2012 Huntington Estate Block 3 Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2012 was a cold, wet vintage in Mudgee, with harvest later then we have experienced for many years. We had around 180mm of rain in February, with high temperatures in the mid-20s, and lows in the single-digits. It was the kind of season where grapes are often picked unripe in a rush to beat disease resulting in green, astringent tannins and thin, weak wines. A combination of hard work in the vineyard, patience and courage, allowed us to get the grapes fully ripe and the tannins just right for beautifully elegant, structured wines.
Vineyard / Winemaking: Block 3 Cabernet Sauvignon is made from grapes grown on a single block of very low yielding vines that run East to West, on the slopes of the Mudgee valley, at an elevation of just under 500 metres. The lean soils (red loam over a base of ironstone and quartz) help produces berries with great concentration of flavours and fine tannins. Our winemaking tends to focus on elegance; the Block 3 is cold soaked and fermented in open oak fermenters, with the cap hand-plunged and extraction closely moderated.
Description: Long, vibrant, potent.
Tasting notes: Varietal, elegant, soft and long. Medium bodied and elegant, with attractive varietal characters. Soft, well-rounded, smooth and fruity with beautiful blackcurrant flavours. Elegantly structured, with a long finish.
Cellar: Drink now and until 2036.
98/100 "Blackcurrant on the nose along with some damp hedgerow. Drinking divinely. Fruit, acid, tannin in balance. It sits light on the palate but is no weakling, the power is well toned, not big beef. 98 points and worth $65" Key Report on Wine, Tony Keys, June 2017
95/100 "Deep and dense cranberry, then savoury meaty chocolaty intensity weight and power. A concentrated voluptuous wine with cabernet rhubarb, very well balanced dark chocolate, nutmeg savoury and intensity wrapped in refined tannin bright tight complex structure. Cellar to 2035." Rob Geddes MW
93/100 Outstanding “Fermented in a wooden cuve; 27 days on skins; 21 months in French barriques (33% new). Deeper coloured and more powerful across the bouquet and palate than the Special Reserve; even so, it's no more than medium to full-bodied, and there is a haughty austerity to the flavour of the palate - undoubtedly cabernet...” James Halliday.
92/100 "...A delicious wine with longevity in its veins - a great Cabernet release..." QWine, Sept 2017
92/100 "Strongly flavoured, firm and stable, with berries, plums and cigarboxy notes. Year to Drink:2024-2032." Jeremy Oliver, Sept 2017
94/100 "A complete Cabernet that sits at the top end of what is produced in the region. The nose has benefited from extended time in bottle with an array of characters ranging from black fruits to dried herbs, charcuterie and old leather. Medium bodied with earthen mulberry the defining note, tannins are fine and resolved with a faint chocolate edge before gaining more substance as the wine nears it’s finish. This is an exercise in elegance, finely filamented dark fruits gets a herbaceous lift to finish with the wine to go another decade or more. Optimal Drinking 2017 - 2028" Wine Reviewer, May 2017
90/100 "Deepish red colour with both black and purple tinges, the bouquet mulchy, smoky and foresty with humus-like vegetal notes. Generous oak, too... Some graphite, pencil-lead overtones. It's full-bodied, rich and ample, and will reward long-term cellaring." Huon Hooke, June 2017
"Credit where it is due. This is a very good cabernet sauvignon from the Mudgee region in New South Wales. It is probably the best I've tried from Mudgee, yet 2012 was a cold and wet vintage in these parts and the vineyard is situated at 500 metres of altitude. Unexpected? Perhaps not as I've seen this in the Barossa too - cabernet sauvignon from cooler vintages in warmer regions can surprise. This wine sits comfortably with equivalents outside it. The 2012 vintage has classic blackcurrant aromatics and no green characters. The palate is medium bodied with good length, acidity in support and restrained cedar characters. Well balanced. Drink now, or over the next decade." Grape Observer, Sept 2017
"I’ve tasted a few old Huntington cabernets over the years; they develop a wonderful shiitake and soy richness in the cellar. This, from the best block of old vines, is black fruity and firm now, but is sure to head down that savoury path." Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine, July 2017
4.5 Stars "In a cold, wet Mudgee vintage, Huntington Estate owner-winemaker Tim Stevens was able to get his grapes fully ripe to produce this elegant, medium-bodied, 13.7 per cent alcohol wine. It is inky purple in the glass and has bouquet garni scents. Spicy blackberry flavour shows on the front palate, elements of dried cranberry, licorice, mint and savoury oak chime in on the middle palate and earthy tannins come through at the finish..." Newcastle Herald, John Lewis, May 2017
"Rich, chocolatey black fruits on a solid, mid-weight palate that is deep and fleshy, and a savoury, grainy texture of ripe tannins on the finish. Rating: Very Good." Hobart Mercury, Graeme Phillips, May 2017
"Powerful aromas of blackberry, tomato leaf, gun smoke, mahogany and a steely graphite. Sumptuous layers of creamy black/dark berry fruit with a black cherry/kirsch highlight. Long lines of fine tannins with a smoky oak nuance. Kudos to the winemaking team: a very good wine from a difficult vintage." Vinonotebook. Regan Drew, July 2017
"Amazingly purple colour for being 4 years old, vibrant aromatic bouquet, with plenty of vanillin oak. On the palate it is big richly flavoured smooth but with a hint of cedary oak still showing. It has a very classy tight finish that lingers for an ubber long time. It will continue to develop over the next few years. AN EXCELLENT CABERNET." Wine Assist, Dan Traucki, May 2017
"This well-integrated Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate's old vines of Mudgee, presents an inpenetrably deep mulberry colour. The smooth palate is initially shy but slowly unfurls a plethora of aromas and tastes of tobacco, tomato leaf, black currant / cassis and fine oak. There is still plenty of primary fruit delivery despite the age. It will still be rewarding for the next 5+ years. This is a wine of quality, intensity & complexity. Another feather-in-the cap for winemaker Tim Stevens and his team. Cellar: Now to 5 years." The Grape Hunter, Gilbert Labour, Apr 2017
""Mudgee produces some great wines, particularly cabernet sauvignons and semillons. One of the best cab savs comes from Huntington Estate vineyards... Big and bold, this beauty will sit quietly down in the cellar door 20 years. The only issue for lovers of bold earthy reds is to get your hands on a bottle of this limited release." Queensland Times, Peter Chapman, May 2017
"A great wine from the venerable vines of Block 3 which consistently produce some of the best Cabernet in NSW." Tim Stevens, Winemaker