(2019) A really fruity and deep Cab Franc from Elgin, aged in older French oak. Silky deep fruit, fabulous black fruit depth with a touch of resinous, almost Porty ripeness and lift, but has lots of umami savoury character, and such a svelte, sweet finish and silky texture. Also tasted was the 2016, which was perfumed and dark, with a bittersweet cocoa slickness. Possibly one point better.
(2015) Shannon's blend of five different clones of Merlot from France and northern Italy. Has terrific fruit brightness and cherry and red plum, the gentle cedar and intense concentration. This has massive concentration and energy on the palate, yet without any over extraction. Spicy and fruity.
(2012) Iona Estate in Elgin has built a formidable reputation for its cool climate white wines. But here winemaker Andrew Gunn has sprung a bit of surprise with a full-on, powerful red that is aged in French oak barrels (25% new) and is a pan-French blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and bits and pieces of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre and the white grape Viognier. The wine pours a really intense, glass-staining purple colour and has a soaring nose, very expressive of kirsch and violet, with peppery and clove notes too. On the palate this is beautifully pure and supple, the 14% alcohol sitting comfortably within dense, fleshy fruit, very ripe and polished tannins and a framework of both chocolaty richness and pert acidity. It's a smooth devil of a wine this, but a very nice one for beef or game.