Paradise IV Dardel Shiraz 2017
A masterpiece. Smoky, mineral and profoundly floral aromas of black and blue berries, paprika and exotic, musky spices, charcuterie and forest floor combine in an alluring, sensual bouquet. Explosively intense and exceptionally long, its energetic but medium-bodied palate of dark fruits, briar and tight-knit oak builds effortless depth and emphasis along its silky-fine backbone, finishing with suggestions of minerals, licorice and a racy, mouth watering acidity. It's an exercise in finesse and restrained power; the finest release under this label and a new high-water mark in Australia for northern Rhône-inspired shiraz. (98) JEREMY OLIVER.
Benchmark Australian Icon Wine of the Year - Jemery Oliver Good Wine Guide 2017
Neal has long been an under-the-radar star of the Australian winemaking scene. Serving an initial apprenticeship alongside Rick Kinzbrunner at Giaconda for the best part of two decades, it is his own label Paradise IV that has really shown the breadth of his winemaking prowess and his innate understanding of texture, balance and flavour in wine. In recent years it has been Doug's Chardonnay that has caught the imagination of press and punter alike, but the reds have always been much more than a supporting cast. In particular, the Dardel Shiraz can rightly be considered a benchmark for the Geelong region. It is elegance, balance and finesse personified - it recalls the great wines of the Northern Rhone, this is the best he has ever made. One of the finest shirazes yet made in Australia, this is a landmark cool climate wine. Wild, musky and faintly meaty aromas of deep, lustrous black, blue and and red berries lifted by profound floral scents reveal nuances of cedar and animal hide. Medium-bodied, it's densely packed with pastille-like flavours of cassis, blackberries and dark plums, extending smooth and velvety down a tight-grained and slatey spine, building intensity towards a long, seamless finish of mineral and savoury qualities. Extraordinary. JEREMY OLIVER