Ridgemill Estate 2016 ‘The Czar’ Saperavi

I’ve been absent from Insta and the web in general and this, for a constellation of factors, is set to continue. I’ve decided that I will post new and interesting wines, different wines, aged wines and exceptional wines from exceptional vintages. Aside from those conditions I’ll be mostly quiet.

I opened the 2019 last weekend and realised I haven’t posted a review of the 2016. 2016 was a very good local vintage as was 2019 except that 2019 was an aberration being the last vintage during the short but very severe drought in which many wineries were able to make wines from local grapes. 2016 Saperavi 2019 was hot and tended to produce grapes with genuine opulence the resultant wines having more fruit weight and power than is usually encountered on The Granite Belt.

This 2016 is truer to the region than the 2019. The 8 years have been reasonably kind to the wine, it doesn’t have the vibrant appearance of a youngster but there is still some radiance and hints of purple. The depths of course are inky black and impenetrable. The bouquet shows spice, more spice than the 2019. There is cedar, dark berry fruits, macerated cherries. The palate is still quite rich with dark berries, chocolate, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon and star anise, black cherries are faintly almost subserviently floating way in the background, there is still some genuine acid drive and a cedary spicy plummy oak presence. The tannins have become rather svelte and provide an excellent integrative exit experience as the wine fades on your palate and entices for more indulgence.

Interesting to try this wine reasonably close to the 2019. Although the grapes are both from the same vineyard this 2016 is truer to the more usual local style, it has more acidity than the 2019, more spice, and the overall fruit weight is a little less. Unless you are an immovable primary fruit addict there is no rush to consume this wine, it probably won’t experience further development but it is very well balanced and if well cared for will remain in a drinking window for another 5+ years.

Tasted: Saturday 20th April, 2024 without food and then with over several hours.
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $45
Suggested Drinking Window: now – 2029+
Winemaker: Peter McGlashan
Fruit Source: Estate
Visit Website

Posted by Peter Pacey

Leave a Reply