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]
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Young Bacchus Estate Martinborough Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2013Cabernet Sauvignon from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 01-May-2015Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-red colour, youthful in appearance. This has an elegantly proportioned nose with aromatic, lifted ripe black berried fruits, harmoniously intermixed with dark plums, currants and leafy elements, and subtle dark red floral nuances. The nose has finesse and a stylish restraint. Medium-bodied and elegant on palate, the fruit is a little shy and tightly bound. Flavours of ripe blackberries and blackcurrants show with red currants and plums. The fruit is encased by grainy-textured, firm and slightly grippy tannins providing a firm, textured mouthfeel and line. Some piquant acidity lends energy and drive, and along with the structure leads to a firm, dry, refreshing finish. This is a firm and grainy textured Cabernet blend with soft black fruit flavours. Serve with lamb, beef and venison, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 5-6+ yeas. A blend based on the vineyard proportions of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in French oak. Approx. 150 dozen made from 2.1 tonnes harvested. Winemaker: Chris Buring. 17.0/20 Apr 2015 RRP $30.00
Young Bacchus Estate Martinborough Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2014Cabernet Sauvignon from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 31-May-2017Very dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, near impenetrable and very youthful in appearance. The nose is very fine and very tightly concentrated with intensely penetrating aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries, black plums and cassis liqueur, interwoven with herbal and leafy elements. This is fresh and primary in expression, in the cooler spectrum. Medium-bodied, the palate is fine in presentation with concentrated, firm primary fruit flavours of blackcurrants, cassis, herbs and leafy cool-spectrum notes. A suggestion of stalkiness shows. The fruit is underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction and the mouthfeel is enlivened by brisk, racy acidity. The flavours carry with zestiness and tension to a long, concentrated, tight and slender finish. This is a youthfully primary Cabernet-based blend with cool spectrum blackcurrant, herb and leafy flavours, fine textures and elevated acidity. This is developing very slowly. Match with herb-marinated lamb and beef over the next 5-7 years. A blend based on the vineyard proportions of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in French oak. Approx. 215 dozen made from 2.4 tonnes harvested. Winemaker: Chris Buring. 17.0-/20 Jun 2017 RRP $25.00 Very deep, black-hued purple-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is up-front, fresh and youthful with aromatic and raw primary fruit aromas of blackcurrant and leaf, entwined with piquant herbs and sappy, stalky herbaceous elements. The aromas grow in depth in the glass. Medium-bodied, elegant and tightly bound flavours of blackcurrants stalks, herbs and pepper show with some sweetness and succulence. The fruit restrained, but there is plenty of vitality and liveliness from the bright, racy acidity. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction contributing to a firm, tight core and line. As the wine flows, the flavours recede, leading to a light, fine-textured finish. This is a youthful, elegant and finely structure Cabernet-based wine with lively herbaceous blackcurrant and stalky flavours. Match with herb-marinated red meat dishes over the next 5+ years. A blend based on the vineyard proportions of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in French oak. Approx. 215 dozen made from 2.4 tonnes harvested. Winemaker: Chris Buring. 16.5/20 Apr 2015 RRP $25.00