Smith & Hooper Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008
92 points - "Deep colour; the blend is synergistic, although this is no lollipop wine; rather blackcurrant and earth are sheathed by fine tannins and neatly judged oak." This wine also rated as 'special value'
James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion 2012
“Exceptionally classy packaging for a wine at its price. The wine delivers on the promise too. Thumbs up. Walsh calls this a ‘classy proper wine’, which sums it up nicely. It tastes of plums and various red berries, mint and cloves. There’s some appropriate support from vanilla-like oak too. Mid-weight and smooth, well structured and charming. Five-star value, in a canter.”
POINTS: 91 VALUE: five drops DRINK: 2010 - 2014
Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh, The Big Red Wine Book 2010/2011 (Aus), 1 June 2010
"Beautifully balanced and poised blend that brings out some delicious sweet blackcurrant and spicy plum characters on the palate. Has a medium-weight richness with supple fine ripe tannins in support. Good wine in the medium term."
Ray Jordan, The West Australian 'Fresh' (Aus), 14 January 2010
"Yalumba winery celebrated its 160th anniversary this year and it's been under the same family ownership all those years. The boss, fifth-generation wine man Robert Hill Smith, has a policy of over-delivering in value terms, putting his wines among Australia's most reliable.
Smith & Hooper is an associated Hill Smith family enterprise, based at Wrattonbully on the Limestone Coast of southern South Australia. This bargain-priced cabernet blend has a charming nose of blackcurrants with light floral and herb touches and a balanced, earthy seasoning of lightly toasty oak. Poised and elegant in the mouth, it has an even, silky texture and the fresh, intense flavour is long lasting and aromatic. Tannins are dry, fine and well integrated."
Ralph Kyte-Powell, Uncorked - Epicure, The Age (Aus), 8 December 2009