First Drop Cold Sweat Craneford Shiraz Eden Valley 2015


Cold Sweat Craneford is right in the peak of its life. All the Cold Sweats are outliers to the main range. This is a beautiful wine esp for Rhone lovers.

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We double decanted the Cold Sweat Craneford before service, so my notes are from that perspective. To me, it tasted a lot like some of my favourite Crozes-Hermitage wines: very mineral and of the earth. There was plum, spice, graphite, and smoke but Cold Sweat Craneford still smelt boney, lean and dry. The palate though, was silky, with tart acid, soft tannins and the length was staggering. Just a hint of nutty development comes in at the end.

Cold Sweat Craneford is right in the peak of its life, I don’t think it will get better, but it still has a long way to go. Paired with braised beef cheek it is a real winner.

One thing to note is that the label for Cold Sweat Craneford is real copper and will oxidise and change over time.

First Drop Cold Sweat Craneford Shiraz Eden Valley 2015, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.

Two friends, Matt ‘Gantos’ Gant and John ‘JR’ Retsas, brought First Drop into being in 2004. First Drop makes wines to drink rather than pontificate upon. Their base is the ‘Home of the Brave’ in the heart of the Barossa Valley. The house style of First Drop is silky, textural, drinkable wines with a hint of funk and a lot of interest. They source an eclectic range of varieties and produce a diversity of wine styles. The fruit comes from vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Barossa. The packaging completes the wines, engaging and often humorous labels and stories behind them.

First Drop Cold Sweat Craneford Shiraz Eden Valley 2015Wine Review

James Halliday
94 points
Hand-picked, wild yeast-open fermented with 90% crushed/destemmed, 10% whole bunches, 9 days on skins, matured in French puncheons (50% new). Radically different to the Fat of the Land wines. Here, much more focused on texture, this wine at an abstemious 14% alcohol. Red and black fruits magically cool the mouth.

Eden Valley

Perched high above the Barossa, the Eden Valley gives a cooler and longer season compared to the Barossa and therefore makes more elegant and aromatic wines. Blending between the two regions is quite common to get the best of both worlds. Shiraz and Riesling excel in the Eden Valley.

Barossa Valley


A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on the terroir and/or winemaker influence. The Syrah-based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere, while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.

Australian Wine

The invasion of “Sunshine in a bottle” put Australian wine on the map.  The fruity, easy-going, somewhat samey wines were endearing for a short time. Then the next big thing knocked them off their perch.

This forced producers to increase quality and emphasise the special terroirs of Australia. Of which, there are many. And many more yet to be discovered.

Australian Wine Map 2


Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.

The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.

Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.

The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.

Red Wine

Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.

By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.

Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.

The Wine Depository

I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.

First Drop Cold Sweat Craneford Shiraz Eden Valley 2015
First Drop Cold Sweat Craneford Shiraz Eden Valley 2015
First Drop Cold Sweat Craneford Shiraz Eden Valley 2015 Back Label
First Drop Cold Sweat Craneford Shiraz Eden Valley 2015 Back Label

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