99 Points James Halliday
"the palate sends the senses into overdrive" James Halliday
It is almost certain there is no other single vineyard block in the world of shiraz with each and every vine planted 155 (or more) years ago remaining in continuous production by the same owner.
....As vines grow old, they become increasingly fragile. Their gnarled and twisted trunks look thick, but this is an illusion. The interior of the trunk slowly decomposes, leaving the bark and a thin support of wood to supply the vine with the nutrients to survive. Thus “plough disease” can kill a vine in 30 fateful seconds if a piece of agricultural machinery makes contact with the trunk. Soil degradation and insect attack are other challenges. The most deadly threat is phylloxera, and here is the greatest miracle of the 1860 Vines block: it is on a slight sandy rise, surrounded on all sides by phylloxera, which is intolerant of sand.
...The outlook is for a maximum of 250 dozen when the weather gods smile. There is no present intention to join the dizzy price heights of Grange or Hill of Grace, however justified it may seem....
The colour is very bright; the bouquet intriguing and complex; the palate sends the senses into overdrive. Rarely has a wine had such intense power and drive built on such a pure fruit core, relegating the 100% new French oak and tannins to a background role. The length is prodigious, the elegance and balance replayed endlessly. 13.5% alc, screwcap. 99 points, to 2040, $298. James Halliday. The Weekend Australia.