This wine displays all the hallmarks of classic McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon – blackcurrant, chocolate with a hint of herbaceousness delivered on a rich palate of dense, firm tannins. But JR Gantos loves his port, and couldn’t help adding a splash (5%) of Touriga Nacional, which gives a varietal floral lift. St Estephe on steroids meets the Douro!
jamessuckling.com, James Suckling, June 2016. 92 points
Lots of chocolate and plum character with loads of vanilla bean, too. Full-body, soft and juicy tannins and intense flavors. Drink now.
Halliday Wine Companion 2020, James Halliday. 95 Points (Gold)
Good colour; a plump and luscious wine with blackcurrant, fragrant notes of spice of forest and garden, the fruit rich and generous, the tannins soft, the oak in place. You can't say no to a wine such as this.
jamessuckling.com, James Suckling, March 2015. 92 points
A thick, juicy red with dark-berry, chocolate and light toasted-coffee-bean character on the nose and palate. Full body, chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Better in 2015.
Halliday Wine Companion 2017, James Halliday, page 262. 93 Points
91% cabernet sauvignon, 9% touriga nacional, crushed / destemmed, closed fermentation with cultured yeast, 12 days on skins, fermentation finished in French hogsheads (45% new), 20 months maturation. Full-bodied and powerful; a slash of bitter chocolate accompanies the penetrating mix of redcurrant, blackcurrant and black olive, oak as yet to soften the overall profile of what will be a long lived wine.
5 August 2016 by Julia Harding MW. Score: 17
Deep garnet. An unusual combination of varieties but one that works well, the sweentess of the ripe, blackcurrant-fruited Cabernet Sauvignon intensifying the perfume of the Touriga, all surrounded by fine dark fruit and dark plums but with freshness too. The tannins are really fine and there is just a touch of chocolate and tertiary savoury flavours starting to develop. And a slight herbal quality that adds further complexity. Dry, finely grainy tannins. So much pleasure and refinement, and the promise of more to come. A terrific achievement in a very difficult vintage. (JH)