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Paarl & Franschoek
Stony Brook Vineyards "The Max" '18
The origins of Stony Brook Vineyards date to the late 1980s, when Nigel and Joy McNaught purchased land that would allow them to focus on making wines that reflected the area and the styles of wine that excited them. Several years later, they sold their first farm and sought a smaller property better suited to helping them create the wines they intended. In 1995 they purchased an old fruit farm, and this property is now known as Stony Brook, in Franschhoek (Afrikaans for “French Quarter”), between the Stellenbosch and Paarl regions of South Africa’s Western Cape.
The McNaught family replanted the entire farm to vines and built a small cellar to produce the first wines under the Stony Brook label. In 2011, they were joined by their son, Craig McNaught, who took over as winemaker.
With each vintage of “The Max,” the aim is to create a wine that has aging potential as well as flavors that allow the wine to be enjoyed in its youth. The 2018 vintage is a Cape Bordeaux-style blend, made of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Petit Verdot. The tannins, while firm and grippy, are also round and inviting. The four varieties were matured separately in a combination of 50% new and 50% second- and third-fill French oak barriques for 26 months before blending and bottling.
On the nose, the wine shows ripe red cherry, plum, and blackberry, with dried tobacco, cedar, cocoa, and allspice. All these notes show beautifully on the palate as well, with well-integrated tannins, a bright finish, and a touch of oak.
Stony Brook Vineyards
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