Mount Mary Quintet 2016
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Blends »
Supremely elegant, stylish and focused, this aristocratic red has a heady, floral perfume of dark cherries, plums, cassis and blackberries backed by scents of violets and dried herbs, dark chocolate/vanilla oak and suggestions of mocha. Sumptuously flavoured but silky-smooth, it’s dark-fruited, dusty and savoury, with an intensity that builds steadily towards its palate-staining finish. Framed by fine and beautifully ripened tannins, it flaunts its considerable influence from merlot. (Yarra Valley, 96, Drink 2017-2025) Jeremy Oliver
We tasted back a bit further, to 1981 in the Quintets, which turned out to be one of the best wines, still in very good condition. The Quintets possess a lovely balance which only improves with time. John Middleton often quoted a friend from Bordeaux who remarked that “good Bordeaux should finish clean like water”. John applied this mantra to the Quintet from the earliest vintages.
The vineyard is planted to Cabernet sauvignon (46%), Merlot (26%), Cabernet franc (18%), Malbec (5%) and Petit verdot (5%). The percentage of each variety that goes into the final blend changes with the season as factors such as fruitfulness and fruit set. The greatest influence we have over the quality of this wine is deciding when to pick each variety, this determines not only the flavours but the quality of tannins, and the acid and alcohol levels. The fermentation regime is similar to that of the Pinot, although slightly longer fermentations are employed (up to 10 days). This is followed by 22 months on barrel maturation, with 25% of the blend in large format oak (1500L or larger), and 30% in new barriques (225L).