Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Balnaves ENTAV Clone 2016
A new fruit forward style outta the blocks here from Balnaves.
ENTAV stands for Etablissement National Technique Amélioration Viticulture based in Le Grau-du-Roi in the South of France. This organisation selects, grows and tests the best clones out of France. Balnaves now have two ENTAV Cabernet clones and one Merlot clone in the ground. The Cabernet and a new planting of Petit Verdot have been blended here to produce a bright and vibrant red for immediate consumption. Winemaker Pete Bissell tells me sales have been better than expected and it is doing very well on-premise.
The blend is made up of 54% 412 Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% 338 Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot. Cold soaked, five days on skins and five months in French oak and stainless steel are the specs.
Upon opening, a whiff of something akin to cough syrup lobs up early but blows off in quick succession. Juicy blue fruits and violets run riot. There's plenty of energy about this - it's absolutely delicious. Chalky like tannins to finish but the fruit just lingers long. There's plenty of easy drinking satisfaction here. I saw the end of a couple of glasses - game, set, match. A terrific debut!