Tasting NotesBasket Press Merlot / Franc
The 2018 Basket Press Merlot/Franc is now ready to go (we didn't make a 2017 because we didn't rate the vintage as good enough). Not a lot of this made, and we picked the eyes out of the fruit to ensure we maintain the rich, soft style.
2018 Basket Press Merlot/Franc - 4 stars
Ripe black fruit and licorice notes with fine, supple tannins and a hint of balanced oak characterise this rich and elegant wine. Another sophisticated red from a warm Hawkes Bay vintage that will easily cellar for a decade or more.
- Bob Campbell - The Real Review 2020 - 4 stars and Top Rank (#4 out of 17 tasted)
2017 Basket Press Merlot/Franc not made
2016 Basket Press Merlot/Franc - 92/100 4.5 stars
Very ripe dark fruit and licorice flavours with fine, velvety tannins and a touch of balanced oak define this rich and concentrated wine. An elegant and sophisticated red from yet another great Hawkes Bay vintage that will cellar comfortably for a decade or more.
2015 Basket Press Merlot/Franc not made
2014 Basket Press Merlot/Franc
Ripe black fruit and licorice flavours with fine, supple tannins and a touch of aromatic oak define this ripe and concentrated wine. A sophisticated red from another great Hawkes Bay vintage that will cellar comfortably for 8-10 years.
2013 Basket Press Merlot/Franc
Rich ripe dark fruit and licorice flavours with fine, soft tannins and a hint of aromatic oak are the hallmarks of this ripe and concentrated wine. A sophisticated red from a superb vintage that will cellar comfortably for 8-10 years.
2010 Basket Press Merlot/Franc
A dark, rich and ripe wine, with classic black fruit characters and cedary oak along with a backbone of fine, soft tannins that give it up to a decade of cellaring potential, although it is very hard to resist now.
2003 Basket Press Merlot/Franc not made
2002 Basket Press Merlot / Cabernet Franc
A blend of 95% Merlot and just 5% Cabernet Franc. Masses of plummy red fruit, soft, ripe tannins and an excellent future ahead of it.
2001 Basket Press not made
2000 Basket Press Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Deep purple in colour, this vintage is a blend of 68% Merlot and 32% Cabernet Franc. It is dark and dense with typical black plum and licorice notes, along with fine tannins and a soft, lingering finish. A rich and fleshy style that will age well.
1999 Basket Press Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Medium / dark purple in colour, our top label is again dominated by sweet, ripe plum and berryfruit flavours, supported by savoury oak and well structured tannins. It is a more elegant style than the 1998, but still shows the trademark balance and palate texture of it's predecessors. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.
1998 Basket Press Merlot / Cabernet Franc
The 1998 vintage was, not to put too fine a point on it, superb. Merlot was an outstanding performer and the blend again shows the excellent results that we are getting from both this variety and Cabernet Franc in Hawkes Bay. Hand plunged in small open vats and left on skins for over 3 weeks to stabilize colour and build up tannin, the wine was then pumped to barriques for 14 months maturation. A light egg white fining smoothed out the rough edges prior to bottling without filtration.
Plum, licorice and savoury oak dominate the nose and palate, with lots of fine tannin adding structure and texture to the wine.
1997 Basket Press Merlot / Cabernet Franc
Our top label from 1997 is a blend of 89% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc. As with the previous vintage, this wine was fermented in 2 tonne open fermenters and hand plunged to build up colour and tannin. Following a period of post ferment maceration on skins, it was pressed off and pumped to 225 litre barriques for 12 months maturation. The best blocks from our vineyard were selected for this blend and given a light egg white fining prior to bottling. The wine is unfiltered. Ripe plummy fruit combines with savoury French and American oak to flesh out the palate and lead into a long, soft finish with smooth supporting tannins.
1996 Basket Press Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon
A deeply coloured wine with intense plum and blackcurrant flavours supported by generous layers of savoury new oak. It is built to cellar for at least 3 or 4 years, although it will comfortably develop in the bottle for a decade. Try to resist the temptation to drink it too young.