2018 Sandalford Margaret River Range Cabernet Merlot
Initially this wine is rich with dark brooding berries. As it opens up there is a real juiciness that comes across with savoury spices of nutmeg and cedar to balance the black and blue berry notes. There’s generous sweet flavours, particularly the darker berries, but also plums and rhubarb that are balanced with savoury spices, bay leaf, fresh nutmeg and mocha. These sweet and savoury notes keep evolving in the glass to give wonderful complexity. Velvety smooth tannins add to the complexity on the palate. This is a rich blend that will continually open up and evolve in the glass.
The grapes were machine harvested during the cool of night in mid March. After crushing the must was inoculated with selected strains of yeast. The ferments were on skins for one to two weeks with pump overs used twice daily during this period to ensure optimum extraction of colour, flavour and tannins. Based on taste, the wine was then drained and pressed. After malolactic fermentation the wine was matured for 3 months on 25% new French oak, 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.
85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot
Dark cherry red.
Initially this wine is rich with dark brooding berries. As it opens up there is a real juiciness that comes across with savoury spices of nutmeg and cedar to balance the black and blue berry notes.
There's generous sweet flavours, particularly the darker berries, but also plums and rhubarb that are balanced with savoury spices, bay leaf, fresh nutmeg and mocha. These sweet and savoury notes keep evolving in the glass to give wonderful complexity. Velvety smooth tannins add to the complexity on the palate.
The 2018 vintage was a return to the fantastic conditions that Margaret River is known for. With a wet start to the season in winter and early spring providing a good base of ground water for the vines. November was very dry, perfectly timed with the vines going through flowering and fruit set. After rainfall in both December and mid-January, the season changed and we saw an extended dry and warm period through to the end of picking in mid-April. The maximum temperatures were consistent with long term average and the sea breeze providing the essential cool nights that Margaret River is known for. All fruit this season is of exceptional quality and showing great varietal characters.
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