Vintage 2016 was warm and mild with cool nights following Christmas – again a particularly good season for Merlot. Merlot (60%) from Avery, Silage, and Rise vineyards was combined with Cabernet Sauvignon (34%) from our new French ENTAV clones (338 + 412), plus Gumtree Cabernet Franc (5%) and Dunstan Petit Verdot (1%). This blend was then matured in fine-grained French oak for 11 months....
Vintage 2016 was warm and mild with cool nights following Christmas – again a particularly good season for Merlot. Merlot (60%) from Avery, Silage, and Rise vineyards was combined with Cabernet Sauvignon (34%) from our new French ENTAV clones (338 + 412), plus Gumtree Cabernet Franc (5%) and Dunstan Petit Verdot (1%). This blend was then matured in fine-grained French oak for 11 months.
Dark red in colour, the nose is intense with aromas of blackberry, blueberry and anise combined with delicate smoky-coffee French oak. The palate is medium bodied with a soft round Merlot mouth-feel and black fruit flavours, with a touch of liquorice and blueberry. This wine will reward careful cellaring, and we recommend decanting before drinking. - Pete Bissell, Balnaves
60% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Changes under the bonnet have made one of Australia's best value Bordeaux blends even better with new clones of Cabernet and Merlot. Perfectly balanced and weighted, cassis, bay leaf, blackcurrant and cedary oak all playing a role. 95 Points James Halliday
REVUES ON SOME PREVIOUS VINTAGES
"A 51/43/6% blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. Destemmed, and then berry-sorted prior to fermentation in state-of-the-art equipment, matured in French oak prior to bottling in Oct '13. The Blend has a long and proud history of over-delivering, but I can't recollect any vintage bettering this one. The colour is particularly bright, the flavours totally delicious, running through blackberry, raspberry, blackcurrant and even a little cherry; the tannins and oak do no more than complete the picture."
95 Points James Halliday, Wine Companion
Balnaves The Blend 2011
"A well crafted blend, relying more on tangy acidity than soft, fine tannins for structure, making it both immediately approachable and deceptively long-lived. Cabernet sauvignon, with a dash of merlot and cabernet franc, make for a blend of varietal integrity and bright fruit liveliness, defined by accurate capsicum, leaf and tangy redcurrant character. Cool vintage acidity denotes a long, tangy morello cherry finish."
91 Points Tyson Stelzer
Balnaves The Blend 2010
"Travels with the Majella Musician in providing exceptional value for money, replete with blackcurrant, redcurrant and mulberry fruit on the bouquet and medium-bodied palate alike; while oak and tannins provide texture and structure, they do not endeavour to assert primacy over the central core of cabernet family fruit (53/37/10% merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc)."
95 Points Jame Halliday (Top 100 wine 2012)
Balnaves The Blend 2009
"This is Balnaves' answer to Majella's The Musician, both compelling value. Style-wise, they are very different; this wine with more power and structure. It is a brightly coloured blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc that spent 12 months in French oak, 60% new. The bouquet is aromatic, the palate with cassis on the one hand, and a minty/leafy austere finish. It's schizophrenic at the moment, but time should heal the schism."
90 Points Wine Companion