Young Bacchus Estate Martinborough 2013 and 2014

Young Bacchus Estate is reincarnation of the former home Cambridge Road block of Benfield & Delamare, acquired by Norman and Linda Millar in 2012. Norman, formerly from the oil and gas industry, and Linda, a dental professional found the 0.6 ha property for sale on Trade Me, and the owning of a small vineyard fitted in with their retirement plans. Norman and Linda have maintained the 3,000 vines, replacing plants that stopped performing, and the viticulture is now to the care of district veteran Glenys Hansen. The Millars sold off the winemaking plant and converted the winery back to accommodation, where they now live.

Under the original owners Bill Benfield and Sue Delamare, the property produced a highly regarded Bordeaux-varietal wine from 1989 through to 2006, final vintage before they decided to finish winegrowing. The Oxford Street block was sold to Heather Simpson, who produced wine in 2008 and 2009 which I have reviewed (click here to see). The Cambridge Road block has been the source of fruit for wine made by Hiro Kusuda in 2008 and Simon Groves in 2010 and 2011. The Millars engaged local identity and highly experienced Chris Buring to make wine from the fruit from 2012 to 2014. With Chris Buring’s retirement, the Millers have neighbour Lance Redgwell from Cambridge Road making the wine from the coming 2015 harvest.

Norman and Linda Millar wish to continue in much the same vein as Bill Benfield and Sue Delamare, making a Bordeaux-inspired wine from low yielding, close-planted vines, which are now around 30 years old. The vineyard, planted in the proportions of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc is treated as a field blend and the resultant wine reflects what the vintage has provided. With three vintages now made, the Millars will begin marketing their wine. ‘Young Bacchus Estate’ is named after a figurine that the Millars purchased on a trip to Italy, and the face of young Bacchus has been reproduced by Linda on the label. To contact Norman and Linda, Tel: 06 306-8288, or Email: [email protected]


  • Young Bacchus Estate Martinborough Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2013
  • Young Bacchus Estate Martinborough Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2014

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