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Pharos 2015

Regular price $62.00


Pharos is the premium red wine from Brick Bay, produced only in excellent vintages. In 2015 we have a wine of intensely complex aromas: berries, earthy spices, liquorice and chocolate. The brooding palate celebrates layered dark berries and plums, floral elegance and silken tannins.

In the Vineyard:

 2015 was the third excellent vintage in a row for us here at Brick Bay, with a mild winter and an early spring producing a good healthy, disease-free canopy.

We then experienced the driest January on record, and settled into a long warm summer and balmy autumn.

The grapes moved into veraison earlier than usual and we rushed to net in the third week of January to protect from the ravenous birds who swoop in at the first sign of colour.

Our vineyard team worked hard at fruit-thinning and leaf plucking, allowing sun and air to penetrate the leafy canopy, and by early March vintage was underway. Our red varieties were hand harvested throughout April.

Juggling the decisions of when to pick, with an eye on weather and fruit condition, is one of the more nerve-wracking tasks of the vintage. Hunting down wasp nests was a time-consuming occupation this year, as wasps were present in large numbers in the district, attracted by ripening grapes. It was a case of patiently waiting for optimum flavours to develop, taking care that we retain that all-important acidity and ensuring the sugar levels are not excessive to give us overly alcoholic wines.


Harvest date: 2 – 24 April 2015

Bottling date: 25 May 2016

Composition: 30% Merlot 29% Petit Verdot 25% Cabernet Franc

 16% Malbec

Alcohol: 14%

TA: 6.3  pH: 3.59

Quantity produced: 178 dozen

In the Winery:

In the winery, each of the 4 varieties was destemmed and crushed separately into small open-top fermenters. A selected yeast instigated fermentation, with the rising ‘cap’ of skins initially hand-plunged four times daily. As alcoholic fermentation proceeded, the plunging regime was decreased to avoid over-extraction. After a period of post-fermentation maceration to add structure and balance, the wine was racked, the skins gently pressed, settled, then aged largely in new French oak barriques. Different coopers and forest origins were utilized to optimize the potential of each grape varietal. After 12 months, selected barriques were blended together. The wine was then bottled without fining and bottle-aged for a further 3 years before release.

Tasting Notes:

An intensely deep purple-red in colour, hinting of the complexity of aromas and flavours to follow: layered dark berries, plums and earthy spices. The palate is weighty with a silken texture, showcasing summer berries, chocolate, cherry, liquorice, smoky tobacco with a lifted floral elegance and a brooding, lingering finish.

Ageing Potential:

Totally approachable now, but in stable cellaring conditions, will continue to evolve and develop further complexity over the next 7-12 years.



Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier, writes ...

A blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The bouquet says it all with an immediately appealing complexity, layers of fruit and wood spices, chocolate and wood smoke, earth and old violet scents from your past. On the palate - weighty, full-bodied, complex, fruity and textured. Flavours of dark plum and olive, blackberry and dark cherry, baked goods and old flowers, tobacco and toasty wood. A lovely wine, still in its prime and only just at the beginning of its journey. Tannins are fine through firm, in abundance and integral to the texture, acidity sits at medium, but with power and also integral to the texture. Decant for service, choose the biggest glass you can find and enjoy on its own or with food - for me its cheese. Best drinking from 2021 through 2030+.

94 Points  Excellent

Bob Campbell, Master of Wine writes...

A blend of Merlot and Petit Verdot with a lesser contribution from Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Weighty, silken-textured red with dark berry, cassis, liquorice, pepper-spice and nutty oak flavours supported by gentle acidity. 

Cellar 2020–2025  

93 points

The 100-point scale:
95-100 Classic: A great wine
90-94 Oustanding: a wine of superior character & style
85-89 Very Good: a wine with special qualities
80-84 Good: a solid, well-made wine
75-79 Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws
50-74 Not recommended

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