95 Points – Drink 2025 – 2040
A perfect partner to the Black label Cabernet. This is certainly one of the best and most stylish yet under this label. It’s from old Coonawarra vines that have been carefully managed by viticulturist Allen Jenkins. In fact, the vines date back to 1894. It’s a beautiful example of cool climate shiraz in an excellent year. Red fruits with a cranberry pomegranate aroma sprinkled with black pepper. The palate is bright and fresh with those fine chalky tannins bringing structure with subtle poise.
94 Ponts – Drink 2021 – 2036
There’s something about old vines – in this case the oldest dating back to 1894 – that brings an effortless ease to a wine, a quiet dignity.
Black Label old vines is not in the least bit showy or shouting. Fruits are mostly in the red/black fruit sphere, a touch of blackcurrant pastille opening to reveal a world of spice – nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves – and above it, cedary oak. Soft and plummy it meshes beautifully on the palate with a strong bucolic feel from the tilled earth and dried herb inflection to a gentle earthy savouriness. A touch of French polish alerts you to the presence of oak. It’s there, yes, you can taste it, but it’s part of the furniture, so to speak, integral and not to the point of being aggressive.
92 Points – Drink 2021 – 2027
This wine should be known as Very Old Vines Shiraz, with some fruit drawn off vines planted back in 1894 – it is arguably Australia’s oldest cool climate shiraz vineyard. The 2019 vintage is looking a little shy and reserved right now – dark cherry and fruit pastille aromas are lifted by nice touches of sweet clove. The oak is prominent but sits in nicely behind the fruit. What follows in a mid-weight palate, its fleshy fruits supported by firmish tannins although that fruit is silky and maybe a little light on. It’s a good but not great vintage of Black Label Shiraz.