The latest reviews for the Kurtz Family Vineyard collection by Gary Walsh from The Winefront July 2021.
Lunar Block Shiraz 2018 – 94 points – (Available soon)
From a block planted in 1969. 1,200 bottles produced.
Intense black fruit, and lavish mocha oak, though in 2018, the fruit seems up to the challenge. Dark chocolate, sage and aniseed, dark tobacco, firm but sticky tannin, toast and ripe blackberry, clean acidity, and a very long finish, grainy tannin trailing. Bold, but very good in its particular style. Should cellar well, and needs some of that, for sure. Drink: 2024 to 2034+.
Schmick Shiraz 2015 – 92 points
Light Pass. 38 months in new French hogsheads. I think I passed on reviewing the 2014, because it was so overt, though this wine finds better balance, albeit in its own distinctive style.
A mass of coffee and sweet spiced, slightly gluey oak, though has imperious black fruit to go with all the oak. Black fruit, mocha, mint, masses of tannin from fruit and oak, so dense and black, dill and cloves, dark chocolate, and it’s almost sticky, like slow cooked beef ribs, with a mocha finish of good length. It would be a better wine with much less oak, and time in oak, but that’s the style. Take it or leave it.
Drink: 2023 – 2030+
Boundary Row Cabernet Shiraz 2017 – 92 points
70% Cabernet from the Eden Valley, and 30% Shiraz from Light Pass. Seasoned oak. Blackcurrant, blueberry, dark chocolate, mint and sage, a little cedar oak tucked in. Ripe small-berried flavour, dark chocolate again, and well-packed tannin, dried herbs and black olive, and a finish that runs pretty long. Nice. Regional and hearty. Drink: 2021 – 2030.
Boundary Row Shiraz 2018 – 92 points
Speaking of Boundary Rows, I’m just over the road from the boundary of City of Sydney council, sitting happily in the Inner West Council LGA. Thank heavens.
Blackberry pastille, dark chocolate and liquorice, with a dash of toasty cedar oak. It’s ripe and black fruited, kind of essence-like in terms of intensity, a smattering of dried herb and mocha, some chew and grain to tannin, and a toasty black and blue fruited finish of fair length. Plenty to get stuck into here. Drink: 2021 – 2027+.
Seven Sleepers Red Blend 2017 – 92 points
So often wines from the Barossa are better when they don’t try too hard. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Shiraz and Malbec here.
Lovely floral perfume above blackcurrant, blackberry and rolling tobacco. Medium bodied, succulent small dark berries, intensity and juiciness, soft but sensible tannin, and a particularly good finish. Excellent. Drink: 2019 – 2025+
Seven Sleepers Red Blend 2018 – 92 points
Cabernet Sauvignon 52%, Shiraz 31%, Petit Verdot 17%. I really enjoy these Seven Sleepers wines from Kurtz. Honest. Good value. Fruit driven.
Blackcurrant, sage, a little floral perfume, a sort of iron / coal dust sort of thing happening (hard to describe, and don’t mind me). It’s juicy and fruit driven, blackcurrant and blackberry pastille, dried herb and dark chocolate, fine grained tannin offers appropriate grip, succulent and packed with sweet small berried fruit to close. Delightful. Drink: 2021 – 2027
Lunar Block Shiraz 2017 – 91 points
From a block planted in 1969. Spends 36 months in new French oak.
So much oak. And I mean SO MUCH. Toast, cloves, dill, peppermint chocolate, mocha, though aside that, there’s fair intensity of black fruit, so it’s not so much out of balance, but just so overt. Full-bodied, black fruit and oak, creamy and toasty, layers of smooth tannin, more chocolate, spice and toast, and a long sweet boysenberry and chocolate finish. Some will love it. And some will hate it. Drink: 2022 – 2030+
Boundary Row Shiraz 2017 – 91 points
I most often prefer the less expensive offerings from Kurtz, which is no bad thing.
Blackberry, dark fruit cake, sage, cedar and spice. Full-bodied, plenty of black fruit and dark chocolate, firm grainy tannin, earth and mushroom, sticky tannin and toast on a finish of good length. It’s bold and robust, but delivers flavour and chunky honest Barossa goodness. Drink: 2021 – 2027+
Schmick Shiraz 2017 – 90+ points (Available soon)
I do try to set my natural bias against oak heavy wines when I review them, but sometimes the struggle is real.
Lavish toasty mocha oak, black fruit, liquorice, chocolate cake. It’s a huge wine of density, black fruit and chocolate flavour, supple tannin, smoothness and polish, some salted beef character in there too, mocha, mocha and mocha, and woody tannin on a pretty long finish. Appreciate some love this style, but it’s just so overt. Drink : 2023 – 2030+
Seven Sleepers Shiraz 2018 – 90 points
I like the Cabernet blend a little more, though that’s perhaps just the way my preference plays out. Ripe black fruit, bread dough, a little spice and dried herb perfume. Sweet dark fruit, iodine and salt beef, slightly chalky tannin, and a savoury finish of solid length. Good. Drink : 2021 – 2025
Boundary Row GSM 2018 – 89 points
50% Grenache, 31% Shiraz, 19% Mataro. Older French oak for 30 months.
Red and black fruits, charred sausage and dried herbs, a little perfume. Plenty of flavour, but arguably a little splintery and drying in the toasty wood department, some alcohol warmth, and a bold finish. The fruit is excellent, but I’m not convinced it wouldn’t be better as a fresher style. Drink : 2021 – 2025+
RED BLEND 2018
CABERNET SHIRAZ 2017