A very interesting debut release. This wine is the result of a project between the Croser family of Piccadilly Valley in South Australia and the Bollinger family of Champagne and the Cazes family of Lynch Bages, Bordeaux. Brian Croser has made the wine. WrattonBully is situated south of Coonawarra. It has the same soil of the best of Coonawarra namely Terra Rossa; a really rich red soil. It's a 30 year old vineyard known as the Whalebone Vineyard. It's an ancient shoreline and the bones of a stranded whale from many years ago are visble in the caves underneath the vineyard. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Shiraz, and 10% Cabernet Franc, aged in new French barriques for 20 months. The Bordeaux influence is clear in this elegant Australian red. Spicy berry fruit on the nose with perfumed asian spices from the toasty French oak. It has sweet fruit with a savoury edge too. It's rich and textured on the palate with again a pronounced oak spice and ripe tannins. It's rich, elegant and pretty complex making a very good and interesting red for Australia. It to me though lacks that extra edge of complexity and richness to justify it's c£30 price tag. Very good for sure, but at this young stage i find the perfumed almost herbal oak character a little dominant. It is however worthy of looking at again, and clearly the operation shows a lot of promise.
Noel Young Wines Website, www.nywines.co.uk
27th of June 2005