Only made in what we consider to be the finest of seasons, the Reserve label gives us the opportunity to throw caution to the wind, pull out all the stops and dare to dream….. Produced from 3 adjacent blocks near to the the winery, this year’s model is a blend of 47% Dijon 115, 37% Dijon 114 and a dash of Martinborough’s famous Abel clone.
In the orb of dark plummy colour; I see fire! While the days of assigning a gender to wine may be over, let’s just say this one gives the distinct impression of muscularity and as its breath rises hotly from the glass, a sense of strength and surety is imbued. Dried bracken fern, musky damp straw and the well-oiled gun metal in the fixed grip of a tin soldier give rise to this initial impression, followed from beneath by dried cranberry, classic dark cherry, roast kumara and the heady aroma of chopped Brazil nuts. There is devilment afoot as the rasp of a cut-throat razor is dragged across a leather strop releasing bay rum and rich chewing tobacco notes. Fine merino wool and dry talc add a mineral element and leave the senses craving what must surely follow.
The palate does not fail to deliver, offering black velvet in that slow southern style and layer upon layer of flavour that causes the cheeks to bulge. Peachy one minute and composed the next, it rolls around the tongue like a beached elephant seal. Fleshy berry fruits in 50 shades of black; furry suede split-leather and intriguing damp botanicals give a palpably languid sensuality that throbs like a Harley. Evening primrose, fresh brioche and white truffle run as smooth as a fleece across a well-worn shearing board, while black leaf tea, a chalky coal dust mouthfeel and a fine lick of French oak lend a gritty back-bencher tone of superiority. This is a pugilistic wine, full of hooks and barbs and given the way it opened up like a can of worms following 2 days in the part-full bottle, it’s bound to be in this for the long haul.
Harvest date: 23 Mar and 6 Apr 2016 Residual Sugar: Nil
Brix at Harvest: 23.0 and 24.1 Bottling Date: 14 Dec 2017
Final Alcohol: 12.8% Release Date: 1 May 2019
pH: 3.51 Cellaring: 2 to 9 years
Total Acidity: 5.88 g/l Quantity Produced: 240 cases
Bob Campbell has given it 95/100.
"Robust, concentrated pinot noir with a fragrant aroma and solid structure. Black Doris plum, dark cherry, wild game, leather, anise, spice and nutty oak flavours. Slightly closed at this stage but shows much promise."