(2022) Around 65% Able clone in this vintage, more than in other years, as one block - Block F - suffered in the cool summer and did not produce the quality of fruit required. Aromatic like the A2, more cinammon and clove notes here perhaps, but a similar bowl of exotic spices, flowers and bold and succulent red fruits. There is maybe an extra layer of depth here - not exactly depth but a dark compote character, creamy and almost like a spiced plum pudding. Once again, there is a base of espresso and that hessian quality that is savoury. Very firm fruit on the palate, edged by liquorice and a depth of dark plum skins giving grip that the charming A2 doesn't quite possess. This is a structured Pinot, built for ageing I'd say, with a more rugged overall character, but the balance of taut tannins, acid and that brooding depth of fruit all in place. Price quoted below is per bottle equivalent when buying a case of 6 or 12.
(2021) Made with 66% whole bunches. Deeper in colour again and a little more violet/purple tinge to the ruby. A little mineral, lightly ashy quality, woodland notes in the background, but really much more focused on the polished, dark fruits. An endive twist of bitter sweetness against cherry skin tang and that mineral character running to a lightly saline finish. Terrific and promising.
(2021) No whole bunches in this vintage, the wine a little darker, but still in ruby shades. This is another more closed wine at this young stage, but perfume comes through, a touch of floral character and polished wood and briar. Quite different in character from the '15 and '16 again. The fruit in the mouth is so sweet and juicy, a firmness one again, a juiciness and grip but steps up from the 2017 in terms of fruit concentration and lovely balance for the future.
(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.
(2021) More youthful colour, but much more deep ruby/black than purple, the nose an amalgam of bright glossy fruit and spice, a slick of vanilla and some background game or meaty, curry-leaf notes. Lovely palate - there is that meaty and meat-stock balsamic edge to this, very dense fruit, concentrated and intense, if relatively straightforward at this stage. Tannins are firm, powerful, but fine, the overall feel still quite smooth, sleek and powerful, with good juicy and, again, salty acidity. One to watch as it develops, with further in-bottle improvement is very likely. Available in-bond as a three-pack at time of review, approximate single bottle price quoted.
(2020) From selected vineyard parcels of Gingin clone, aged 25 years on average, this was whole-bunch pressed to barrel with solids, spending nine months in oak with some batonnage. The aromatics are loaded with flint and oyster shell, a layer of almond and oatmeal, and creamy orchard fruit. The acid line is slightly less aggressive than the pungent Flametree Chardonnay tasted alongside, lots of citrus peel and salts, but that bitter orange edge to the fruit plays against a peachier tone, into a balanced finish that stays fresh and finishes on salts and frut. Superb.
(2020) Fabulously perfumed, real complexity and aromatic layering here, the core of sweet and pulpy red fruits, plenty of clove and cardomom spice, vanilla, those sweet truffle and beetrooty notes too in a very arresting picture. Lovely juiciness and firmness on the palate, with a stripe of tannin and a dry, tangy olive and cherry bite to the acidity, but the fruit stays sweet through the mid-palate, the texture builds as the chalkiness of the tannins smooth the finish, the fruit and acid precision and brightness is excellent. A beautiful wine, which PJ expects to have at least 10 years of cellaring potential.
(2020) Deeply saturated purple/black, there's some similarity to the Romaneira aromatically, with those herbal and ashy nuances to the black fruit, a great sense of concentration and purity too. Just superb in the mouth. The gloss and the weight of the black fruit is fabulous - silk and satin, but the cocoa and damson depth is given additional luminescence by a sweet confture blueberry, before the suede-like, very fine tannins wrap themselves around the finish, the juicy acidity already very well integrated. This is a sensuous and fully-realised young Port, surely with decades ahead of it. Available in-bond, as a six-bottle case, from many fine wine merchants in the UK at time of writing.
(2020) From Wanaka, this has a pale but quite dense colour. There’s a definite herbal edge to this, quite meaty and earthy, the fruit more in the background. Lovely palate, the balance shows through, with fine, dry cranberry and red currant fruit, lovely elegant tannins and a freshening acidity. Beautifully done. Various stockists have this, mostly in-bond.
(2020) Some orange here, some seeds and nuts, a little passion fruit note, verging on the exotic, sweet and a touch of botrytis perhaps, giving that extra ounce of intensity, and a fine textured, lightly creamy finish with great acid balance. A couple of stockists have this in magnum at time of writing. Price quoted is for a magnum.