The vineyard is divided into small blocks of between one and two hectares, which take into account depth of soil, trellis design, vine clone and row direction. The quality of wine produced from these small blocks is evaluated each year and recorded. This practice proves the validity of the French concept of "terrior" or the effect that microclimate; geological features and other factors have on the quality of the wine produced. Such effects are clearly seen in the small Balnaves vineyard at Coonawarra.
Vintage 2016 was warm and mild with cool nights following Christmas – again a particularly good season for Merlot. Merlot (60%) from Avery, Silage, and Rise vineyards was combined with Cabernet Sauvignon (34%) from our new French ENTAV clones (338 + 412) Gumtree Cabernet Franc (5%) and Dunstan Petit Verdot (1%). This blend was then matured in fine grained French oak for 11 months.
Dark red in colour, the nose is intense with aromas blackberry, blueberry and anise combined with delicate smoky-coffee French oak. The palate is medium bodied with a soft round Merlot mouth-feel and black fruit flavours, with a touch of liquorice and blueberry. This wine will reward careful cellaring, and we recommend decanting before drinking.