St Hugo Barossa Shiraz 2015You know exactly what you’re going to get here – archetypal old school Barossa Shiraz. Vanilla bean paste oak that carries the whole way through the palate. It’s not unbalanced, but the impact of the oak is more 1998 than 2018, though French oak vanilla rather than American oak coconut coffee. Texturally the palate just a little warm but the concentration is undeniable – it’s very rich, alcoholic and no shortage of anything, though not necessarily well balanced. It’s quality traditional Barossa Shiraz, but I do wonder whether tastes has moved on from this firm, oaky, slightly tart style. Best drinking: Wait 3 years, then it will live for twenty. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14.5%, $54.99. Would I buy it? A glass.
St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015Coonawarra Cabernet aplenty. Gives a proper regional stamp with dried leaves and a little tobacco. The palate shape is very classic Coonawarra, complete with mint edged firm dry tannins, and an utterly substantial feel – it’s thick and yet shaped by those minty tannins. In Coonawarra – and St Hugo – terms, this is bang on. Perhaps a tad too old school with the rawness of the tannins and alcohol warmth, but this is what it is – a wine for drinking in a decades time. Best drinking: Wait. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14.5%, $54.99. Would I buy it? I’d like a bottle to open in a decade.
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