2016 Sandalford Prendiville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
The mild spring conditions merged into a warm and dry start to summer, with the vines on track slightly earlier than normal. These conditions were interrupted in mid-January 16, with 70mm of rain falling in the vineyard due to a tropical rain event. With this moisture came the challenge of increased fungal pressure on the fruit - 2 weeks out from the white harvest (leading to a very stressed Viticulturalist and Winemaker). For the reds, it gave them a much appreciated drink in the lead up to harvest in late March. Despite this challenge, all fruit harvested are of exceptional quality, showing intense varietal characters.
The Sandalford Estate vineyard in Margaret River is one of the largest and oldest vineyards in this famed region, having been originally planted in 1972. The vineyard is located in the northern sub-region of Margaret River known as Wilyabrup. This sub-region is some 4 degrees Celsius warmer on average than the southern parts of Margaret River. This ensures optimal ripeness and generosity in the wines produced. There are twelve old vine Cabernet Sauvignon blocks on the Estate. Only the best was utilised to make this release. After crushing and de-stemming, this select parcel of hand-picked Cabernet fruit was inoculated with a selected yeast strain and fermented in small 5 tonne open fermenters. The traditional method of pumping over was employed during fermentation to optimise colour, flavour and tannin extraction from the fermenting must. At the end of ferment, the wine was pressed and transferred to oak barrels. After13 months of barrel maturation, only the best 18 barriques were put aside for this release of the Prendiville Cabernet Sauvignon. Each bottle is individually numbered.
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.
Dark ruby red with a vibrant magenta hue.
A powerful and complex nose, full of dark berries and spicy, mocha notes.
This wine is intense and complex, it will keep evolving in the glass. Up front there's blackberries and cassis. It's perfumed with a floral lift and has a definite savoury edge. The French oak adds another layer with cedar and mocha notes. The tannins are powerful, yet also chalky and soft. Underneath there is a refreshing acid balance, which combines with the tannins to give a wonderfully long and lingering finish with a beautiful line through the palate. With 70% new French oak, this wine is still so young and whilst remarkable now, with careful cellar maturation for 15 years or more, this limited release Prendiville Cabernet Sauvignon will certainly reward the patient. (A harmless deposit may form in the bottle during cellar maturation and decanting is recommended prior to serving).
The mild spring conditions merged into a warm and dry start to summer, with the vines on track slightly earlier than normal. These conditions were interrupted in mid-January 16, with 70mm of rain falling in the vineyard due to a tropical rain event. With this moisture came the challenge of increased disease pressure on the fruit - 2 weeks out from the white harvest (leading to a very stressed Viticulturalist and Winemaker). Meticulous Vineyard management prevented any occurrence of disease and saw all the fruit through to optimum maturity. For the reds, it gave them a much appreciated drink in the lead up to harvest in late March. Despite this challenge, all fruit harvested are of exceptional quality, showing intense varietal characters.