You often hear or read statements such as “a great wine is made in the vineyard”. The gravelly loam soils and rocky ironstone terrain delivers distinctively varietal cabernet sauvignon that is unique to the area. We are on exactly the same latitude as Juniper Estate and Vasse Felix and share similar soils that part of Margaret River, so the choice to plant cabernet in our vineyard was an easy one. Due to the elevation of our vineyard, we are harvesting our cabernet later than the Wilyabrup sub region, and at a similar time to vineyards just south of the Margaret River township.
What’s Different About our Elevation Cabernet:
The planting material we sourced from a friends’ old cabernet block in the Wilyabrup sub region of Margaret River. It is one of the acclaimed “Houghton” clones with small berries and small bunches (which is a winemakers delight!). Our vines have a fine pedigree and as they are maturing, they are certainly showing exceptional promise of better and better things to come.
After harvesting in the cool of early morning, we crushed the grapes a couple of hours later into open topped fermenters. We ferment our cabernet in the same way as our shiraz in an open topped fermenter, with alternating hand plunging, followed by draining off skins into a tank, then returning onto skins with lots of splashing and aeration, happening 2 to 3 times a day. We also barrel ferment a portion of the wine to add extra complexity.
Once a day during the active part of ferment, after draining off skins, a portion of the shiraz ferment is returned into two new French barrels to ferment, with the balance being returned back onto the skins in the fermenters. This process is repeated every day for the next 5 to 6 days. The wine completes fermentation through to dryness on skins in both the open topped fermenter and in the barrels, then it is pressed off through our basket press. Following fermentation, the cabernet was matured for 2 years in a mix of 40% new, 40% one year old, and 20% two and three year old, french oak barrels.
The 2013 Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon is a complex and intense wine with aromas of mint, blueberries, raspberries, tobacco leaf, and dark chocolate, with a lifted flinty, chalky character that is typical of our vineyard. Complex flavours of blueberries, dark chocolate, mint and fresh blackberries unfold on the palate, complemented by fine textured grainy tannins. The finish is long, with lingering flavours of mint and blueberries. This wine is approachable now and will cellar well for the next 8-10 years, or perhaps longer …
Vegetables, fruit & herbs which match well:
Mint, eggplant, black beans, broccoli, beetroot, radicchio, carrots, black olives, green beans, sage, rosemary, basil, pine nuts, bay leaf, dark cooking chocolate, oregano
Slow cooked beef cheek; beef carbonade; slow cooked lamb shanks; coq au vin; ratatouille; spaghetti bolognaise;
James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2018 & Weekend Australian, February 2017, 96 pts: “Deep crimson purple; a distinguished cabernet. The bouquet is a complex amalgam of blackcurrant, quality French oak and earthy tannins. The vinification parallels the shiraz, except for the oak.