2017 Tim Stevens Signature Shiraz Cabernet
Complex and alluring.
VINTAGE 2017 was a great red vintage, and the culmination of a huge amount of hard work understanding how to manage the warmer seasons in the vineyard and winery. The promise of the wines was evident from the start with colour and chemistry (pH, acids etc), and the flavours and structure followed through.
VARIETY Equal amounts of Shiraz from Block 1 and a ripe component of Cabernet from Block 3, were blended with a smidgen of merlot to add complexity and fill in a few holes. The Block 1 Shiraz gives it generosity and great regional Shiraz characters, and the Block 3 gives structure, amazing length, and ultimately finesse.
VINEYARD / WINEMAKING The Shiraz was barrel fermented; the Cabernet on skins for a week (separately – they came in 3 weeks apart). The batches were basket pressed then spent 18 months in barrel. The Shiraz saw American oak, the Cabernet a mix of French and American in my favourite ratio of 1/3 new, 1/3 second use and 1/3 old oak.
IN NOSE Sensual, enticing and complex with bright, rich purple fruit and a hint of milk chocolate.
IN MOUTH A complex and alluring wine with dark, rich purple fruit, perfect balance, finesse and great length.
CELLAR until 2030+
DRINK WITH Venison
95 POINTS "... This is an excellent Shiraz Cabernet blend. The Shiraz saw 60% new American oak and the Cabernet saw 70% aged French oak with a total of 18 months in oak. Upon opening, expressive aromas of cedar, clove and caramel were prominent and bounding along. A day on and these were more tame with added scents of bark and lead pencil. An ever so slight mintiness partnered the dried herbs too. The fruit is sleek through the mouth. Beautifully balanced on its feet, it maneuvers and swerves covering every crevice with absolute ease. Superfine tannins feather the palate on exit leaving a long and delectable finish. The urge to reach for another sip is irresistible. Class all the way. Drink 2021 to a decade+" QWINE, May 2019
94 POINTS "... It's deep, rich, a subtle toast is present, lurking seated in the wine. There's a Plummy aspect to the wine, certainly a dark black fruited nature. It's nimble, quite deft, for all its heft. A freshening acidic presence, carrying a wash of fruit across the palate. Delicately poised, not something I expected to say, ultra-fine tannin and a seemingly perpetual finish. It's balanced and well set for a duration in the cellar, easily 2030." The Vinsomniac. May 2019
94 POINTS "Big, bold, rich, heady stuff. Thickset in the palate with inky dark berry plummy fruit, rivers of clove, cedar and smoky spice. Tannins ripple with authority and the wine feels palate staining and generous through and through. It's a pretty epic wine and still finds good balance with all that density. Nicely done in that way." Mike Bennie 2020
9.4/10 "...miles in front of most." Daily Examiner, Max Crus 2019
93 POINTS "Deep colour, with a rich dark chocolate and fruitcake aroma, cocoa powder, the palate densely-structured, concentrated and loaded with somewhat chewy tannins. Liberal oak inputs. It's fleshy and seductively textured. A luxurious wine." Huon Hooke, Jun 2019
5 STARS "...purple-tinted bright crimson and has fruitcake aromas and velvet-smooth blackcurrant front-palate flavour.The middle palate shows ripe blueberry, licorice, Turkish delight chocolate and vanillin oak and the finish chalky tannins. Ideal with osso bucco..." Newcastle Herald, John Lewis, Jul 2019
"Alluring purples hues,vibrant aromas of red fruit, herbs & a pinch of spices, melded together, a svelte mouthful of superb flavours with a crisp, tight, lingering finish. Great now but will evolve over the next few years to become TRULY SENSATIONAL !!" Wine Assist, Dan Traucki
"This ultra-premium red was recently used to help celebrate the Mudgee winery’s fiftieth and it really is a ball-tearer. Winemaker Tim Steven describes the wine as more modern than the traditional Huntington red style and he’s quite right. The wine, incidentally, grew out of an earlier release of Tim’s called the Growers’ Revenge. Go the growers. It’s getting time to match this top-class red with the best of cold-weather stews." EGlobal News, John Rozentals, May 2019
"I know this sounds bizarre, but have you ever been in a situation where you thought time just stood still? I realise this is not possible, but people say things like this has happened to them in some situations. How about an experience where there was a certain stillness in everything around you, yet what you were doing or feeling seemed like the only thing happening. Has a wine ever done that to you? This one seemed to do it for me... A beautiful, youthful purple colour of course. Delightful aromas of juicy red and blue fruits, herbs and a pleasant oak influence (not surprising considering the 60% new American oak used for the shiraz) but you can tell this is just a tease for what is in store. ‘Exuberance’ would be the number one way to describe what you find when tasting it. A close second would be luxurious. It has all the freshness and up front fruit of a young and exciting wine. Abundant black and blue fruits partnering up nicely with the oak providing a balanced and lush feel on the palate. Smooth, suave and sophisticated tannins add to the class of this wine as it shimmies and saunters its way to a terrific length. If you couldn’t tell by my notes, I loved this wine. It seems so complete now (with a bit of air time) yet has a great future as well. The best of both worlds!"... more... Words from a Wineglass, May 2019
"This wine offers dense blackberry aromatics with mulberry overtones and a touch of oak. In typical Huntington Estate style the tannins are mouth-coating, framing an intense, long palate. Very much a cellaring style. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ★★★★☆" Winewise Magazine, June 2019
"This Flagship cracker red blend elevates & celebrates Huntington Estate's 50th year of establishment and winemaker Tim Stevens' achievements at that level. Chocolate brioche, maraschino cherries and mixed herbs immediately imbue the olfactory senses. An enticing sweet and sour front palate sweetness [14.7% Alc] allows the power and subtlety of the finely crafted blend of varietal characters to seduce the mid-palate. There is a subtle transition from seductive smoothness to mid / long palate balance, structure and opulence... a steel fist in a leather glove. This well-assembled, balanced and integrated flagship powerhouse premium blend delivers smoothness now. It also shows promise of longevity and further integration over the next few years." The Grape Hunter, Gilbert Labour. June 2019