2016 Elevation Cabernet
You often hear or read statements such as “a great wine is made in the vineyard”. The gravelly loam soils and rocky ironstone terrain at Whicher Ridge 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.
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 2016 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!
Our cabernet sauvignon vines were grown by Neil from cuttings sourced from a friends’ cabernet block in the planted in the 1970’s in the Margaret River wine region. Our Elevation cabernet vines have a very fine pedigree!
The 2016 growing season was right on the long-term average temperatures with no extremes through spring and early summer. The region received 40 mm rain in March from a cyclone which was perfectly timed as all the white varieties had been harvested. The timing and volume of this rainfall event lead to a drop in night time temperatures but it was ideal to freshen the cabernet vines and harvesting occurred in mid to late April.
The grapes are Estate grown in our Whicher Ridge Vineyard, nestled in a hidden valley in the Whicher Range. Our vineyard is at an elevation of 170 metres above sea level. The vines are planted in ancient gravelly ironstone hillside plantings, and the cool winds at night coming off the Southern Ocean during summer, give rise to wines of intensity and finesse.
Our grape growing philosophy is to use sustainable biological farming practices in our vineyard. We do not use pesticides and use a minimal spray application programme to prevent disease. Undervine grasses and flowering plants are retained throughout the year, providing habitats that encourage predatory insects and insect diversity throughout our vineyard
Mint, eggplant, black beans, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, black olives, green beans, sage, rosemary, basil, pine nuts, bay leaf, dark cooking chocolate, oregano, pumpkin
A blanc de blanc sparkling made from chardonnay. The secondary ferment occurs in the bottle, which is when the magic happens and those glorious fine beads of bubbles are created. Whitetail is named after the endangered Whitetail Black Cockatoos who regularly visit our farm.
2016 Long Road Shiraz
After making truly wonderful shiraz wines in the Barossa Valley, some of the most interesting and complex shiraz wines that we were tasting in Western Australia were from the Frankland River sub-region of the Great Southern wine region. So, naturally, we had to make one!
2016 Une Rangee Petit Verdot
We have one row of this variety in our Whicher Ridge vineyard which we planted in 2005. Une Rangée is the French translation for One Row. Our Petit Verdot is made in ‘petit’ volumes with only 120 cases made in 2016.