Young Bacchus Estate Martinborough 2014 and 2015
The Millars operation is called ‘Young Bacchus Estate’ named after a figurine that they purchased on a trip to Italy, and the face of young Bacchus has been reproduced by Linda on the label. I tasted the 2013 and 2014 vintages in April 2015 (click here to see my reviews). I found the wines possessed intense structure, but cooler spectrum flavours and elevated acidities. Such wines can evolve very slowly, so the Milars have asked me to reassess the 2014 vintage, and review the new 2015 wine, due for release at the start of June.
The 2015 comes from a very dry growing season with extremely low yields. As the Millars do not irrigate, they harvested only 700 kg of fruit to make 600 bottles available for sale. The wine is a commemoration of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, as picking for the fruit for the wine commenced at dawn 25 April, exactly 100 years later. The release date of the wine is expected to be 9 June 2017, which is the 100th year anniversary of the New Zealand Division’s participation in the landings. The commemorative label represents a personal connection for Norman. He served with the Auckland and Northland Battalion of the New Zealand Infantry Regiment, and also the King’s Own Scottish Borderers of the British Army, both units involved in the fighting at Gallipoli. To contact Norman and Linda Millar, Tel: 06 306-8288, or Email: [email protected]
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
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
Young Bacchus Estate ‘100 Years’ Martinborough Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2015Blended Red from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 14-Jun-2017Very full, even, black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the edge, very youthful in appearance. The nose is full and soft, a little restrained in expression, showing aromas of ripe blackberry and boysenberry fruit intermingling with dark plums and blackcurrants and soft cassis nuances. Some herbal and earthy notes provide detail. The aromatics form a soft, deep core. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright, lively and fresh fruit flavours of blackberries, blackcurrants and cassis, with notes of plums and dark herbs. The fruit has depth and density, and is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction providing plenty of structure and grip. The acidity is refreshing, lending good energy and vitality, and the wine carries with drive and linearity to a light, but ustained finish of blackcurrants and herbs. This is a fresh and firmly structured Cabernet/Merlot blend with blackcurrant, blackberry, cassis and herb flavours on a grainy textured palate with a fresh mouthfeel. Match with lamb and beef dishes over the next 6-8 years. 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 12 months in 50% new French oak. 620 bottles made from 700 kg of fruit harvested. Winemaker: Lance Redgwell. 17.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $TBA