2017 Sandalford Element Merlot
Full of plums, blueberries and a cinnamon edge. This wine is a classic Merlot. It’s medium bodied and has a generosity about it which is just so easy to drink. Full of plums up front, with blue berries and red berries supporting. The tannins are silky smooth and give the palate texture. Although minimal, the oak flavours are savoury and are all about supporting the fruit flavours.
Immediately after harvest, these grapes were destemmed and crushed to 20 tonne static fermenters. Pumpovers were used for extraction and cap management during the fermentation which took place using a selected yeast strain. After fermentation the wine was drained, skins pressed with the pressings going back in with the free-run wine. The wine was then inoculated with a known MLF strain. Post MLF, the wine was aged in French oak barrels before blending and bottling.
Meet the maker
Growing up on a wheat and sheep farm is not your traditional start to a winemaking career. However, it was driving through the Swan Valley on the way to Perth that started my interest in grapes. They were always beautiful and green quite a contrast to the dry and dusty terrain from the farm. During my final year of studies at the University of Adelaide, I commenced working at Petaluma in the Adelaide Hills, and this seeded my love of Riesling. After 18 months, I decided to explore the world of wine and for the next several years was a flying winemaker, working alternate vintages in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. In the north, this took me to France (Languedoc, Cognac & a couple of days in Bordeaux) and many times to Oregon, USA. This is where my love of Pinot was born. Back in Australia, I also explored Margaret River, Geographe, Clare Valley, SA and Macedon Ranges, Vic. In January 2007, coming back to WA, I joined Sandalford as Winemaker and in December 2012, was offered the Senior Winemaker position. To talk about my winemaking philosophy, is to first understand the vineyards. My role is to let the grapes shine and ensure they reflect the vineyard site they\'re from. The fruit source for all of our wines, are paramount to their success, and I\'m incredibly lucky to have one of the oldest vineyards in Margaret River to work with.
Full of plums, blueberries and a cinnamon edge.
This wine is a classic Merlot. It's medium bodied and has a generosity about it which is just so easy to drink. Full of plums up front, with blue berries and red berries supporting. The tannins are silky smooth and give the palate texture. Although minimal, the oak flavours are savoury and are all about supporting the fruit flavours.
What to say. The 2017 vintage is going to be a vintage that will be remembered for years to come. Overall, the conditions were cooler than average and saw ripening delayed by up to 4 weeks on normal. In the Swan Valley, the season will be remembered for the high rainfall with 30mm falling in late January and another 70mm 10 days later in February. This saw the Swan River burst it's banks. Whilst Sandalford had no flood damage in the vineyard, the unseasonal weather created challenges in the vineyard. Due to the later ripening of all red varieties, this rainfall had little effect on them, with all grapes showing intense varietal characters