Incredible Reviews Published in the Robert Parker Wine Advocate

Incredible Reviews Published in the Robert Parker Wine Advocate

We were very fortunate to have had highly regarded wine writer Erin Larkin (Robert Parker Wine Advocate) visit our winery in January 2024 with our Chief Winemaker Julian Langworthy.

As well as taking a walk through our estate vineyards, which she called "breathtaking", Larkin was also guided through a vertical tasting across a range of our wines, some of which dated back to 1981 and our first vintage bottlings.

The below reviews were published in the article titled: Australia: Global Viticultural Treasure in Great Western, Victoria.

The Eagle Shiraz

2022 The Eagle Shiraz (not yet released)

98 Points

The 2022 The Eagle Shiraz will be released in March 2026. Utterly inchoate on the nose currently, the fruit is vibrant and electric, and there are aromas of raspberry pip, white pepper, Earl Grey tea, blood orange and red licorice. What a ripping wine. The middle palate and finish are softer and quieter than the thundering display that I expected from the nose. This is a good thing. The wine is elegantly cacophonous and nuanced. I love what this is all about. You get mountain herbs, fine spice and rocks as well.

2020 The Eagle Shiraz (not yet released)

97 Points

Spicy and pert, this 2020 The Eagle Shiraz incorporates a small component of whole bunch (about 15%), and this elevates the spice component untold. It is a great inclusion, along with the subtle lacing of orange peel, white pepper, blood orange, cinnamon and blueberry. It's eminently classy, refined and electric, in its way. The wine speaks eloquently of its place in the Victorian hills, but it also expounds fragrance, finesse and energy. It's a super wine. You can drink this now, but it borders on frisky. I love it as is, but the wine will only gain in stature, complexity and nuance as it ages. Five years from release might be a good rule of thumb, but you go your own way. A good wine is good at every age. 

2013 The Eagle Shiraz (museum wine)

94+ Points

The 2013 The Eagle Shiraz leads with a gentle wafer character at the edges of the bright red berries. You also get crushed rocks and cocoa, milk chocolate and a hint of licorice, with lashings of graphite and white pepper. This very elegant wine is in a wonderful drinking window right now, albeit at the very beginning of its drinking life. It's very good, supple and ductile, elegant and composed.

2004 The Eagle Shiraz (museum wine)

92 Points

The 2004 The Eagle Shiraz is juicy and full, with loads of flavor and fruit here. It doesn't have the haunting complexity of the 1986 wine; however, it has an attractive succulence that cannot be overlooked. It's charming.

1986 The Eagle Shiraz (museum wine)

96 Points

1986 was the first vintage of this wine and my birth year—a lovely coincidence. Two barrels were made of the 1986 The Eagle Shiraz, with 50% new oak. On the nose, this is rich and über fresh, with blood and rust-laced red fruits, nutmeg, sandalwood, scraped vanilla pod and cardamom pod to boot, and you get flavors of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee grounds and rocks. It is rich without being heavy or weighty and is a pleasure to drink. It was beautifully stored, and this still feels very fresh.

The Pinnacle Shiraz

2021 The Pinnacle Shiraz (not yet released)

97 Points

The 2021 The Pinnacle Shiraz leads with Earl Grey tea and blood orange, raspberry pip, blackberry jam and tobacco, with graphite, mineral effusion/fan through the middle palate and layers of texture that encompass pockets of flavor. This is a super wine. It has wet earth, petrichor, ductile tannin and everything good and earth-derived.

2020 The Pinnacle Shiraz

96 Points

The 2020 The Pinnacle Shiraz is succulent, luscious and mineral. The wine exudes volume and padded fruit weight, without the tailing density and weight that this style can often possess. Planted to the BV12 clone (from Barossa), the Pinnacle block is impressive, as is this wine, which is defined, spicy and superb. There's great release of this wine; it's ripe but absolutely in check.

2013 The Pinnacle Shiraz (museum wine)

95 Points

The 2013 The Pinnacle Shiraz (planted to the Barossa clone BV12) is highly aromatic and leads with molasses and plum skin, dark fruitcake spice and lashings of exotic spice and berries. In the mouth, the wine is chewy and agile, with layered tannins that settle in the mouth and build. It's evocative and superb. The top of the Pinnacle Vineyard (430 meters above sea level) is the highest slope on the Dalwhinnie site, and it has some impressive angles running up the hill. This is a very good wine indeed.

