2018 was an archetypal growing season with consistent winter rains and favourable weather conditions throughout a mild spring. A dry summer led to earlier than expected picking dates and smaller yields. With the arrival of autumn, cool temperatures elongated the growing season producing grapes with concentrated flavours and balanced acidity. 2018 Brooks Road exhibits the compelling dynamic between savoury and fruit flavours which is textbook Shiraz from Clarendon. Sweet blueberry and rich red fruits interlace with notes of clove and menthol. The palate is expansive but pure finesses with a beautifully balanced acidity leading to a silky finish.
The fruit was hand-picked, partially destemmed (10% whole bunches) and crushed to open top fermenters. Following cold soak, the grapes saw a gentle maceration of plunging and drain and returns during peak fermentation. Drained and pressed after 18 days on skins, the free run went directly to barrel and no pressings were included. Aged 15 months in predominantly 500 litre French oak puncheons (30% new) and a 25 hectolitre round foudre.
"Fine-grained tannin. Sweet, ripe fruit. Creamy mouthfeel. And while it all feels controlled, it feels luxurious throughout, perfumed, plush, those kind of vibes. There are sweet herb/tobacco-like characters here too and sophisticated, smoky edges. It’s still coming together but the fine spread of tannin, gorgeous flavour and reach through the finish all spell (high) quality."
95pts Campbell Mattinson WineFront.com.au
93 pts Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com, May 2020