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The grapes for this wine are from the vineyard at the front of THEcellar door located on Radford Road at Seppeltsfield, near Greenock, and were planted in 1989. The vines crop at 1.5 to 2.0 tonnes per acre and when picked are kept separate to produce a single estate wine. As with all our grapes they are picked on phenological ripeness and flavour at a baume range of 14 to 16º. This baume sometimes produces a naturally occurring high alcohol, although this will depend on seasonal conditions.
The grapes are fermented in large, shallow open fermenters, pumped over, chilled and pressed through a basket press. The free run and pressings are kept separate through maturation and blended back together one week before bottling. The wine is racked into barrel to undergo natural MLF. The oak is all French shaved out seasoned second-hand hogsheads, with the better barrels being used for the pressings. The wine is left to mature in barrels for a total of 27 months and is usually not filtered or fined prior to bottling.
This wine contains the much sought after flavours of top Cabernets – mint, lavender, chocolate, berries and perfume – the perfect combination to produce an excellent example of this variety.
Notes by Philip White:
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - 12.5% alcohol. Given its climate, aspect, geology, culture and location, the Barossa is nothing like Bordeaux. Yet consider this Cabernet. Look at that modest alcohol. Sniff the richness of its pasture, first as a perky floral claret with a brash sack of dusty tannin swinging around behind like a pendulum or a Porsche engine or something, driving it a bit too hard from down the back. Then as it sucks in the air each day, watch those fast edges and pretty bits mellow and subside as it slowly goes swampy and all its fruits and lignins and tannins eat and digest each other into complete harmonious decay ... it smells all the world like a rich Bordeaux. Drink it: same. That pretty beginning/swampy stew cycle is brutal, but it's the way proper Cabernet seems to work. Then reconsider that alcohol. That's three per cent below most modern Bordeaux. So apart from a bit of a mischievous tease, it's nothing like Bordeaux. As the years progress, this Cabernet by the Creek has become a very tricky, almost impossible wine to point. Like award scores? Each vintage being different, but now slugging regularly into this remarkable, unlikely form, I'm tempted to give it another half a point or a plus or something because each year the tendency is to claim the wine is better. So. For the last time. Is this wine better than the 2013? The notion that it can do all the '13 tricks and more at one whole point lower alcohol makes it better for me: it's more elegant, less Barossa. And less Bordeaux. This is a rare and beautiful thing which will live, bloom and mellow for many, many years. It will be one of those wines a lucky few folks will talk about and remember through a dreamy glaze.
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