Our reserve Shiraz is sourced from vineyards in Seppeltsfield, Greenock and Ebenezer. Dense, earthy dark berry fruits, with hints of tobacco and cocoa are further enhanced by subtle use of oak. This wine has been matured in a combination new and old French oak hogsheads and Amreican oak barriques for 20-24 months, resulting in a sexy, textured palate. And who’s 2%? Moscatel! Just to add a splash of funk.
JancisRobinson.com, Julia Harding MW, 2nd July 2016, 16 points
This is probably the most ironic of all the First Drop packaging, including silver netting round the bottle... Deep purple colour. Smells very sweet like blackcurrant fruit pastilles and black jelly babies. On the palate, massive sweetness of fruit and oak and just enough acidity to balance. This is not my taste in wine but it does well what it sets out to do: ribald fruit, no holds barred for those who like a big sweet mouthful of spicy black fruit and Australian sunshine.
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2020 Edition. Rating: 95 (Gold)
The two percent is moscatel, an approach used by Peter Lehmann as far back as the '50s. This takes on all comers with a broad chest and a clear ‘take me or leave me' message. It's braggadocio is strengthened by finishing its fermentation in French oak (18% new) and maturation in American oak (9% new), the grapes ex Seppeltsfield, Greenock and Ebenezer districts (another Peter Lehmann touch). All up, I'll take it.
jamessuckling.com, James Suckling, July 2017. 93 points
A red with lots of blackberry and black-olive aromas and flavors. Full body, round and medium tannins and a fresh, flavorful finish. Drink or hold.
winefront.com.au, Mike Bennie, April 2019. 91 points
French oak, American oak, three parishes for shiraz, that 2% eye-dropper of moscatel grapes to season. It’s been part of the DNA of First Drop from early days. It has that cool, Spanish wine ‘cage’ around it, don’t ya know? Strong bouquet of pencil shavings, clove, forest berry jam, Black Forest cake. Slosh of dark berry flavours, bourbon and coke, dark chocolate, fine tannins, good length and concentration of flavour. Ultra dark and deep shiraz here, not for faint-hearted, but delivers a pretty good experience in its ilk.
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2019 Edition, page 248. Rating: 94 (Silver)
Yes there's size and warmth but it has a smile on its dial and charm on its side. It's light and heavy at once, floral and fat with ripe berries, its buzzy alcohol drenched in juicy, dark, energetic fruit flavour. It's a toothsome red wine.
jamessuckling.com, James Suckling, July 2017. 92 points
A bold and ripe shiraz that has a big, fleshy wave of blackberry compote fruit and a swathe of fine, fluffy tannins. Weapon of mass seduction in a bottle. Drink it now.
Halliday Wine Companion 2018 Edition, James Halliday, Hardie Grant Books. Rating 95 (Gold)
The Two Percent is moscatel; perhaps that adds to the lift of the aromatics, or not. Regardless, this is big and bodacious yet perfectly contained. Full-bodied, slippery texture with a suppleness to the ripe and almost sweet tannins with oak in check.
Halliday Wine Companion 2017 Edition, James Halliday, Hardie Grant Books. Rating 95 (Gold)
Includes 2% moscatel, machine-picked from vineyards at Seppeltsfield, Marananga, Kalimna and Ebenezer, crushed/destemmed, static fermenters with 12 days on skins, fermentation finished in French oak, matured for 20 months in French hogsheads (18% new) and American barriques. Deeply coloured; interesting use of moscatel for co-fermentation; the cadence of the palate ebbs and flows, alcohol showing one moment, unexpected elegance the next.
The Advertiser, Tony Love's Top 100 Wines 2016, 16 July 2016. 94 Points
Sourced from the Barossa’s western ridges and northern sector, this is a quintessential, regionally recognisable shiraz with a big muscly approach. It is not just power-packed with black fruits but dried kitchen herbs, rich spiced compote plum juices, delicious mouth-filling chocolatey flavours and textures, as well as a some savoury, meaty lines. All-round goodness even at 15 per cent alcohol, it’s balanced without excess, tempered by that 2 per cent — a dash of local muscat fruit.