Blame James

Hugh Hamilton | Thursday 4th August, 2016

I didn’t write this about our wines. Blame James.  Read on to see why I’m seeing stars.

I think James short-changed me. He has awarded us 5-stars (the maximum possible under his rules) for our wines this year……again!  Shouldn’t it be 8-stars? After all he’s awarded us well over 90 points for 8 wines. It’s not fair. Someone needs to tell him to change the rules before he writes his next book. “James, lift your game son!”

The much anticipated James Halliday Australian ‘wine bible’ Wine Companion 2017 has just been released and it’s a stellar (that means stars) result for the Hugh Hamilton Black Sheep wines with 11 wines rated above 90 points.

With three consecutive years of the famed five star rating we are now seeing RED. Five red stars with the Wine Companion confirms we are an “Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity. Will have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above, and had a five-star rating for the previous two years.”

Cheers and best wishes,
 Hughs Signature

‘Black Blood II’ Church Vineyard Shiraz 2014
Rating: 95 points; drink to 2034; $79
Black Blood II has loose dark alluvial soils (from an old river) with ironstone fragments over deep clay. Very good texture and structure, generous without going over the top; shares the blackberry flavours more or less common to all three wines. A lift to the back palate provides light and shade in the texture, the juicy finish long and compelling. 14.6% alc; screwcap. 

‘Black Blood III’ Black Sheep Vineyard Shiraz 2014
Rating: 96 points; drink to 2034; $79
From the light, sandy soils of the Blewitt Springs district. The finest and purest of the trio, with some red fruit notes among the black; more spicy and fragrant, and a long, lively finish and aftertaste; the tannins are particularly fine. 14.6% alc; screwcap. 

‘Tonnellerie Damy’ Single Barrel Cellar Vineyard Shiraz 2014
Rating 95 ; drink to 2039; $50
Sequential barrel maturation for 20 months, 8 months new, 12 months used. 24 dozen made. Deep Crimson-purple; this has extraordinary power and thrust, partly inky, black fruits, part tannins, part distinctly toasty oak, licorice and a dab of dark chocolate. Screwcap. 14.5% alc.
(Limited stock, only available in Hugh's 'Stellar' Offer)

‘Tonnellerie Francios Freres’ Single Barrel Cellar Vineyard Shiraz 2014
Rating: 94 points; drink to 2030; $50
The same sequential barrel maturation for 20 months, 24 dozen made. Less powerful, the reverse expectations, the Francios Freres oak tamed by the power of McLaren Vale shiraz, espresso notes on the bouquet and palate. Screwcap. 14.5% alc.
(Limited stock, only available in Hugh's 'Stellar' Offer)  

‘Tonnellerie Remond’ Single Barrel Cellar Vineyard Shiraz 2014
Rating: 94 points; drink to 2030; $50
The same sequential barrel maturation for 20 months, 24 dozen made. A highly fragrant spicy/charry/aniseed bouquet, the black fruits and persistent, but ripe, tannins running through the long, full-bodied palate. Screwcap. 14.5% alc.

‘Shearer’s Cut’ Shiraz 2014
Rating: 94 points; drink to 2034; $24.50
From the bush vines planted in 1910, 120 dozen made. Elegant and lively, the fruit almost sweet, the bouquet perfumed, the tannins fine – yet it is intense and ready for a long life. Screwcap. 14.5% alc.
(Black Sheep Club Exclusive)

‘Black Blood I’ Cellar Vineyard Shiraz 2014
Rating: 93 points; drink to 2034; $79
Black Blood I is planted on black cracking clay, forcing the roots to deal with the fissures that can be a metre deep in summer droughts. Seemingly the most oaky and extractive of the Black Blood trio, yet the first picked (March 8). The colour, too, is deeper. Tannins join in the fray to a more obvious degree. Distinctive, but not best of the three wines. 14.6% alc; screwcap. 

‘Jekyll & Hyde’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Viognier 2014 
Rating: 93 points; drink to 2034; $50
The vivid colour reflects the co-fermentation of 9% viognier; the impact of the viognier almost changes the flavours of the Shiraz from black to red, creating a juicy mouthfeel in so doing. It’s arguably a little OTT with the percentage of viognier, but even so, the result is hedonistic. 14.5% alc; screwcap. 
(Black Sheep Club Exclusive)

‘The Rascal’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014 
Rating: 92 points; drink to 2030; $29.50
A full-bodied traditional McLaren Vale shiraz, with alcohol warmth flowing through its veins; there are black fruits and bitter chocolate aplenty, with matching tannins all the way. If this were not enough, there is the new oak influence.

‘Black Ops’ McLaren Vale Shiraz Saperavi 2014 
Rating: 91 points; drink to 2030; $32.50
85% McLaren Vale shiraz with the stiff upper lip of 15% Barossa Valley Saperavi (and a jab of alcohol). The choice of the consumption venue is of critical importance in enjoying this wine.

‘The Oddball’ McLaren Vale Saperavi 2014 
Rating: 90 points; drink to 2024; $50
Dense and impenetrable colour; while full-bodied, the tannin impact isn’t the least bit aggressive; dark chocolate aromas continue on the palate, part regional, part varietal; new French oak has been absorbed into the fabric of the wine. A conversation starter at the lunch or dinner table.
(Black Sheep Club Exclusive) 

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