2016 Clairault Cellar Release Petit Verdot
The 2015 to 2016 vintage season in Margaret River was generally warm and dry up to the third week in January 2016. The relatively dry winter combined with a warmer growing season corresponded to vines achieving good shoot lengths and making the transition from vegetative growth to fruiting growth a little earlier than normal; a great feature for fruit quality. Our dry growing season was quenched on 19th March, 2016 with 50mm of rain, enough to wash the dust off the vine leaves, top up the dry soil profiles and carry the vines through to full ripeness. The resulting wines are fragrant with succulent natural acidities, lovely textures and intense aromatic lift.
The fruit is de-stemmed and then very gently crushed, so that each berry is just split. Our objective is that the yeasts can access the sugars in the fruit, without creating fine solids during the crushing. Our fermentation regime is different from all other reds, as the Petit Verdot tannins can be powerful. The Petit Verdot enjoys gentle pump-overs and gentle treatment. This wine was on skins in the fermenter for 14 days, before gentle pressing and barrelling down. This technique results in high-toned red fruits and soft tannins. The wine was aged in one year old French oak for 14 months before the wine was removed from barrels, clarified and bottled.
This wine is wonderfully expressive and true to it's varietal. The nose is dominated by lifted tones of plums, red currants and glazed strawberries, with hints of meat spice and cedar. The palate is rich and coating with hints of black fruits and liquorice. The tannins are supple on the entry yet firm on the finish, with flavours of graphite, cassis and mulberries left to linger.
Up to 10 years, however we enjoy it for freshness now.