2016 Block 3 Cabernet Sauvignon
Varietal, long and full.
VINTAGE 2016 was one of those vintages where everything falls into place – the weather, the timing, the yields and the flavours all hit the sweet spot. A cool, wet start to the season with a great lift of warmth throughout vintage. A steady ripening period with timely rain produced high quality fruit with great acid and flavour.
VARIETY Huntington’s reputation was built on Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 50 year old vines of Block 3 produce some of the finest cabernet in NSW. Situated at the highest point of the vineyard, with lean soils of gravel over sand, the fruit is elegant, finely structured and herbaceous.
WINEMAKING / WINEMAKING Fruit from Block 3 vines planted in 1969 was picked 23rd February 2016 at 13.5 Baumé. The same clone of cabernet rootstock was planted in Block 3 and 9 at the same time. Block 3 is at the highest point of the vineyard in the leanest soils, while Block 9 at the lowest point in the richest soils. The flavour and structures are significantly different - Block 3 is more elegant, verging on austere given the season, with line and length whereas Block 9 is richer and more mid-palate driven. 500L of juice was bled off (10%) to concentrate flavours by increasing the ratio of skins and seed to juice during fermentation. Open oak fermenter with a post-fermentation soak to further intensify flavours. Pressed off 18th March after 3 weeks on skins.Through malo in tank and then racked into barrels, mostly French, 25% new, the remainder a mix of 2nd and 4th use. Bottled 25th June 2018 at 14.3% Alc. Only 4056 bottles produced.
TASTING NOTE Full flavours in a youthful and lively wine. Ripe, dark, plush purple / red fruit, delicate lingering spice and a lovely cedary note. Very balanced, perfectly smooth structure (no bumps and holes!) with a lovely vibrancy.
CELLAR until 2040+
95/100 "A dense, deep red in colour with a nose that has concentration of blackberry and blackcurrant with earthen and sweeter spice overtones that is characteristic of the Huntington Estate style. As always a producer that more people should know about." THE WINE REVIEWER 2020
94/100 "Super impressive Mudgee Cabernet sure to bring pleasure in spades. Mint and clouds of dry earth consume the nose early. Already five years young, the fruit has softened and is evidenced by the hand of time. Black fruits and cassis, shades of licorice and a fine shimmer of spice make their mark early. Caramel cream folds its way through on the second day of tasting... Long and persistent with a delicate close, this is a wonderful Cabernet." QWINE 2021
91/100 "Sourced from the highest vineyard block, with more meagre soils. An apotheosis of toasty oak, hedonistic ripeness and forceful tannins, saturated with mocha and coffee bean. Clearly a hot year, with an edge of sûrmaturité (overripeness), aromas of stewed plum, spearmint, graphite and scorched rock. Yet in French, this is not a negative but merely a reflection of the conditions. Here, the tannins are the wine's rock. Its savoury fortress and bulwark against excess. Will age well." NED GOODWIN FOR HALLIDAY 2021
"...the black fruit and slightly spicy aromas hung around refusing to leave. This was pretty exciting, an excellent prelude to what was about to happen on the palate and let me tell you, it was an absolute pleasure. Rich and bold dark fruits, a touch of licorice, creamy dark chocolate, slightly savoury/spicy, a hint of oak, obvious but balanced tannins and very good length. This is a lovely wine." WORDS FROM A WINEGLASS 2021