• David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Syrah 2016

    93 points – Here’s a very intense, classic cooler climate syrah with a blast furnace nose of hot stones, pepper, black fruit and wild sage/thyme. The same flavour intensity crashes through the palate but the wine is not heavy or sapid. There is great energy with firm acidity, green fresh herbs and tar on the palate. The tannins are a touch green too, but within this landscape they are well meshed. The length is excellent to outstanding. Tasted April 2020

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2016

    90 points – This is an impressive young cabernet franc that captures all the right raspberry/currant fruit, tobacco and gently herbal notes of this grape, along with considerable oak character from 20 months in French and American barrels. It feels slender due to good acidity but in fact is quite full bodied with 15.5% alcohol and considerable dusty, starchy tannin. The length is very good to excellent behind the heat screen. Age it at least two years; it should live for a decade.

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Syrah 2015

    91 points – This is an impressive, big, fairly soft yet well defined syrah. Deeply hued ruby, the nose is generous with ripe almost cooked black cherry, deep florals, smoked meat, licorice and pepper, plus plenty of oak from 20 months ageing in French and American oak. It is full bodied, fairly dense, hottish and quite tannic as well. The length is excellent with the pepper and dried herbs on the finish. Points here for classic expression, but you might want to age this for two or three years to see if tannins align.

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Syrah 2014

    92 points – From long, warm, even vintage, this Syrah co-fermented with a small portion of white Viognier, then aged 20 months in American and French oak. It has a soft but billowing and classic syrah nose of black cherry, chocolate, licorice, loads of pepper and smoked meat. It is full bodied, smooth and rich – a bit soft in the middle with firm, fine tannin and some alcohol heat. Also shows a lick of granitic minerality on the finish. The length is excellent.

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

    92 points – From the record heat of the 2015 vintage, this contains largely free run juice aged 20 months in French and American oak. It is a rich, smooth yet quite bright cabernet with lifted, very pretty floral, black currant, oak resin/chocolate and green cedar on the nose. Nicely defined cabernet aromatics. It is full bodied, quite dense yet smooth and almost juicy. The tannins are gentle, the alcohol is elevated, the acidity drops out a bit in the middle, but the fruit is generous. Excellent length.

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Right Bank 2014

    91 points – Named to reflect the merlot-based ‘right bank’ blends of St. Emilion and Pomerol in Bordeaux, this contains 77% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cab Sauv- fermented and aged 26 months in new American and French oak. It is the lightest and easiest of the current Vanessa offerings. It has a pretty, quite complex well integrated nose with savoury herbal and hay notes, raspberry, wood smoke, resin, vanillin and spice. It is medium bodied, quite smooth, juicy, lively and concentrated. A bit smoky on the finish. The length is excellent.

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Meritage 2014

    90 points – From a warm vintage that experienced even temperatures start to finish, this Meritage blends roughly equal parts Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, each aged eight months, then combined and aged for another 12 months. It is a full bodied, firm and somewhat reserved blend with currant/raspberry fruit, and complex cedar, savoury herbs, oak resin, vanilla and spice. It is full bodied, initially smooth and almost sweet-edged then (14.7%) alcohol heat and considerable tannin weigh in. Quite concentrated, fairly tannic so cellar. Excellent length.

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Merlot 2014

    90 points – From a warm but even vintage that started and ended two weeks earlier than normal, this Merlot (with 15% Cab Franc) was barrel fermented then aged 16 months in one year old American and French oak barrels. The nose shows ripe berry pie, plum, and considerable oak with coconut, resin, spice and chocolate. It is a big merlot, quite plush, smooth and plummy and warm (14.9% alcohol). Tannins are merlot moderate. Very good to excellent length.

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015

    91 points – From the hottest vintage in Vanessa’s history, this shows a savoury nose of fresh herbs, tobacco and deep raspberry fruit, some oak smoke, spice and vanillin (aged 20 months in French oak, 30% new). It is medium-full bodied, quite supple and smooth. Tannins are firm with some alcohol warmth rising on the finish. A biggish franc showing some elegance and very good to excellent length.

  • David Lawrason

    Vanessa Vineyard Meritage 2013

    90 points – “This is a rather understated, firm yet elegant cabernet based meritage with 44% cabernet sauvignon, 42% cabernet franc and 14% merlot. It has a quiet but complex nose – rather dusty, herbal and finely oaked with currant and herbal notes. It is nicely elegant mid palate with fine, firm tannin. Excellent length. Could use a bit more time to show. Best 2019 to 2025. Well balanced.”