(2022) The coolest and latest vintage for a decade, with delayed ripening and good acid retention. January and February so both warm sunshine and some rain, but a warm March and the driest April since 1982 so excellent ripening of red varieties. 82% Cab with 17% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot, it spent 19 months in French oak, 61% new. More dense in colour, but far from opaque, running to pale pink on the rim. Quite closed, gravelly and olive scented, a hint of mint and showing that elegant and precise side of Cabernet, some exotic cigar box and Sandalwood spice. In the mouth the wine fleshes out immediately, sweet and ripe, the plushness surprises after the strictness of the aromatics, filling the mouth with plump blackcurrant, but then the edge begins to come through, really taut, succulent tannins and acids give this authority, but the wine has great drive and focus, finishing on fruit and suggesting great potential once again.
(2021) A year of mild conditions and a slow and steady vintage, though spring storms did reduce yields. 78% Cab with 20% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, it spent 16 months in French oak, only 51% new. Quite reserved at first, or rather, quite densely, tightly wound with tobacco, cedar and black fruit on the nose. The palate burst with a juiciness of ripe blackcurrant, but that initial tension of the nose does not dissipate: this stays taut, muscular, deep and still relatively impenetrable at this stage, but such a concetration of sweet fruit, firm and elegant acidity and chocolaty smooth tannins that it is both gorgeous now, and promises considerable longevity.