95 Points, Ray Jordan
Robust, Ageworthy Dry Red. The benchmark blend of each vintage.
Joseph Myatt was the founder of the original Myattsfield family farm in Camberwell, London. Camberwell of course was subsequently engulfed by London and the family had to move out to Kent and Gloucestershire, but Joseph was always the driver behind the family business and very successful in the projects that he produced. This wine represents the best red blend of any one vintage.
This wine really commemorates Joseph’s pioneering experiences and the original beginnings of the Myattsfield’s horticultural history. We never pre-empt the blend for the Joseph Myatt in any given year. There is a literally a day in November where we get a glass of wine from every barrel in the entire building, line them up on a table and we sit there for hours tasting the wine trying to find the best parcels and the best blending, blended wine to create the Joseph Myatt Reserve.
On the nose we typically see some lovely intense deep, briar and mulberry flavours. There are some lovely charry smoky oak characters.
On the palate, it’s a rich structured palate with very firm tannins, but not tannins that are aggressive or grippy, quite velvety or suede in their structures and some lovely deep mulberry plum and briar characters on the palate.
Because the Joseph Myatt Reserve is a very structural firm dry red, of course it can handle very heavy dishes. Traditional pot roasts, a nice hearty steak, anything full of flavour is a perfect match for Joseph Myatt Reserve.
The Joseph Myatt Reserve is the best red blend of any one vintage. Over the course of the last 15 years, we’ve identified the best areas in our vineyard, the areas that produce the best fruit. We’re prune those areas back a little bit harder and reduce the crop a lot more. We’re really adding to the best grapes we can possibly produce from these very specific areas, in the vineyard. Those grapes are always treated a little differently from the other grapes, they’re the parcels that have the potential to be the Joseph Myatt, of course this changes year to year depending on the season.
In 2015, the Joseph Myatt Reserve was a Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot/ Durif blend. The Cabernet coming from our Bickley Valley vineyard, Merlot from Manjimup and the Durif from our Carmel Vineyard.
The 2015 blend is a Cabernet Sauvignon (63%)/ Merlot (32%). and Durif (5%).
In addition to selecting the best parcels of fruit for the Joseph Myatt Reserve, at Myattsfield we’re also very keen on fractionalizing. This is where we take the free-run juice, the light pressings, the heavy pressings and the very heavy pressings and we separate all fractions from the one ferment. These fractions have different attributes and some of them can be regarded as better parcels than others. The Joseph Myatt Reserve is generally a mixture of the heavy pressings and the light pressings. We find those two fractions are the best portions to work with.
The Joseph Myatt Reserve is of course the best red blend of any one vintage, but the best red blend can be quite a subjective decision in the end and we don’t pretend for a second that there is always consensus amongst the Myattsfield winemaking team. That one day in November where we are out putting the Joseph Myatt blend together can be a very long day, full of plenty of conjecture and arguments; but it’s really our responsibility to ensure that the wine is up to scratch and pays tribute to the Joseph Myatt Reserve blends that have come before it. If that means not releasing a Joseph Myatt in one near, because it’s not up to scratch, then that is what will happen.
Once we’ve identified these best parcels of fruit, once we’ve identified the best fractions of juice, the next step is to use the best oak possible. Those fractions that show a potential for the Joseph Myatt Reserve will always be put into 100 percent new French oak hogsheads. They will be aged in these hogsheads for a minimum of 18 months before blending and bottling.
Once we’ve actually got the Joseph Myatt Reserve to bottle, we give the wine a year in bottle before release just to make sure that all those structural elements have settled down, and the wine has grown into itself
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