The aroma displays a lifted fresh herbaceous note that follows on to deep mint, olive, dark chocolate and meaty savoury characters.
The palate is larger than life; intense, deep and concentrated. Although the tannins are strong and grippy, the acidity distinct and the flavours youthful and potent, the wine is balanced and seamless. This wine was made in this style and released young to show the brash intensity of youth.
If you have a week to live, drink it now. Any time you can give this wine will be repaid in ever increasing "aahhh" and "OMG" moments.
VINTAGE INFORMATION: Preceding Winter and Spring rains were significantly lower than had been previously reducing crop potential in the important growth stages leading up to vintage. On average yields were down approximately 30% across many varieties. With fluctuating temperatures (18° – 37°C) in January and rainfalls in February resulted in a ‘pause’ in vintage allowing ripening to occur at a more manageable rate. By the end of vintage, even with the lower crop yields, our fruit had more time to ripen ‘properly’ resulting in very good flavour concentration, acidity and structure.
|Maturation||27 months in new American oak hogsheads|
|Region||McLaren Vale 85% / Coonawarra 15%|
“This opulent and stylish Cabernet offers dark fruit richness on the nose with nuances of vanilla pod, cigar box, dark cocoa and anise. The palate displays outstanding concentration and depth together with plush mouthfeel and fine chalky tannins, making it firmly structured and brooding, while remaining harmonious and flowing with grace and beauty. Stunning. 5 stars.”
Sam Kim (Wine Orbit)
“This is a combination of McLaren vale and Coonawarra cabernet and named in honour of Merrill’s grandfather. It’s another wine with Merrill’s indelible stylistic stamp on it, highlighted by the 27 months in new American oak. It’s made from barrel selection and then the best barrels get further new American oak. Power and opulence here but delivered with finesse. Made with extended cellaring in mind but it is still a very good current drinking wine.”
Ray Jordan (The West Australian)
“Very deep, dark colour with a tint of black, the bouquet led by charred-oak and sawn-timber aromas, the palate also oaky and sweetly-ripe fruited, the tannins quite assertive. Oak has been used to the max – a style that high-end Penfolds drinkers will enjoy. It’s concentrated and rich. A whopper that comes into its own with food, such as hard cheeses, where the tannin and oak are largely tamed. It’s best cellared a bit longer, but it will always be a blockbuster. I ended up really enjoying it.”
Huon Hooke (The Real Review)
“McLaren Vale 85%, Coonawarra 15%. 27 months in new American hogsheads. The fruit has done a pretty good job of absorbing that oak, blackcurrant and blackberry just shading mocha and cedar. At present it’s a densely packed wine, yet to really spread its wings, but there’s impressive depth of flavour there no doubt with very high quality tannin as well. Patience required. “
Steven Creber (Halliday Australian Wine Companion)
Australian Wine Showcase Magazine