James Halliday, The Australian

Image: The Australian, Aug 2021

THE AUSTRALIAN, James Halliday, August 21, 2021

“Castle Rock has a ceaseless drive to make better wines. You have to go to Tasmania to find a conjunction of riesling and pinot noir as headline varieties planted next to each other. Diletti makes it all seem easy but it’s not – the riesling demanding iron-clad restraint, the pinot a Beethoven symphony.”

2021 Castle Rock Estate Porongurup Riesling

Draws on six estate blocks; 100% free-run juice. The perfumed apple and lime blossom bouquet doesn’t prepare you for the searing intensity of the slatey acidity and lemon zest palate. This is purity on a grand scale. 11% alc, screwcap 97 points, drink to 2041, $26

2020 Castle Rock Estate Porongurup Pinot Noir

Five clones, vines 20-35yo, multiple batch fermentations, 7-day cold soak, whole bunch, barrel ferment of final 3 baume for new French oak (28%), matured 15 months. Perfect colour; a great pinot at the dawn of its life; plum and cherry riddled with spice, char, violets and forest floor. Sophisticated and confident. 13.5% alc, screwcap 97 points, drink to 2035, $38

2019 Castle Rock Estate Great Southern Shiraz

Grapes are from Mount Barker; open-fermented in 2-tonne vats, hand-plunged 2-3 times daily; on skins 9 days, matured in French barriques for 15 months. April 28 harvest; vibrantly fresh and elegant array of red, blue and black fruits resting on a bed of fine tannins. 13.5% alc, screwcap 96 points, drink to 2035, $34