2016 has been phenomenal, despite the dry season our approach to sustainable wine grape growing has ensured this harvest was overflowing with great fruit quality. The season was challenging, a result of prolonged dry periods and a warm December but we had few days above 40oC and then a much needed rain event came late in January. This was the turning point of our vintage, as the exhausted vineyards inhaled the relief of 48mm of rain, the vines were now set, absorbing the light to bring on the flavours and textures to see way for another great harvest.
This small planting of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted on our Stonewell property in 2001. Trained onto a single cordon wire, the rows run East-West, which aids in protecting the fruiting zone from the late afternoon sun in summer. The North Westerly facing aspect has moderately deep red/brown clay soils with underlying calcareous chalk. The late ripening vineyard is well suited to these soils retaining fresh canopies by harvest that deliver well balanced fruit unharmed by excessive heat exposure.
The hand-harvested fruit is completely destemmed and crushed to an open top fermenter. The must is inoculated and allowed to ferment between 22-25oC. Once ferment has commenced the cap is submerged by the use of heading-down boards. The ferment is covered and followed by 54 days of skin contact, then gently pressed to new and seasoned French oak for 19 months élevage.