Sam Middleton was thoughtful enough to send the 2012 and 2013, alongside this soon to be released 2014. Now, I’ve tasted the first two before, though it’s a wonderful thing to taste all three at once. The first thing that strikes me, is that quite apart from the vagaries of vintage, the three wines in themselves are quite similar. And to distill this down to a simple message, it’s this: the site talks louder than the vintage. The 2012 is perhaps the most svelte and refined (though it opens a little smoky and reductive) with an enticing almost sweet liquorice/truffle top note, over red and black fruits, with a spicy herbal edge. Fine acidity and length its hallmarks. It’s the Fred Astaire of the trio. The 2013 shows an earthier, perhaps more mineral quality, with blackcurrant and blackberry, a more chunky tannin driven structure, and a long earthy finish. More your James Brown, to draw the tenuous bow of analogy once more. And as for the 2014?
Perfumed and pretty with almost succulent small black and red berries, a little vanilla and violet, cedar, tobacco and pencil cases. Medium bodied, delicious boysenberry/blackcurrant flavour, cool minerally acidity, mouth-filling but ultra fine gravelly tannin, that superb Cabernet perfume again, and extreme length closing with an array of red and black berries and refreshingly pure rain-washed acidity. What a wine. As a frame of reference, perhaps Ginger Rogers – can do anything Fred can do, but backwards while wearing heels – and a fraction better it is than either 2012 or 2013, I’d suggest. Drink 2020-2044+.
Gary Walsh, The Wine Front - 96+ Points