Deep crimson with red hues. Concentrated and complex aromas of cassis, black and red currants, blackberry leaf and violets with underlying savoury nuances of crushed dried herbs, cigar box, beefstock and anise spice, all supported by dark cedary French oak. A flood of rich blackberry and bright red currants greet the palate, which is precisely defined by purity of acidity, an elegant structure and layers of long, silky fine-grained tannins that provide great persistence.
The La Niña pattern weakened during the lead-up to the 2012 vintage, resulting in below average winter and spring rainfall. July was the driest since the serious drought of 2003. Spring was mild with few frost events; however, flowering and fruit set were affected by wet drizzly weather in mid to late November, leading to only average yields. Summer was also surprisingly mild with below average temperatures from southerlies off the ocean in January and only two short heat events, at New Year and at the end of February. This provided for slow ripening which allowed for intense fruit flavours, high colour figures, high acidity and mature tannins. Rainfall leading up to vintage was above average, with the heaviest rainfall events in late January and late February, which tied in well with the natural physiology of the dry-grown vines; ie, keeping leaves active at veraison and ripening. Temperatures were mild during harvest through March, warming to an Indian summer in April, allowing for a long window of picking and amazing maturities with the red varieties.Cabernet was a standout variety showing great purity and spice, colour, intensity and strikingly mature tannins. Yields were average with exceptional overall quality.
"A cabernet sauvignon-led blend with cabernet franc and merlot in support, gorgeous blackberry flavours dominate the fruit spectrum with lifts of blackcurrant flowers and lavender adding a wonderful fragrance across the whole passage. More seasoned oak than new encourages elegance and medium weight, the expected varietal tannins have integrated well, and the wine finishes in beautiful, long-lasting harmony. Best with: Asian-flavoured beef cheek."
"This is one of Australia’s greatest cabernets, staring down Coonawarra and Margaret River (just for starters). The argument evaporates when you admit – as you must- that those wines are in such different styles it’s an apples and oranges comparison. The real comparison is between this and Mount Mary. It has a purity and elegance that puts it in a class of its own."