From an outstanding season, our winemaker has selected the best barrels in our cellar for a Merlot dominant Bordeaux style wine. Beautifully balanced, this vintage has concentrated sage, sandalwood, malt and Italian plum aromas. Plush flavours of ripe dark cherry, black currant, mocha, anise and a hint of spearmint greet the palate. A long savoury finish follows with well integrated, finely woven tannins. Pair with grilled ribeye and select company!
The 2015/16 winter was relatively mild with no extended periods of major freezing, resulting in uniform bud break. Spring was one of the driest on record; with Growing Degree Days (GDDs) the highest ever recorded in May. These warm, dry conditions resulted in bud break two weeks earlier than anticipated. The warm temperatures continued through June, suggesting that harvest could commence as much as a month earlier than normal. However, temperatures changed in July; making it the fourth coldest July on record. This cooling July trend, combined with some unseasonal rain, slowed down the ripening process resulting in beautifully complex flavours. Cool fall nights ensured great acid structure. Harvest commenced in early September, much earlier than normal. Overall, the 2016 vintage was outstanding for both whites and reds.
Exclusively farmed on our estate, the grapes selected for The Judge come from some of our oldest plantings dating back to 1968. Our Merlot is handpicked in late September, followed by the Cabernet Franc in early October and the Cabernet Sauvignon in mid-October. The small lots are fermented in our Ganemede fermentors, which enables ideal extraction from the extended maceration. Following initial fermentation the components are gently pressed and undergo malolactic fermentation. The resulting lots are barrel aged individually then meticulously blended, aged further, and released only after we achieve the desired cellar time for the components to harmoniously integrate. An iconic wine, which is a worthy representation of the Golden Mile Bench.