Parker’s First Growth has developed into something of a Coonawarra classic, and this vintage is as strong as ever. Densely packed with cedar, cassis and vanilla, this is a youthful pup that packs considerable tannic clout on the finish. Drink 2013–2020.
The 2004 is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 100% new French oak. There’s plenty of fruit to back up the lavish oak treatment, but this wine needs 3–5 years to integrate its cassis fruit with the overlay of vanilla, chocolate and toasted coconut. It seems a bit coarsely textured at first, then smoothes out nicely with air, gaining length on the finish. Drink…
Though its aromas are a little rich (think cola, amaretto, vanilla), this wine's a workhorse, not a show pony. Its feels admirably sturdy to the core, with hearty red plum and cherry fruit and a rustic, earthy impression overall. An apt tribute to a wine bearing a "terra rossa" name. Drink through 2011.
Wide, smooth and dark on the palate, this blend offers a burst of flavorful, dark fruit at palate entry. The juicy fruit is well oaked, but not toasty; brambly aromas start it all off. A very pretty wine.
A solid example of Coonawarra Cabernet, the 2008 Terra Rossa features a charming combination of cherry-cassis fruit and eucalypt with cigar box and vanilla. It’s medium to full in body, with fine balance and a long finish. Drink now–2016.
Aromas are nutty, but also have some stewiness. In the mouth, the wine's tannins are soft enough, perhaps uncharacteristically so, but its taut berry and plum skin flavors still give it an unapproachable pucker. It's a wine that can typically go some years in the cellar, which may help the flavors unfold some in this case.
Smoky and cedary, this wine’s bouquet also carries with it that herbal edge so typical of Coonawarra. Dried-fruit flavors lack a touch of freshness, but the mouthfeel is creamy, the tannins supple. Turns a bit drying on the finish, so try it with rare beef in the near term.