The aromatics are deep and complex consisting of a mineral blackcurrant core with touches of anise, bay leaves and dark chocolate. Rich elements of rosemary, spearmint and moist forest floor reveal themselves as the tightly wound profile gently unfurls.
The palate has a powerful rush of cocoa powder, with dark forest berry fruits of blackcurrant and mulberry, peppered with notes of spiced ginger and caramel toffee. The seamlessly integrated palate of powdery tannins frame the perfectly weighted earthiness and fruit, giving a long texture that harks of the saline coastal influence.
The preceding wet winter was followed by a cool spring giving a late start to the growing season, but wonderful sunshine and settled weather gave excellent set (fruitful flowers into berries) and thus great crop potential across all varieties. With a mild summer warming up in December and January, punctuated by only a few hot days, veraison came three weeks later than 2016 giving one of the latest yet highest quality vintages on record. The later ripening gave excellent tannin and colour development and we picked our first cabernet on April 11th.
Sourced from our estate vineyards and several carefully selected grower partners in Margaret River. These vineyards exhibit the classic free draining lateritic soils with high ironstone gravel content and the microclimate is strongly influenced by the Indian Ocean located 5km to the west. Our precision viticulture approach is the pinnacle of our exploration ideal using such tools as vine vigour and soil mapping to determine micro parcels where we select bunch by bunch to achieve optimal potential for our vine fruit. These vines are meticulously treated; cane pruned, shoot thinned, leaf plucked and harvested by hand.
After destemming, individual berry sorting and light crushing, select vineyard batches were fermented on skins for an average of 55 days (with some lots going out to 98 days). Ferment management was decided every day by tasting and follows no recipe. At the desired balance of fruit and tannin extraction, each batch was gently basket pressed, then racked to barrel to complete malolactic fermentation. The wines were matured on “fine lees” for 18 months in selected barriques (mainly French with a tiny amount of Hungarian wood), of which about 58% were new. The wine remained unfined and lightly filtered prior to bottling in December 2018.
Deep dark garnet with black plum edges.
The subtle complexity of this wine complements a five spice dusted crispy duck breast served over soba noodles, a hoisin glazed charcoal grilled ribeye, served with blistered potatoes and minted peas or a spicy Moroccan vegetable tagine of root vegetables, eggplant and zucchini. The savoury earth elements will be lifted by a simple dish of fresh buttered pappardelle with shaved black truffles.