26 Aug 2011
The Target Gully Vineyard occupies a space, both literally and stylistically, in the middle of the Mt. Difficulty trio. It is also the most mysterious cuvee, having only been made twice. This 18-year-old plot lies adjacent to Block 9 and 11 of Felton Road’s vines, tucked behind a small rise and not as exposed as the other Mt. Difficulty sites. In my experience, it is a more compact expression of the Mt. Difficulty style with less expressive fruit and a compact palate profile.
The current release is barely opaque in color. This is a masculine, powerful wine that maintains a beautiful balance of fruit and structure. A trait of the vintage, the tannins are a bit pronounced, with a great concentration of soft fruits at the backpalate but not the lusher textures found in the Long Gully.
The first release was the 2003, and this wine was a bit backward and unevolved with dark fruits and crunchy textures on the backpalate. Displaying a robust facet here, the palate shows an emphasis on the wine’s firm and slightly blocky nature. This somewhat square wine has lovely subtle flavors of dusty, sour cherries as the wine ends up with a firm finish and spicy tannins.