, anchovies and leeks, with braised radicchio and fennel on the side. One hundred per cent.
Review by Melissa Moore
True to its name – brooding nose of black olive, blood plum and a palate laden with boysenberries, cracked black pepper and a hint of spicy oak. Round yet refined, would definitely appeal to the old-school Barossa drinker, but also appeal to the more modern Barossa fan with its medium weight but pronounced intensity of flavour.
Drink 2024 – 2036
The Beauty and The Beast – Hentley Farm’s two popular shiraz although each with their own unique style. Different vintages work for different wines but for 2018 my money is on The Beast, a name that it matches up to particularly well in this warm vintage.
There is nothing subtle here and the wine flirts with just being too big, but then its supreme balance kicks in. It explodes with tarry, licorice and blackberry jam fruit with touches of spice and roasted meats all underpinned by generous new oak. The palate is similarly rich and flavoursome, lashings of ripe dark fruit with muscular tannins providing a particularly long and strong finish. Barossa Valley on steroids.