It is surprisingly lifted on the nose showcasing cassis, crunchy red currants,
black cherries, violets as well as hints of bay leaf and pencil shavings.
Less than fullbodied
on the palate, it is pure elegance and even at this early stage the perfectly ripe
fine-grained tannins and the cedary oak are seamlessly integrated, its fine acid line
giving it plenty of freshness and carrying both fruit and savoury notes through a finish
that seems to go on for an eternity.
After a relatively warm start to the season this year’s harvest began on February 9th, so roughly
around the same time as the previous year. Full flavour development, however, occurred at
lower Baumés than in previous years and with acid levels still very high- both factors that very
much suit the style of wine we make. After all the white varieties had been picked over the
course of just 6 days, the weather turned and became noticeably cooler, which meant a fairly
long break before the reds were fully ripe and ready to be harvested. This drawn out cooler
ripening period resulted in great flavour and tanning development at very low Baumés across
all red varieties. At 20 years of age our old Cabernet vines are now showing noticeably less
vigour than they have in the past, but the quality of the fruit we’ve been getting off them has
been truly impressive. In the winery Chris has therefore been working hard on fine-tuning his
selection of barrels for what we expect will be remembered as an exceptional red wine vintage,
even by the consistently high standards we have become used to here in Margaret River.
The grapes come from the oldest vines on our property, which are planted in well
drained loam over gravel and ironstone. Great care is taken to handle the fruit as gently
as possible throughout all the processing stages. Handpicked in the early hours of the
morning, the grapes are sorted, crushed and destemmed before being fermented in
small open fermenters. The ferments are regularly plunged by hand ensuring optimum
colour and tannin extraction, and the wine is given extended maceration once
fermented dry. Basket pressed, matured in the finest quality French barriques for 18
months and rounded out by a small addition of Petit Verdot (4%) prior to bottling this is
a smooth and stylish wine that displays all the hallmarks of a classic Margaret River
Cellaring for up to 15 years.