The fresh and bright raspberry and red currant fruit of cabernet franc is to the fore in this blend with merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Medium weight with typically fine but persistent tannins. One of our original wines from vines planted in 1988.
Sourced from our original block (planted 1988), this wine is a ‘vineyard blend’ of approximately 57% Cabernet Franc, 27% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was originally labelled ‘Merlot’ (up to 1999), then ‘Cabernet franc Merlot’ (2000, 2001) and then renamed after the founder of our vineyard, Mrs Dinny Killen. It ages particularly elegantly.
The 2016-2017 growing season started with a wet winter and cool spring, resulting in later growth but strong canopies from all the moisture. The summer was particularly hot, with consistently high temperatures from late December to late February, but then switched into a perfect, mild autumn with sunny days, cool nights and little rain. Crops were larger than expected, accordingly taking longer to ripen, but having perfect conditions to do it in. In contrast to some recent years, ripening of different varieties was well spread apart, so that vintage was measured and controlled (leisurely would be going too far!). There are bright fresh flavours in the earlier varieties, with increasing depth, colour and detail in those ripening later.
Hand picked 26 March 2017 at 12.2Bé and wild fermented in open vats with hand plunging. Matured in French oak barriques (none new), unfined and lightly filtered. Bottled January 2018, 190 dozen made. Vegan friendly?: Yes.
Drink now to 2032.
This wine has been made since out first vintage in 1991 (and screwcap sealed since 2003). It performs well in the cellar. Wines tasted from the winery museum. If your cellaring conditions are less than ideal, consider reducing the expected life of the wine. Tasted August 2015
|Vintage||Tasting Notes||Drink Until||Rating|
|2014||Medium purple-red. Savoury fruit with leafiness and earth. Bright red fruits , quite chalky tannin that's a little firm.||2025||Good|
|2013||Deep black-red. Sweet and ripe with loads of berry fruit, chocolate. Dense and powerful but classy. Needs time.||2030||Outstanding|
|2012||Medium purple-red. Dark earthy fruit, red berries, plums and a hint of spearmint. Nice chewy tannins with some power and concentration.||2025+||Very Good|
|2011||Medium/light youthful red. Very fragrant with tomato leaf, plummy spice and dark red berries. Fresh soft and vibrant, with juicy-crunchy red currant and raspberry. Light, with lovely balance.||2025+||Outstanding|
|2010||Medium purple-red. Alluring nose of plum, savoury black fruits. Fresh ripe fruit with flesh and chew. medium weight with fine sandy tannin, good intensity and quite delicious.||2025+||Excellent|
|2009||Medium/deep purply-red. Powerful and ripe. Sweet dark fruit, some nice savouriness, hints of truffle. Medium weight with good depth of plum and mulberry fruit, good balance..||2025+||Excellent|
|2008||Deep red. Ripe and plummy with some good charry oak. Good plummy fruit on the palate, but quite firm and drying.||2025||Very Good|
|2007||Deep red with slightly tawny edge. Sweet fruit and fresh acid, with some savouriness and earth. Dense, black olive and blocky tannins.||2020||Good|
|2006||Deep, youthful red. Quite fragrant, with vanilla oak and fresh bright red berry fruit. Quite taut, with firm chewy tannin.||2025||Very Good|
|2004||Deep, slightly purply-red. Ripe red and dark berry fruits, some creamy-caramel oak. Loaded with juicy red berries and fruit sweetness on the palate, soft, plush and velvety. Complexity still developing.||2025||Outstanding|
|2003||Deep red. Very ripe plummy fruit with moderate fruit weight but rather dry chalky tannin||2020||Very Good|
|2002||Medium red. Quite fragrant, with black olive and wet earth. A little earthy and leathery. Retains some sweet fruit, but has lost its youthful prettiness.||Soon||Very Good|
|2001||Deep/medium brick red. Hugely black-truffled. Cassis, toast, cocoa and mocha. Sweet fruit only just carrying abundant rounded tannin.||Soon||Excellent|
|2000||Deep, brick red. Quite fragrant, with dusty earthiness. Some sweet fruit, but a little oxidised and astringent.||Soon||Very Good|
|1999||Medium red, brick edge. Fragrant dusty mint nose. Soy sauce. Sweet fruit with sappy, minty, slightly herbal edge, but soft and fleshy. Superfine and with perfect balance.||Soon||Excellent|
|1998||Deep brick red. Juicy ripe nose, with chocolatey oak but also some volatility. Fruit sweetness on the front palate, but overall rather firm and drying.||Soon||Good|
|1997||Medium brick-red. Very fragrant sweet ripe berry fruit. Plums and spice and a hint of mint. Loads more: cumin, olive, malt, leafiness. Very fine and long.||Soon||Excellent|
|1995||Deep brick-red. Ripe, dark earthy-mulberry fruit, with some cedar, spice and vanilla. The palate has fruit, flesh, a hint of mint, and builds very fine but firm tannin. Good density and chew.||Soon||Excellent|
|1994||Medium tawny/brick red. Ripe and dark, with chocolate and malt and sweet fleshy dark fruit. Cedar and spice. Firm, fine tannin finish. Drinking well.||Soon||Very Good|
|1993||Light/medium brick red. Mature bouquet with tar, cedar and earth. Mellow and autumnal, with a soft, elegant palate still with good acid freshness and fruit flavour. Hint of mint. Soft and fine, with fine sandy tannins just to close.||Soon||Excellent|