The story of Mike Press Wines is atypical in many respects. After bursting onto the scene a few years ago with some great show results and a price point totally at odds with the quality of its wines, Mike Press has done what few wines lovers, in our collective cynicism, probably didn’t expect: he improved things even further. In my view, the last five years has seen a consistent refinement of the reds in particular, honing oak character while retaining excellent expression of fruit. Denoting a wine as “single vineyard” may seem pretentious at this price point, but it’s entirely justified, and one approaches these wines best by being thankful for their affordability and then forgetting cost altogether.
This wine has a balance of fruit and oak that wasn’t quite achieved a few years ago, but which now prompts a dense, concentrated aroma of brambles, brown spice, subtle vegetal notes and squished berries to waft from the glass. Inevitably in such a young wine, a couple of the elements aren’t fully integrated, but it’s impressively coherent nonetheless, especially in terms of the way the oak’s influence weaves into the fabric of the fruit, supporting and spicing it well.
The palate comes across as rich and full, quite fruit driven, but with a decent structural framework and a consequent sense of orderliness underlying the whole. Quite plush on entry, a tumble of very ripe plums and blackberries moves through to the middle palate. I like how clean the fruit is here, without being simple or in any way confected. On the after palate, well balanced acid and velvety tannins start to take over, adding texture to the mouthfeel and some welcome nerviness to the vibe. A decent finish, full of sweet tannins and vanilla oak flavours.
A really nice release of this wine, showing a fullness of fruit in particular that should be utterly crowd pleasing.