Moonambel Shiraz

2021 Moonambel Shiraz (not yet released)

96+ Points

The 2021 season here in Moonambel was cooler than 2020, and this is evident both in the aromatics (finer, more graphite, more nuance) and on the palate, which is lighter in weight, more mineral, more finessed. I must confess that this 2021 Moonambel Shiraz is ultimately more my personal style preference with Syrah; however, both wines are side by side in quality and expression. A beautiful wine of place, this will no doubt blossom and evolve prior to its release in the middle of next year. These are special wines.

2020 Moonambel Shiraz (not yet released)

96 Points

The 2020 Moonambel Shiraz is plush and floral, with saturated layers of red berries and sweet fruit, Earl Grey tea, flowers and sweet bone marrow. It's expansive and beautiful. I challenge anyone who loves Shiraz/Syrah to not love this wine. It has power without being heavy, delicacy without being light, and there's a softness of fruit and juiciness of structure. It's ductile, pliable, agile and good. It was bottled with roughly 14% alcohol (as written on the hand-labeled sample) and sealed under screw cap. I feel that the screw-cap closure will mitigate the effects of the warmer season, as this closure is a brilliant preserver of fresh fruit character. This wine is due for release in March 2024.

2017 Moonambel Shiraz (museum wine)

96 Points

The 2017 Moonambel Shiraz is eminently balanced and refined on the nose, with blood, minerals and flowers in equal measure. This is super composed, balanced and, as far as wine drinking pleasure goes, a triumph. There are notes of cardamom pod, sandalwood, scraped vanilla pod, pomegranate molasses, crushed rocks and kicked earth, and the layers of flavor are defined by very fine, ductile, tannic texture and support. Super.

2005 Moonambel Shiraz (museum wine)

95 Points

The 2005 Moonambel Shiraz is riper than either wine tasted either side of it (2002 and 2017), and it leads with milk chocolate, plush succulent red and purple fruit, scraped vanilla pod (perhaps the oak?) and lashings of fruit. This is a deeply delicious wine, although I would suggest that the slightly higher alcohol masks some of the more nuanced characters that I saw in some of the earlier vintages. However, what it misses there, it absolutely gains in attractiveness and succulence. This has a saturation of fruit flavor in the mouth. This is a wine of density and delight.

2002 Moonambel Shiraz (museum wine)

96 Points

The 2002 Moonambel Shiraz is meaty and plush on the nose that reveals crushed rocks and bone marrow, bone broth and field mushrooms. It is entirely aromatic and deeply pleasant, with dried rose petals, a hint of Satsuma plum and white pepper. 2002 was a cool, low-cropping season, and the wine shows all of the poise and delicacy inherent in the season. It's a pleasure to drink this, and it's in an immaculate window of development. There are plenty of years to go, but if you have any bottles now, I would urge you to open one and see it. It's a beauty and gently reminiscent of the 1994, which I also loved.

1998 Moonambel Shiraz (museum wine)

95 Points

The 1998 Moonambel Shiraz leads with rocks and coffee grounds, graphite and resin, blood and tar. It was a warm, dry day in Moonambel as I sat looking out over the hills blanketed in native bushland. And this wine feels very reminiscent of the natural landscape: severe and craggy in places, beautiful in its way. The wine is mineral and fine yet has a surging upswell of fruit power. The gentle Bonox aromas translate eloquently in the mouth, giving this a very exciting, light/dark character. It's in a great place for drinking right now and is maturing nicely.

1994 Moonambel Shiraz (museum wine)

96 Points

The 1994 Moonambel Shiraz leads with eucalypt and wild thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf, with a hint of white pepper and cardamom pod. I like this very much. There is a gentle shaded fruit character, but I feel it sits beautifully in this wine, as it is 30 years old now. It remains fresh and composed. Blonde tobacco, graphite ... this is succulent and a beauty. It's a wine I'd love to drink. It has mouth perfume and is a wine of distinct place. The rocks and the magic of the place come through in this evocative wine. You also get a whiff of distant coffee grounds. Superb.

