On opening, this 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon was initially surprisingly taut, tight and broody with reductive aromatics of oyster shell, salty creme de cassis, black currant leaf, black chai tea, iodine and maritime salinity. But as I’ve discovered repeatedly over the past 12 months, the hot dry 2016 drought vintage did produce some really excellent red wines proving that exceptional terroir handled intelligently by an accomplished winemaker can trump even difficult vintage conditions. Given ample time to breath, the nose starts to reveal a growing intensity of black cherry, salty cassis and vibrant blueberry hints with a seductive underlay of cherry kirsch liquor. On the palate, the texture is sleek and polished with multiple waves of creme de cassis and blackberry fruits rising like a tide, finishing with a tangy concentration burst of acidity and mouthwatering fruit. Tannins are understated and powdery suggesting optimal phenolic ripeness. A really beautifully constructed wine with elegance, balance and supple accessibility. Drink on release with a bit of decanting or over 10 to 12+ years. Wine Safari Score: 94+/100 Greg Sherwood MW
Firm, serious, robust and showing a little – but not too much – of the heat of the 2016 vintage, this was released a little later to allow it to soften in bottle. Dense and compact with layers of damson and black cherry fruit and scented new oak. One to tuck away in the cellar. 2022-28 93/100 Tim Atkin MW
The cold weather arrived late, with below average rainfall resulting in low soil moisture and dam levels .The budburst period was very dry, placing a lot of strain on the vines and causing a reduction in the amount of berries per bunch and the resulting crop size. Very warm and dry during the harvest period, with minimal wind damage and disease.
WINEMAKING / MATURATION
Fermentation took place in open top concrete fermenters at 290C. The floating skins were punched down by hand, every 2 hours during fermentation. The juice was drawn off the skins after 5 days. After malolactic fermentation the wine was matured for 24 months in 50% new and 50% second fill 225L French Nevers oak barrels.
RS 2.6 g/l
TA 5.9 g/l