The season was influenced by La Nina weather conditions, resulting in a very mild spring, a very warm summer with high sunshine hours and a long, lingering autumn. In spite of being dry we had infrequent, but well spaced showers keeping the vines very happy.
The Vineyard and the Vines
The vines are grown in stony, freely draining soil on north facing terraces. Being the most sheltered and warmest part of our vineyard they receive extra heat. Early in the summer we removed leaves from around the bunches in order to promote physiological ripening. Some of the blocks are almost 30 years old and are on their own roots.
The Harvest and Winemaking
We used the traditional methods which are employed to make Bordeaux’s celebrated wine, Claret. After picking during May the grapes were fermented by their indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks. During this process the juice was regularly drained from the tanks sprayed back over the surface of the cap of floating grape skins to keep it moist and healthy. After this primary fermentation ceased the tanks were sealed and the grape remnants were allowed to steep or macerate in the newly formed wine for several weeks to help improve the wine's body and structure. The exact period of this process was determined by daily tasting. The wine was then drained off and put on to French oak barriques. In the summer after harvest it underwent natural spontaneous malolactic or secondary fermentation. It was in these barriques for two years, during which time it underwent several rackings, enabling it to clarify naturally. The various batches were then blended according to taste before bottling. This wine is 50% merlot, 30% cabernet sauvignon and 10% each of cabernet franc and malbec.
On release the wine is a deep ruby colour. It has generous aromas and flavours reminiscent of blackberries, purple peaches, purple plums, cassis and vanilla pod. There is an underlying savoury character suggests freshly brewed coffee, wood smoke and spice. The palate is generously full and fruity with plush velvety tannins that lead on to a lingering tangy aftertaste. While ready to drink on release we expect this wine to improve for several years and live for well over a decade with careful cellaring.
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