93 points, John Schreiner
"The eight best barrels were selected for this super-premium Merlot. The wine begins with aromas of plum, black cherry and cassis, leading to a concentrated texture with flavours of dark fruit, black olives and spice."
92 points, Anthony Gismondi
"Long, ripe, and spicy, there is plenty of rich, plummy Christmas cake and dense sweet tannins, suggesting this will age well. Impressive at an impressive price."
A medium to full-bodied Merlot with medium tannins and a long finish. Aromas of black plum, black cherry, blueberry syrup, tobacco, potting soil, and vanilla on the nose. Bold flavours of chocolate-covered raisin, coconut, dried cherry, cinnamon, fruit cake, and dried black olive to taste.
2021 had a long autumn season with sporadic precipitation events that both helped yet hindered picking dates. This vintage was famously smokey and we mitigated these effects naturally. This was a challenging vintage due to a smaller crop, but smaller berries resulted in intense tannins.
On the French Door Estate vineyard, Merlot is grown on both the North and South blocks. These blocks are picked separately every year to monitor their differences and evolution. However, during this challenging vintage, both blocks were picked and de-stemmed at the same time to allow us to use our three-ton Tonneau wooden vats. Pump-overs were done twice a day for 30 minutes under dry ice with one délestage. The ferment was kept at 30 degrees Celsius post-fermentation to build tannin structure and colour. The free-run juice was drained directly into barrels, mainly Sansaud light toast barrels, and the pressed wine was put into neutral puncheons. The wine was then aged for 16 months with one racking in July into more neutral barrels. The 140 cases produced are a selection of eight of our finest Merlot barrels.