An intense and rich bouquet led by the ripest cassis and berry fruits, rich and opulent but brooding in its youth. Behind the primary fruits are distinctive vineyard characteristics of dark chocolate and mint. The oak is background cedar which will recede further as the fruits emerge with some bottle age.
This vineyard consistently produces intense fleshy and full mid palate Cabernet with massive fruit weight with dark cherry and blackcurrant flavours. At the time of writing the wine is very youthful and tight but it still has ample fruit sweetness that will only become more accessible as the wine matures in the bottle. This is a big full wine with ample flavour and concentration in the classic Margaret River tradition.
It can get a bit repetitive describing vintages in Margaret River, our lesser vintages are still pretty good and our good vintages are just perfect. 2018 will, I believe, be proven to be in time one of the great vintages.
Season 2018 can be described in short as ‘dry and mild’. The growing of fine wine grapes requires lots of good sunshine but not necessarily lots of heat. Hot weather will certainly aid the development of sugar but it seems to have very little to do with the development of all the desirable things like colour, aromas, flavours and tannins. So in fact milder seasons with good sunshine but cooler temperatures are usually the best; maximizing the development of aromas and flavours without ending up with high alcohols and over ripe jammy fruit characters.
It was an early start, perhaps a bit surprisingly considering a very mild spring and start of summer. The weather records will show that the summer months of February and March in the South West of WA were generally fine, very little rain and with no days over 40°, in fact at Hay Shed Hill we had no days over 35°. The mild weather allowed even, gradual ripening and moderate accumulation of sugar, ideal conditions for the key varieties.
Best varieties in 2018 - Chardonnay and the Cabernet Family.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the Hay Shed Hill vineyard were harvested at optimum ripeness. The grapes were de-stemmed into open topped vessels for fermentation on skins with traditional pump over cap management. At the completion of fermentation the wine was left on skins for a further 10 days to maximize the development of the mature tannin. Maturation in French oak barrels for 13 months added further complexity and structure without dominating the fruit.
Dense dark red to black colour of great intensity.