1991 Moonambel Shiraz (museum wine)

92 Points

The 1991 Moonambel Shiraz is possessed of an odd nose, which I am choosing to bypass here and go straight to the palate. In the mouth, the wine has lemon peel, nutmeg, dried oregano, roast meat crust, pomegranate pearls, graphite, raw cacao and layers of resin/char/earth. The wine is showing some of its oak, which actually works to bolster the wine and lend complexity. Certainly, it needs no assistance with length of flavor, which offers a hint of camphor and dried lavender. There are lovely grainy tannins through the finish that prompt chew and movement.

1988 Moonambel Shiraz (museum wine)

95 Points

The 1988 Moonambel Shiraz is aromatic and fresh on the nose, with black pudding, a hint of burnt brown sugar and molasses, cardamom pod and rust/iodine. In the mouth, the wine is robust and leafy, with crushed rocks and earth, dried herbs, peppercorns and a hint of goji berry. The wine is labeled at 12.8% alcohol, and yet it feels wonderfully ripe, with raw cacao, graphite, Satsuma plum, rooibos tea, dried orange peel, roast beef crust and bone marrow. It's complex, fresh, powerful and exciting, just super. Vine age may be playing a role in the complexity of this wine.

1981 Moonambel Shiraz (museum wine)

92 Points

1979 was the first vintage of this Moonambel Shiraz—hand-labeled and perhaps not released. The 1980 was released into the wild with a proper label, and only two bottles remain in the museum. The 1981 Moonambel Shiraz is down to only seven or eight bottles, so I feel glad and honored to be tasting one of them here, in the vineyard today. Bottled in beautiful brown glass, the cork pulls out perfectly, and the wine pours a deep ruby/garnet. On the nose, you get pomegranate molasses, crushed rocks, dried lavender and dried/cracked peppercorns. In the mouth, the wine is elegant and fine, totally in shape and composed, with shale and tar, resin and dried rose petals, black pudding and a hint of ylang-ylang, plus goji berries, fresh blood, copper and rust, ferruginous tannin and flowers. It's a beautiful, quiet wine of poise and presence, evocative and gently firm. A beauty.

LDR Shiraz

2022 LDR Shiraz

94 Points

The 2022 LDR Shiraz is impossibly bright, spicy and pert. The texture is almost frisky! The 75% whole bunch sits well within this wine; the fruit holds it with aplomb. Matured in older puncheons and in barrel for only nine months, this is fresh and exciting, with a splay of exotic spice and mountain herbs. It's a beautiful, supple and charming wine.

2021 LDR Shiraz (museum wine)

92 Points

The 2021 LDR Shiraz leads with blood and gentle reduction, rose petals and gristle, marrow and graphite, coal dust and a whiff of resin. It's really an exciting little wine. They used 40% whole-bunch grapes in this wine, which is essentially a declassified Eagle Shiraz; and while the Eagle character is evident, I think this LDR was a great move. This 2021 is the first vintage of LDR.

Moonambel Chardonnay

2021 Moonambel Chardonnay (not yet released)

93 Points

The 2021 Chardonnay is subtly yet distinctly different from the 2020, which was the last vintage reviewed. Here, the wine leads with white spring flowers, apple blossom, crushed cashews and very fine, lacy minerals on the nose. In the mouth, the wine is soft, fresh and balanced; the flavors blanket the tongue in an airy kind of way. It's a lovely wine, showing the impact of further development in the vineyard (better canopy management, providing less exposed fruit) and the winemaking style.

South West Rocks Shiraz

2012 South West Rocks Shiraz (museum wine)

92 Points

The 2012 South West Rocks Shiraz is bloody and rocky, with cocoa and earth in the mouth. This is lean and firm and steely (a touch metallic) through the back palate. We walked through the vineyard, and the South West Rocks Vineyard is aptly named, with small and definitely not small (!) collections of ironstone, shale and slate (blue and red) strewn throughout the vineyard. It's a good-looking, rocky, slate-strewn vineyard. I like that. Black tea tannins define the finish.

Shop all our current release wines online here.

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