The Ashmead block has consistently produced small parcels of excellent quality fruit. 2016 is the 17th release of this unparalleled wine and is a superior example of Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon. Estate grown on the Nuriootpa vineyard, the fruit is sourced from a single block planted circa 1944. Deep alluvial silt over red and brown soil and limestone near the banks of the North Para River allow the vines to grow deep roots, so they need minimal irrigation. The hand-harvested fruit was fermented in open-top concrete fermenters with chilled ferments, hand pump-overs, and cap submerging with oak header boards for eight days. The process finished with barrel ferment and malolactic fermentation in new French oak. The wine is aged in a mix of new French oak hogsheads from about 8 different coopers for 18 months.
Deep purple in color with aromas of dark chocolate, black fruits, and olives. The palate is smooth and rich with flavors of cassis, mint and licorice, and a chocolatey finish. Supple and mouth-watering, with ripe tannins that add structure. Drink now or cellar for 8+ years.
“Cabernet's bursting swag of currant, dried sage and olive, at least as its voice in warmer climes, is all here in spades. What, though, makes this wine impressive, is its sheer strut across the palate. Buxom and confident, yet dichotomously restrained (at least in a warm climatic context), it coats the inner sanctum with a smooth veneer of tannin and old vine glycerol.” - 96 points, James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2018