Cold weather during bud burst resulted in lower crop levels, hence no further fruit thinning was carried out. The subsequent warm dry summer served up perfectly ripened small berries full of intense flavour and concentration. Favourable conditions continued into autumn, allowing the fruit to be picked at its optimum ripeness.
THE HARVEST AND WINEMAKING
This wine is made in the same style as the celebrated Claret from Bordeaux, using traditional methods. After being picked in April, the grapes began fermentation naturally in stainless steel tanks. During this process the juice was regularly pumped over the cap of floating grape skins (rather than plunging), to ensure a perfect tannin balance was extracted from the fruit. The wine was then gently pressed off and put into French oak barriques. The following summer, when the weather warmed, it underwent a natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. After maturing in oak for 18 months, the various batches were then carefully blended to produce the most complex and balanced wine possible. The finished product is predominantly Merlot, with the balance made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small amount of Malbec.
On release it has a dense inky hue. A surge of blackcurrant greets the nose, interwoven with impressions of liquorice, peppermint, dark soy, coffee, leather, and a trace of violet. The mouthfeel is plush and velvety, beautifully balanced with ripe tannins and a backbone of spritely acid. This is a complex and harmonious wine, showcasing juicy fruit weight, an elegant structure, and a prolonged, moreish finish.