Originally established in the 1860s by one of Melbourne's founding fathers, James Johnston, Craiglee Vineyard was absent from the Australian wine landscape until it was replanted in 1976 by an enthusiastic agricultural science graduate called Pat Carmody. Now one of Australia's most highly regarded and awarded wineries, Craiglee is still run with the loving attention of Pat and Dianne Carmody with the occasional input of their sons.
Epic wine. Complex, svelte, succulent and moving with confidence and assertion. Huge volume of enticing perfume with dark berries, sweet date, new leather, Chinese five spice and regional earthy-herbal-peppery characters. Flavours are lavish, hit all corners of the palate, drip with fruit and spice while a weave of beautifully tarry tannins build to the firming conclusion. All the while, freshness plays a card, as does savouriness, and oak, it’s there, but beautiful in its judicious seasoning, A very complete and compelling (and wildly satisfying, delicious) shiraz. New benchmarks come rarely. Tasted: June 2020; Alcohol: 14%; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2020-2040; Rated: 97 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
This black-labelled 2016 Reserve Shiraz has arrived as a one-off to celebrate 40 years since Pat Carmody replanted the property. It’s bright, deeply-coloured, and typically understated in youth, yet it has delicious varietal and regional purity. Raspberry and blueberry fruit aromas, floral notes, savoury hints of pepper, minerally earth and sweet spices are woven through with a subdued seasoning of classy oak on the nose. The palate is plump and juicy, medium bodied and lingering, gentle tannins in perfect balance. It’s deliciously drinkable now, but Craiglee’s shirazes have legendary ageworthiness and it’s sure to build more dimension in the bottle. Drink: 2020 to 2035; Price: $145.00; Alcohol: 14%; Rating: 96 Points; Ralph Kyte-Powell; The Real Review
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