(2022) Vines here were planted in 1978 amd 1995, 94% Cabernet and the balance Merlot, planted on free-draining gravel over clay. The wine was in French oak barrels for 17 months, 50% new. A year older than the Xanadu Black label also tasted, and visible softer and lighter on the rim. Lovely nose, a hint of briar and herbs over ripe and succulent black fruit. Tiny lift of menthol. Sweet and plush fruit on the palate, a thick blackcurrant ripeness, but the creamy and toasty oak underpinning is offset by firm, fine tannin and juicy acidity for a very satisfying and balanced wine.
(2021) From two esate vineyards on red/brown gravel, this was whole-bunch pressed to barrel, with wild yeast ferment and 50% malolactic. Batonnage over 11 months in barrel before transfer to stainless steel barriques for a fruther three months. This wine blends both Gingin and clone 95 Chardonnay. Cool, elegant, much less stridently flinty than some of the other wines here. The oak is subtle, imparting just a soft sheen to the fruit. In the mouth lots of grapefruit and lime, lots of pithy citrus acids, but real brightness to the fruit, taut and luminous, a long finish of fruit and acidity and gently supportive creamy oak.