2016 Huntington Estate Special Reserve Merlot
Fresh and perfectly balanced.
VINTAGE 2016 had 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 Planted in the late 70s, Block 13 Merlot is at the top of the vineyard on lean soils, surrounded by Eucalyptus trees (a portion of the crop inevitably feeds the hungry birds as the grapes ripen!). Originally intended for the classic Bordeaux blend of Cab Merlot, the first straight Merlot from Huntington Estate was produced in 2006 and has been a popular addition to the tasting bench ever since.
IN NOSE Dark cherry, lifted and perfumed with subtle smoky cedar.
IN MOUTH Blackberry and dark cherry feature with hints of aniseed, spice and herb. Fine and delicate tannins and perfectly balanced oak integration, impressive length and a fresh finish.
DRINK WITH Duck ragu
SILVER MEDAL MUDGEE WINE SHOW 2017
"92/100 Merlot usually goes into the ‘Bordeaux blend’ at Huntington Estate though in years deemed special it gets a varietal release. 2016 was one such year. Plenty of stuffing here. Tannin, fruit and oak, though the latter plays third fiddle by a margin. The flavour profile includes redcurrant, iodine, earth, briary herbs and mulberries. At once it’s ripe, stern, serious and packed with red berried fruit." The Wine Front, Campbell Mattinson, 2019
"A deep garnet in the glass with generous aromas: Plump blackberries and plums with spices aplenty: fennel frond, tobacco, clove and rich tomato sugo. The herbal lift provides interest for the now as the intricately weaved tannins envelope the red/black fruit and portent some age-worthiness as it leaves a long tail behind. This is not an insipid vanilla drenched thing, but someone making merlot a serious wine in its own right. Rating: 17.75/20" Vinonotebook, Feb 2019
93/100 "Surprisingly good, or is it my reservations-cum-prejudicial take on merlot coming to the fore? Whatever. Glossy. Plummy-black, red and satsuma-all. The ripeness levels are exalted, yet unlike other wines in the swag it is not hot. Red currant, tobacco leaf and a brushstroke of herb-soused tannins rein in the finish. Long. Detailed." Halliday, Aug 2018
91/100 "...This 2016 release is classic Huntington Estate and typically Mudgee. Add varietal Merlot in the frame and you get mocha oak with a little tobacco thrown in. The tannin profile is exquisitely fine, it's the first thing I noticed as it floods across the palate. Not without a sense of freshness, backed up with a swathe of black fruit. Concludes with what can only be described as the Mudgee terroir carrying long on the finish." The Vinsomniac, Nov 2018
90/100 "Attractive fruit ripeness, without green or herbal notes; soft round and plummy on the palate, exactly what you'd hope for in a good merlot and seldom get. Plenty of soft tannins, not oaky." Huon Hooke, Nov 2018
90/100 "Big framed Merlot. Very much an 'old' style, that is, straight up and down with not too much variance. A bit like the old line and length Glenn McGrath used to bowl - reliable stuff.. Drink now to eight years." QWINE, Dec 2018
90/100 "A dense yet youthful red in the glass. This is a serious merlot with plum and mulberry fruit on the nose that is met in equal measure by liquorice all sorts. The liquorice thread runs through the entire wine, making this one of the more intriguing Merlot’s i have enjoyed in recent time, it’s not over the top and the wine is still steeped in black berry fruits; tannins are soft but expansive and there is a weave chocolate to liquorice and tobacco to finish" Wine Reviewer, Jan 2019
"It’s a terrific colour... The aromas are pretty full on. It smells ripe which I think is a good thing (Merlot can be stubborn bugger to ripen sometimes) and there is no ‘greenness’ to speak of. Everything is falling into place already. There’s no place for the shy when it comes to tasting it. It’s generous, it’s giving yet I felt it was genteel too. Terrific dark fruits. Rich plummy flavours for sure, with some blackberry characters about and there is something akin to a cherry influence too. There’s no ‘beg your pardon’ from the tannins but there’s no offence intended. It’s just trying to tell you to leave it alone for a few years so you benefit from being patient for more than one or two winters. It’s a very well made wine showcasing just how well Merlot is being treated and appreciated in Mudgee let alone Australia." Words from a Wineglass, Oct 2018
"The Huntington Estate team led by Tim Stevens only release their Special Reserve wines when optimum conditions prevail. This current release of this well-structured Merlot as a single varietal reflects all the attributes of a warm climate Merlot of high caliber. Ripe, sweet blueberry flavours and aromas coupled with fine vanillin oak and bracing acid enhance and support the exhuberant fruit power. This is a generous well-crafted cracker of a Merlot reflecting both the pristine varietal attributes and its regionality. It elicits the "wow"factor." The Grape Hunter, Gilbert Labour, 2018
"I seldom write glowing prose about merlot, so it’s a great pleasure to do so here. It’s vibrantly plummy and slightly spicy, with a well-judged touch of oak. The fruit component is impressive. It’s not huge, but it flows – backed up by fine tannins that coat the mouth without aggression. Well worth cellaring for at least ten years." Lester Jesberg, Winewise, Oct 2018